2005. It's Saturday night before Easter, so I decide not to get drunk. I leave the bar early and stop at a convenience store. There, I meet a drinking buddy who tells me there's a party right up the street. "You can leave your truck overnight and just crash on the floor. There's a keg!" Shit.
I dig my punk bar buddies, so I go. I remember going to the keg out back to get a beer for me and one for a friend...My next memory is they are sewing my face together in the hospital.
I try to say "what happened" with a bottom lip split in half like the bad guy from "Blade 2", and I'm told that I got jumped. This shocks me...not that a bunch of drunk and coked up punk dudes would kick somebody's ass, but that it was my ass that was kicked.
After surgery, I'm released out into the bright Easter morning. I'm wearing a straw cowboy hat spray-painted black, black western shirt, leather jacket, black jeans and black lizard skin boots held together with copious amounts of duct tape. I'm completely covered in dried blood and mud. I've got my sunglasses on, and I'm attempting to smoke out of the side of my freshly stitched face. I'm scaring the hell out of families bringing flowers and balloons to hospitalized loved ones on the way to church.
I call Shane, my roommate, and say, "I just got out of the hospital...I don't know which one it is or where I'm at. All I know is there's a highway and I can see Corvette Country, apparently."
Shane: "I know where you are."
When he picks me up, Shane says, "Hey." And that's it. No questions. I stare at him.
"Aren't you the least bit curious?"
"Well...I figured you'd tell me eventually."
After two days of wondering why this happened to me, who did it, was it my hat...I find out what happened. That year it rained buckets in Central Texas in April. The keg at the party was in the middle of the yard on a bare spot that turned into mud. If you take mud and throw in footwear that is covered in duct tape, you get a little accident. If you also throw in the corner of a concrete slab to land on with your face...you get a major scar. When my drunk friends rushed me to the hospital, they were under the impression that if you told the ER that the patient was attacked, they had to treat him, regardless of their health insurance situation. Good call, guys.
So yeah...I curb-checked myself. I hadn't even had a drink.
2011. April 24th has a new meaning for me. I'm 90 days clean and sober, and I'm 2 weeks from getting out of Lifetime Recovery. Not only are my eyes clear but my brain is a fully-functioning pain in my ass. I think my thoughts...all of them. These thoughts generate emotions, and I feel every fucking one of them. Completely.
Truth be told I think I'm a little crazy now. I could probably use some prescriptions now I took recreationally in the past. No thank you, shrinks. I've been through worse.
While thinking this blog out in my head, I was sitting at a bus stop, just before 7 am. Right next to the bus stop is a McDonalds with two drive-thrus, and cars are cutting each other off to get their McGriddled Shit and force it down on the way to work. Everyone looks pissed to be awake...or to be at McDonald's. I, however, give them a glance but direct my attention back to the sunrise I've been watching. The simple act of doing nothing but observing calms my being. My brain shuts the hell up and I just enjoy the moment. I'm alive.
They say life is too short to be addicted to drugs. That's not true at all. The reality is that life is too long and painful when you're a junkie. Time crawls by allowing you to really feel how awful everything is and what you've become, and all you want to do is figure out how to score to forget.
With the support of my family, my friends, my girl...I press on. I hope I never forget that the worst case scenario for me clean is still better than the best case scenario for me as a junkie.