Saturday night after leaving my A.A. meeting, I was driving down University Avenue when my brand new tooth popped out of its new home in my mouth. Only two days in, and my new smile was gone. I had waited so long to be confident with my appearance, and just like that, it was over.
I pulled up to a stop light and spat the jagged plastic remnant out of my mouth and looked it over and had the thought that just maybe, super glue might do the trick. At that moment I saw a car pull up to the light next to me. I looked over and noticed it was a St. Paul police officer and I immediately looked back in my hand and mentally said to myself, “Oh, fuck! This looks like crack!”, and quickly lowered my hand out of sight. The officer paid me no attention, and we both went on about our respective ways. It’s been a long time since I have had or done any drugs, but the paranoia still exists in me. Incidentally, all of your teeth look like crack. So, now you know that.
On another note… While I was in prison, my only goal every day was to get through the day as quickly as possible: one day closer to the door. For the first five weeks of freedom, I have carried that attitude with me until I had the realization the other day that I really want to enjoy life. I think we as Americans tend to live by this same philosophy: work, work, work, then it’s the weekend. Work, work, work, then you retire. I have wasted so much of my life doing useless things and it seems like everything I talk about now isn’t just 10 years ago anymore, it’s twenty. How do you stop the time from passing so quickly? How am I going to enjoy my life while working the American way, 40 hours a week? Well, I’m going to have as much fun as I can while I’m doing everything that I do. I have found that in sobriety, laughter has depth. Conversations have meaning. And friendships blossom quickly. I am going to enjoy every minute of every day because it’s all going to go by quickly, and I’m never going to get out alive. Twenty years from now, I’m going to be talking about things that happened twenty years ago, again.
I say all of that to remind myself that there’s no more time for me to waste. I think of all of the people I have left behind in prison, some of them never getting out. If I go back to my old ways of selling/using meth and I get caught with, for example, the same amount I had last time, I would likely get 96 months without the possibility of an early release through boot camp. I would have to sit for over five years before being eligible for parole. Then what? Move back in with Mom, again at 43? I think not.
I am restricted to three A.A. meetings per week while I am on I.S.R. If I had my way, I would have done 90 in 90 as soon as I got out. I am not planning a relapse, but these meetings give me so much more than just maintaining sobriety. It’s a place I go to get things off my chest and I don’t feel embarrassed about saying anything. Sort of what I do with this blog, but I get to hear other people and their stories that I can relate to.
So, I apologize for not writing for a few days. I needed a break. Thank you for your patience and understanding. And with that, I pass.