Tag: Addiction

Best Served Cold

The King of Beers
The King of Beers

Many people think alcohol is the best thing man ever invented. Author Henry Lawson even said: “Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer.” And when I started drinking I felt the same way.

I wasn’t really sure if drinking beer was for me, it seemed like it was hard to drink enough, fast enough to be worth the trouble. Then I discovered Vodka and the whole game changed, although I still wasn’t sure I liked the feeling.

But I wanted to give it a fair chance so I drank heavily for the next twenty five years, just to be sure. Simply put, it didn’t work out well and after many tries I quit for good almost fifteen years ago.

Some people can drink a beer or two and stop, something I not only couldn’t do but will never understand. I was the same kind of drinker as the infamous Charles Bukowski who summed it up perfectly: “So where do you go? Back to the bottle And back to a tiny room somewhere. And wait. And wait, and wait. That’s all.”

No Easy Way to be Free

No Easy Way to be Free
No Easy Way to be Free

I wrote this for a creative writing class in 2008, a couple of years after my third rehab. It’s about making new friends in a place known as The Ranch House on the grounds of the Norristown State Hospital. The guests call it what it is, a looney bin.

Peggy, the oldest, forever in her tattered robe, hopscotching down the hall when she’s not talking to herself or crying.

Adrian, the young, spoiled wannabe junkie, whining about not getting strong enough meds.

Stacy, fresh from the pizza shop, smiling and stumbling around on Seroquel.

Steve, the happy criminal, acting like he’s at summer camp.

Victor, a child in a forty year old body, slipping into schizophrenic rants about hidden cameras in the vents.

Donna, the large breasted, healthy looking nurse, explaining her addiction to Vicodin.

Sara, the stuck up prostitute, waltzing through the cafeteria like a queen.

Susan, the tough, freckled, career alcoholic trying to play bouncer.

Carl, his laces taken away, flapping down the hall all night in oversized shoes, driving everyone crazy.

Lucas, the seasoned gang member with the bitten off ear, bragging about his tragic childhood.

Tom, lanky and pale, trying to beat himself to death after a half-assed hanging attempt.

And me, a paragon of sanity, here with my friends.