Please, don't get me wrong. No one would like to see Ted make it in some fashion more than I. But he's been places I have, if not geographically, but at least in character and spirit. With that in mind there are some things that are certain. One of which is you can't go back.
That is a sorry and not so sorry fact.
Happy, smiling Ted on that ramp got sucked in by his own hustle and bullshit. His hook was his voice. People would pull up and listen to his undeniably great sounding, professionally trained voice and throw him a buck. In the grand scheme of things, I think that's all he wanted. Enough cash to get some food for his belly, a bottle of cheap booze, a little weed and perhaps a few hits.
He told that Columbus, Ohio news reporter that he had two years clean. That is almost as believable as his telling me that his guys shit was the best in town. Perhaps that is prejudicial on my part, but one of the things that has stuck with me from my first stint in rehab is this:
"How do you know when an addict is lying? Their lips are moving."
That may be an over generalization, but it is a philosophy that has served me well over the years.
Not to elaborate too much, Ted is already caving in to the wants and expectations of those around him. He has too much money in his pocket and bright prospects on the horizon. All this because big hearted, but certainly foolish benefactors who are also looking at Ted as a meal ticket. That includes his family that will admit to knowing him and assholes like Dr. Fucking Phil. Other do gooders for profit, like Dr. "Plant Drugs in Her Car" Drew are more than likely in close pursuit.
But did anyone consider that Ted may have been happy on that ramp? Did anyone consider that this instant fame and attention along with available money just might kill him? Did anyone consider that Ted, in a fashion got the evil genie back in the bottle and those do gooders just popped the cork on him?
Which brings me to Don and myself.
I first met Don about a year ago. He got out regularly for food at the Mission. He visited some people who enjoyed his company to a degree. He also was part of the "flavor" in the neighborhood. Many might say the flavor of my neighborhood is shit, but those who know are aware that there are very bright spots here as well.
Like Gammalost cheese.
Don had no income at all beyond a modest amount of food stamps and other hustles that brought a few bucks in here and there. When there was money, he would buy a bottle and retreat to his cell for a day to enjoy his vodka induced oblivion. Some smart ass suggested he apply for SSDI and that's when things started downhill. Social Security deemed him worthy of a partial payment until his claim was resolved.
More money meant more vodka and less trips into the world. Consequently his health has deteriorated a great deal over the past year. Broken ribs and punctured lungs from falls. Other bones, like his jaw have been broken as well. Life is not great when you have to take your meals through a straw.
Again, I can't help but wonder if Don and the world would be happier if things had been left as they were.
Then we come to my sorry ass. Not so sorry as it was a little over a year ago, as things were indeed dicey for me at times for awhile. Without exaggeration, dollars in an amount that easily is in the seven figure range have been blown on my addiction. Not all of it was on drugs either. When one takes into account the cost of the rehabs, things lost or given away and the broken marriages endured the numbers add up pretty quick.
Then there are the things lost that can never be measured in dollars and cents.
Three years ago there was a big pile of money in the bank. Enough to get enough to kill me. I packed some necessities in my new car and headed down the road, never expecting to come back to anything or anywhere.Lord knows I got very close by taking some of the wrong drugs, or overdose or by the hands of others.
I survived and to a certain degree I'm not sure how or why. The how is credited a bit to at least one family member who at least gave a shit to some extent. That person is now happily 1400 miles away from me now and is one of the few who contact me occasionally to see if I'm still alive. Another person helps as well by helping me execute a plan to keep me at least artificially broke.
I'm happy and to some degree so is the rest of the world.
The point of this all is that the temptation to "help" someone out with money, or regain lost fame or position may well be misguided. There is this perception some have that there is something that needs fixed, and dammit, they are gonna' see that it is fixed.
Maybe the better way is to just leave well enough alone.
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