Crackheads, junkies and even speed freaks are given a bad rep. Mostly because the drugs they and I use are illegal. That in and of itself creates a shadowy and scary stigma about them and their using. The realities of their existences are really no where as bleak as many would like to believe.
Friggin' drunks are another story entirely.
I've known more people who have died from alcohol than all the other substances I have dabbled in over the years. I can't be judgemental, as I have been donkey faced, blacked out, how the fuck did I end up here drunk on more than one occasion. The aversion to that is a small part of what has had me hitting a pipe instead of falling into a bottle. An occasional beer buzz is about my limit in that regard. Well, mostly an occasional beer buzz as out and out blitzed has only happen a couple of times in the past few months.
I've got a preference, you know.
But I am totally mystified why someone would want to be drunk 24/7. If you're never sober, how can you appreciate being tipsy anymore?
Now though memories of a dear friend are coming back up to the surface. We meet in St. Paul MN at a Hazelden halfway house. It was kind of weird but this woman and I struck up a friendship that lasted until she died about a year after we went our separate ways. Just friends who some reason connected because of similarities in our backgrounds, if not our drugs of choice.
She stayed in St. Paul and I went, well everywhere via see America the Rehab Way.
We would talk on the phone often. Usually when she was drunk or getting ready to get drunk. I usually called in a depressed state when I was out of crack and out of money. She even tracked my ass down in the Ramsey County Rubber Room after an unusually crazy run on my part. For my part I 911ed her ass when she threatened to jump out of a window of the St. Paul's Hotel. She escaped to call me, mother fucking me ten different ways, from a dive bar on West 7th. Street.
I can only imagine the looks on that bars patrons as this Martha Freakin' Stewart perfect woman tore me a new asshole from their payphone.
Some of you might have had similar relationships with rehab friends or using buddies. As time went by her calls were less frequent and when they did come they were less coherent.
One day her boyfriend called to tell me he found her dead on the couch. An empty bottle of vodka lay next to her. He called because he knew what kind of friends we were to each other. She left behind two beautiful daughters and a broken hearted ex-husband who followed the Hazelden suggestion of just letting her go.
Why am I bringing all this shit up now?
Because this time I'm getting a front row seat to another drunk trying to drink themselves to death. Yeah, Don is getting way out of control. The problem is that he is a likable guy. Engaging and interesting when he's sober. Stories to tell, experiences I've never had that he relayed to me and was not bad company on more than one occasion.
For the past two weeks he's been too drunk even to come over for coffee in the morning.
Now he's out of money, no hidden stashes of booze that I'm aware of and a landlord who wants to put him on the street. Erie streets are not particularly pretty right now with about a foot or so of snow on the ground and more is falling.
The last couple of days he's been too debilitated to even get out of his bed. Usually when I knock on his door, he's up and greeting me in some fashion. The past couple of days he just hollers for me to come in from his bed. He probably hasn't dressed or showered in over a week.
So as mentioned before, no money, no booze and shortly the shakes are going to overcome him. At the advice of a friend in the D&A business the landlord and I are going to try to get him to a detox. But he still isn't ready yet. Tomorrow or the day after he should be sufficiently shaky to make that decision on his own.
But if he still refuses, there are options.
I hope it doesn't come to that but that option will be used if necessary. The thing is that I really don't want to walk up there some morning and find him dead. Maybe that's selfish on my part, but there has to be a more dignified way to check out of here.
And yes, it's that bad.
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