Sunday, August 14, 2011

Changing old habits – part 1

Earlier this year, and as the date of the “rapture” was fast approaching, I wrote in a post about how I had become a little concerned over whether or not any of the Christians that I personally knew as friends, had fallen for Harold Camping’s latest of delusional “rapture” cons. One of the friends that I called, who I will call Jane for this post, was extremely shocked over hearing from me. Jane’s sister had told her that she had heard that I had overdosed on drugs, and that I had died about 10 years ago (after joking with her, that I was calling her from “heaven,” I then told her that only part of that story was in fact true – obviously, I am still very much alive, if I am calling you on the phone). Our conversation ended on sort of a happy note – she was very happy to hear from me, and I was happy that she was still around and doing well; however, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t find anyone that I knew, who was even entertaining Harold Camping’s “rapture” bullshit – I was looking for stuff to blog about, and a new story to add to a book that I am currently writing.

Then a few weeks later, as I was checking my voicemail messages on a phone that I seldom use, I found an assortment of new messages from Jane – as I was sitting there in my car listening to her messages, I started wondering just how in the hell she had gotten my phone number. I didn’t remember giving her any of my phone numbers, or her even asking for my phone number, and I thought that my phone was setup to block my number from caller ID?

In one of her messages, she said: “if this is the John who rose from the dead, call me back, Jane.”

Just as I was deleting the last one of her numerous massages, my phone beeped – it was an incoming call from a blocked phone number. So I answered the call, it was Jane – she didn’t even say hello, she started the conversation accusing me of avoiding her calls. I then explained that I seldom even use the phone that she was calling me on, and that I only check for messages about once a week or so, or if I am expecting someone to call.

As she started into her next rant, I realized that I had left the air conditioning on from earlier that day when it was hot, but it was now night, and the air was freezing cold. And for some reason, I said out loud: “man, this fucking AC is freezing my balls off.” Up to that point in “our” conversation, she really hadn’t responded to anything that I had said, but she decided to respond to my freezing outburst.

She replied: “I wish that I was there with you, so that I could warm up your freezing balls” – followed with a deep chuckle.

She then asked me if I could have a look at her car’s AC, she then said that it had quit working last summer about a month after her car’s warranty had expired. I reluctantly answered: sure, and we then made an appointment to meet a few days later.

I arrived about an hour early for our scheduled rendezvous; it wasn’t that I was really enthusiastic about seeing her again after more than ten years – I was more or less trying to decide if I truly wanted to see her again. Although I have known her for more than 30 years, and we had once been real good friends – she was also a part of a chapter in my life’s past, that I prefer to leave behind me. So instinctively, I decided to park about one block away from the location where we were meeting, and then walk back to the place, when I returned back on foot to the location, she drove right up to me, and asked me why I had left the parking lot where we were going to meet (she had arrived even earlier than I had, and she had already seen me).

As I stood there looking at her sitting in her car, she said: “you look almost the same as you did ten years ago” (I thought to myself, you sure as hell don’t look the same as you did the last time that I had seen you). It was at that moment that I realized that it had actually been almost 13 years since the last time that I had seen this woman. She then said: “you were just trying to be slick, weren’t you – you still think that you are so slick, don’t you – now get your ass into this car, boy.”

I then had her drive me back to where I had parked my car so that I could get my tools and start working on the problem that she was having with her car’s AC. I started by looking at the most likely causes – like a blown fuse, a missing belt.., etc. then I used a long wire to jump voltage to the clutch on the AC compressor – the AC came on and worked like a champ. In the end what I had found that had caused the problem, was that she had been pushing the AC switch so hard, that she had damn near pushed the switch through the dashboard (the switch had simply fallen apart). Luckily, I found all of the parts for the switch, and I was able to put it back together.

Her AC was now working again, and she was real happy. As I turned to get out of her car and leave, she said: “wait, wait, and let me pay you something.”

I replied: “no, that’s not necessary, that’s what friendship is all about, isn’t it?”

She then tried to hand me a one hundred dollar bill, and saying, take it, the shop was going to charge me 400 dollars! After I refused her hundred dollar offer, she then said: “well, at least let me give you fifty.” As I sat there silently deciding what my best exit strategy might be, she then grabbed me in sort of a hugging way (like being grabbed by a starving grizzly bear as food) and then she started tickling me – she then shoved the 50 dollars down the front of my pants (I thought, what in the hell does she think that I am – one of those male pole dancers at some damn striper club, or was she just making good on her offer to warm-up my balls?).

As I reached into my pants and started pulling out these bills that were wedged between my leg and my balls, and handing them back to her, she said: “well, at least let my buy you dinner. She then said with a wide grin on her face: “after we eat, we can go to my place and have some drinks, and talk for a while” – (I really used to like this girl, and years ago, I would have done her faster than a cat could lick its own ass; however, at that moment, I felt like that I had just finished wrestling with a 300 pound horny gorilla, and that I had won – I’ve just never been into the big ones).

I then told her that I had already eaten earlier, and that I had quit drinking a few months ago.

She replied: “damn, you don’t do any of that bad stuff anymore – you must have found Jayzus” – (at that moment, I felt like lying and saying: yes, I found Jesus, and that I had also joined the priesthood – so keep your hands off of me).

I then told her that I hadn’t found either “Jayzus” or “Jesus,” or any other fictional deities, and that the only thing that I had “found,” was a way of rediscovering me again.

She then got this real sad look on her face, and she started telling me about how her niece had started using drugs and alcohol at about the age of 16 and just how fucked up her life is today. She told me that her niece had been in and out of jails and drug treatment programs many times over the last 10 years, and that she had only managed to stay drug and alcohol free for short amounts of time, and only when she was attending church and working her 12 step AA/NA program. But then as soon as she stopped going to church and stopped attending her AA/NA meetings, within a few weeks, and just like clockwork, she would always start back using drugs and alcohol again. She then said that both her pastor and her AA/NA sponsor, had told her that her niece has a disease, which can only treated through “Jesus’ love,” and adherence to the 12 step program of AA/NA. So both Jane and her sister are currently trying to get the niece back into treatment again. 

She then asked me if I am still an atheist, then just how had I gotten myself off of drugs, and what was I doing today to stay drug free, and if I had any advice that might help her niece stop using drugs, and help her stay off drugs.

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results." Albert Einstein.

How I recovered from my addictions, and the advice that I gave Jane:

(To be continued in part 2 of this story).

This is only the second time that I have revealed this story to anyone. The first time was when I asked the advice of a friend if he thought rationality might help someone who carries the mind-virus recover from drug addiction. His only comment was: “John, you are a pussy – if I were in your shoes that day, I would have taken the 100 dollars – and I also would have fucked that fat bitch.”

I believe that he was just being evasive of the question that I asked???