Friday, February 25, 2011

Tits on a nun

She tapped the mouse, and we jumped 15 feet down the street. A few seconds later, the fog of pixels cleared to reveal... what we were just looking at, only fifteen feet closer.

Tap. Jump. Tap. Jump.

Things went this way for awhile. Several times we thought we may have found what we were looking for, only to tap/jump ourselves closer and each time, it was just another strip club. With what limited information we had, we were trying to find the rehab facility I would be moving into the next day using Google Street View. Frankly, I was getting a little tired of the sleuthing, but A was on a roll. A is the kind of person who will buy an appliance and read the manual, just in case the information comes in handy some day. I am the kind of person who buys an entertainment center from Ikea and puts it together based on the picture on the manual's cover, which usually means that I not only have spare parts when I am done, but have to run to Home Depot to buy new parts to finish it my way. I've gone through a lot of entertainment centers this way, and this inability to defer (or even work very hard for) gratification is something I need to correct, but fast. More on that later.

After several minutes, I said, "I don't think we're going to find it"
A said, "Dude, I think maybe your new neighborhood is kinda sketch".
"This can't be the neighborhood."
"I hope not. But at least, if it is, you'll be close to Mister Peeps." Tap. Jump. "And OH MY GOD! FABRIC DEPOT! We are SO going to Fabric Depot when I come to visit!!!"

She was already forming an agenda for her first visit, and I could see the bullet points popping up in a thought bubble above her head. Already we had dissected the facility's client handbook, and encountered some enigmatic formatting. Such as:
  • Phase 1 clients must be escorted by a phase 2 or higher to all activities outside the house.
  • Phone calls are to be limited to 15 minutes unless express permission has been granted by the House Manager.
  • Internet access is only available for personal use after 7:00 PM on weekdays...
Obviously, someone flushed something fucked up down the toilet once, and we spent a good chunk of my last day of freedom wondering what it could have been. Nobody would tell me what the address was until I was actually collected the next day by my "mentor" to be taken to the house. So I had two questions for my mentor: 1) What is the address so that all my friends can look it up on Street View, and 2) What got flushed down the toilet?
That one kind of spoke for itself. It is a house full of ten guys for 3-6 months, after all.


C is my mentor. Upon assignment to the program, I was given his number and told to call him to make arrangements. Our conversation went like this:

Me: "Hi, I'm looking f-"
C: Is this B? Hold on a second.
Fumbling noises, freeway din. Then, after a long pause,
C: Fuck it. They can just give me a goddamn ticket if they see me using my phone, I don't give a shit. This goddamn hands free get-up is about as useful as tits on a nun. Is this B? Yeah sorry about that, this is C. I'm glad you called."

I hadn't gotten that far yet and could have been his daughter's soccer coach for all he knew, but something tells me he wouldn't have cared much.

C gave me some of his background. He's spent a total of 15 years in prison and has "tried everything, you name it, I done tried it at least a dozen times". His drug of choice is meth. He's been clean for 7 years.

C: "I know this program in and out, up and down. My job is to get you prepared to tackle recovery and tackle the twelve steps. I'ma gonna give you time with each step, you know, to really get the most out of it, but if I think you're slackin' or not pullin' your weight around the house, BLAM, I'll be a drill sergeant on your ass, in a heartbeat, you bet".

I do not want C to be a drill sergeant on my ass, so, mental note: "Follow the rules".

Before November, I didn't even know how unemployment really worked. Before my date with C, I definitely didn't know how to get things for free from the government. I'm no libertarian or anything, but I feel weird taking things for free. But since a good portion of C's job is seeing to it that I get a bunch of gratis necessities, I had food stamps, a bus pass, personal products, and a gym membership within three hours.

A and I were on the right track when we were Street Viewing Mister Peeps and Fabric Depot. These are some of the places I can get to from where I am. I was more surprised, though, to see where I actually am, on a quiet residential street of 1950s single family homes. The place looks like any other house from the outside. Not until one enters do you notice the walls covered with informational brochures, a dry erase board with numbers indicating who has to take a piss test today, institutional furniture, and a kitchen with four mismatched refrigerators.

I was led to a bed, one of four, in the basement den that had been converted into a sort of bedroom. C took a bite of his fried cherry pie and said "Welcome home!". He departed up the stairs shortly thereafter, smacking his lips the whole way. I made my bed, sat on it for awhile. Then, when I was sure he was gone, I went into the bathroom and carefully flushed the toilet.

1 comment:

Cathy Cafeteria said...

I am done reading. More, please.