There have been weird times in Muskrat Flats for the last couple of weeks. . Some times are too weird to document, others were just weird enough that you can't look nor can they be ignored. Regardless, I will try to document the ones which are too weird.
The folks at the old wood and brick structure at the corner of McKernan and Petersen Street are entrenched in their daily routine. The meals on wheels are going out like clockwork under the watchful eye of Sid Bartleby and Moe Eckstein. Their right hand men Paul and Donnie have risen from the ranks of dishwashers and have become and integral part of the food production and distribution. Their first task, other than train the new kids Harry and Marley regarding the mechanical ins and outs of running the dishwasher, was to train them in the proper scaling and measuring of the ingredients for the blueberry muffins. Those famous blueberry muffins which Sid Bartleby's Great Grandmother Edna began selling at her Mercantile back in 1879, when Muskrat Flats was still a baby, but had already developed its unique and inviting character.
Thank you for all of the kind comments on the pornography I posted last time around. As one reader pointed out,
"Man, Sheriff Hawthorne was kind of a freak, huh?" He sure was, Corey Check.
As this is being written, more on Sheriff Hawthorne's interaction with the vampires Astrid and Isabella is in the works, and you will read it soon.
And Thank You for not throwing Holy Water on me. That shit burns.
If I needed someone ...
If you have read any of my diatribes in the past there are a few points of interest in my life which you probably already know.
I am a 44 year old divorced Father of an 11 year old girl.
I am an addict recovering from the disease of addiction. My drug of choice was anything you would put in front of me, for more than half of my life.
It was crack cocaine and heroin which brought me to my knees and unceremoniously dumped me out of the back seat of a beat up, rusted Chevy Camaro. The old clunker, which was only running on seven cylinders, didn't even slow down as a size 7 Timberland boot catapulted me out the door. I hit the pavement on the road to recovery, bruised,bleeding, tired, hurt and confused. I brushed off my coat, pulled the pebbles and broken glass out of the skinned flesh on my knees and palms and did the only thing I could do ... began walking.
There have been numerous times where I stumbled and fell back down, but I always was fortunate enough to get back up and continue walking. I am still walking that path today.
Yesterday, marked the 6 month anniversary of my clean date. Half a cake. as some folks call it.
I have a problem with women. It is not so much that they have cooties ...
But seriously, every relationship I have been involved in, since I have been separated and eventually divorced from my wife has been disastrous. In active addiction I had two women popping in and out of my life, both were addicts, both were smart, funny, beautiful and very sexy.
Both were relationships I knew were doomed from the start. I am lucky, as are they, that Death wasn't the ultimate price to be paid for that high. All three of us have experienced two of the three guarantees of living a life of active addiction ... jails and institutions.
Detox is what it is, but jail - I was in a lock up for 8 hours. Trust me, that is enough for this addict, kids. Never again.
I have came to accept that I can never choose to associate with these two ever again. Even if we have years of recovery each, it would be a volatile situation for us to be alone together. Each time I slipped and fell, walking that road to recovery, one of these lovely ladies was involved.
So, when I got serious about wanting to live a life free from active addiction, I made a decision to listen to that little voice in my head, the one that always was the voice of reason, compassion and righteousness. That voice, along with that of a very dear friend, both told me that I'm better off single.
"Just work on yourself, when the time is right you will know it." He said.
In the last four months, I guess I have turned into some kind of super stud, because the ladies have been coming out of the woodwork and pursuing me. WTF? Where did that come from?
I mean, the attention is great! I have never been in a position where I was aware that I was the object of someone's desire. I did the little dance and flirted with a few, but the results left me with the same feeling that I am better off on my own.
One, I really liked, but she is an Alcoholic who by her own admission, has been getting "worse lately."
Another seemed pretty normal, and I may have hurt her. That is what happens when you start out a relationship omitting a key piece of information like the "boyfriend" you are still living with is actually your fiancee that you can't seem to dump until you find someone else. I told her she used people like I used to use drugs.
I know, kind of harsh, but that is a whole heaping bag full of insanity to bring to a new relationship, especially if you seriously think that you want to make it one which is going to last.
Right now, there is another woman I have met who possesses traits which are endearing to me. I am very attracted to her. I think there is a mutual affection. Let's put it this way, she actually gives me the time of day.
She has a real job, with responsibility. She is a writer, she has a child, she is a vegetarian, which means she actually cares what she puts into her body. She is almost as tall as I am. Wow! I asked her if she minded that I call her, and suggested we meet for coffee. She agreed that would be nice. Then she dropped the bomb. She only had a few days clean.
I just realized I am getting a headache.
She told me she was going to a particular meeting that night. I actually considered going to this meeting and told a friend of mine this.
"Dude, maybe you should go to another meeting and think about your recovery other than who is going to be at the meeting." Hmmmm... okay. He's right.
His roommate, a female in recovery as well over heard not only what we were talking about but about whom. She got on the phone and said.
"Listen, she is crazy, She says she wants recovery, will go to a meeting and then go out and cop afterward. You need to not be a predator, and leave her alone. I love you, Paul." Then she got off of the phone.
I was aghast. My friend got on the phone and said,
"Did she say "predator?" Yes she did. Needless to say my feelings were very hurt, and I had a good cry.
Although I don't necessarily agree with the term predator, and she recanted that term and better explained her point of view in a follow up conversation, there was truth to what she said.
"I would tell her the same exact thing." She asserted.
Why would I jeopardize my recovery to get involved with someone who is struggling in her own addiction? I really need to take a look at my own motives and and how my character defects are still affecting my decision making process.
I went to another meeting that night,one of my home groups, where I was asked to be the Chairperson. Then I went out after the meeting, for some food, with three other members of my home group, just me and three ladies. I told them all that had transpired earlier in the evening got some good feedback and advice.
This morning, I found out through the grapevine of thinly veiled anonymity,that my friend went out and used that evening. To think I could have been in her company and what my actions may have been? Perhaps being called a "predator" by someone I love and respect saved my life that night. At the very least she put me in a position where I was doing the right thing for the right reason, keeping me out of harm's way.
I am an addict. I have many different things that I am addicted to, whether it be a bag of dope, a rock of cocaine, a tumbler of Jack Daniels, some heady green nuggets, an icy cold balloon full of nitrous oxide, a cornucopia of pills, or a handful of psychedelic doo dads, food or a warm and willing female. I have to have what I want, when I want it, and when I'm done you bet your ass I'm going to want more.
I actually saw someone during a holiday function have a beer and only drink two sips of it. How do people do that?
Everywhere I look, I am reminded that I am an addict.
I went to have my wonderful 16 year old cat, Harrison, euthanized on Thursday evening. My ex-wife and I went together. We took him into the room. As emaciated and ill as he looked he was nosing around the Vet's office as curious as ever, still full of life and energy.
We held him down on the table cuddling him and bidding him farewell. The vet shaved a portion of his leg and out came the needle.
Man, I was fixated on that thing like it was the only object in the room.
She went in.
The anticipation of waiting to see the blood from Harrison's vein rushing back into the barrel of the syringe was unbearable. She missed and had to stick him two more times. Each time my pain and anguish increased, bringing me back to the darkest times in my active addiction where I was dope sick and struggling with a dull, overused needle, probing around ... waiting ... praying to see that rush of blood go into that barrel so I could finish my dirty business and momentarily get back to my so called "life."
I continued to hold my baby, and stroke his bent limp ears, telling him it would all be okay in a few moments. The vet finally hit a vein, the blood rushed in and she injected him.
He got very calm. I continued to look into his eyes and felt his heart beat slow. He stopped breathing. I felt his energy dissipate, leaving his once powerful and majestic body a limp mass on the examination table.
How good that shot must have felt. I bet it would feel great the last time I used, especially if I accidentally stumbled upon the end result I so mercifully delivered to my feline friend.
My ex-wife and I stood there and stroked his limp form for a few minutes, commiserating. I kissed his head, closed his eyes and said my final goodbye as I silently Thanked my higher power for putting me in a position where I did not have to use that day.
Perhaps it was divine intervention the night that I got really high and didn't die even though across town, the very same evening, a friend named Brian did. That should be enough of a reason to not use ever again, but I went out numerous times after that, even after a few more funerals for fellow addicts I knew.
Perhaps it was the same divine intervention that told Tanya to use a word which would slap me in the side of the head, causing me to wake up and refocus my energy on my recovery.
Whatever the cause or reason, once again, I have woken up alive, with a new fire - a new reason to live my life to the fullest.
George Harrison was right on when he said,
"If I needed someone to love, you're the one I'd be thinking of ... If I needed someone."
Perhaps, someday, but not right now. I need to think about that other half a cake.
I am going to help my daughter with her power point project when she gets out of school today. Because I am alive, because I can, because it is the right thing to do, and I can't think of anything else I would rather be doing at 3:30 this afternoon.
Life is short, enjoy it.
Once again, you will find me on the center line of the road to recovery as I am ...
Running Hard Out of Muskrat Flats.