Monday, March 27, 2006

Unfortunately, Speed Is A Factor

Just got word that Mark J., my sponsey brother, former roommate in treatment, and best sober friend, has lost his And to add insult to serious injury, his supervisor is also his sponsor. He got laid off for being too slow.

I talked to him today and he sounded completely depressed. Not drunk, I'd be able to tell. But he just had no energy at all. I'll call him later when I get home.

Laptop's still down, so unfortunately there's not artwork. I'll focus on fixing it tonight. I have a lot of posts backing up that I really want to get off my chest.

Still sober after four months and one week.

Without Wax,

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Laptop is screwing with my FLIAT

My laptop is down again, only this time it's acting like it did when the CPU popped out. I fear it's happened again and I must go back home and disessemble it completely down to the CPU to fix it.

I'm trying to use my laptop to send out a resume to a technician who asked me to. This is screwing my FLIAT (Financial Luxury I'm Accustom To). And the posts are backing up.

With luck, I'll post tonight.

Without Wax,

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hard Drives Are My Specialty

Finally repairing the hard drive on my laptop, I was present when a group of executives of a prominent corporation held an impromptu meeting at the table right behind me at a coffee shop. Before they started I made the statement, "I'll have this hard drive repaired before your meeting is over." I did and a senior rep. took my resume after a mini-interview.

Got to go to a meeting.

Without Wax,

Hard Drive Status

I'm currently recovering and repairing my existing hard drive. I've recovered the latest things I've been working on and plan to multitask repairing the laptop's hard drive and publishing posts on another computer. I've got a lot to say. A lot has happened, not all good. However, I'm 122 days sober.

Without Wax,

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Laptop Down!

To all concerned, I made it through St. Patrick's Day sober to celebrate my four month milestone. Unfortunately, my laptop took a dump again; not nearly as bad as before and I feel I can repair it with the right software tools, but it's definitely down right now. I wish it was up because I've written several intriguing posts I'd like to publish, all on the hard drive.

I'll let you know more as I get online other ways.

Isn't sobriety great?

Without Wax,

Friday, March 17, 2006

My Demise

Just after moving into The Cuilinn House I had hoped that Internet access would be a breeze. It’s been anything but. Like every other promise that has presented itself with pretty wrapping paper and bow, it comes with contingencies. It doesn’t always work. So I post when I can and write less often than I should.

It is for those concerned of my demise that I be more diligent regarding publishing daily. Although I got ‘F’s in high school English, passing only by getting ‘A’s as a photographer on Year Book and Newspaper staff, I now consider myself a writer, and a writer writes every day. One day, I may take a class. But for now, I thinks of things to write in this blog every day. Sometimes I think they’re just to everyday to write about. Sometimes I’m afraid to write. Sometimes there’s a particular post that I’m working on in my head that I wont publish until I’m ready to let it go. I have four right now that I’d like to get off my chest that haven’t been committed to bits: She, Angel, Redneck Robert, and The Last 4th Step Workshop: The Absent Enemy. I also have a lengthy profile to complete, so it’s not for lack of material nor pot that this sot sought.

I really do appreciate the concern expressed in comments, but it is not for you that I write this blog. Once, in jail, I had a terribly strong urge to drink while in solitary confinement for 23 hours and, being that I had only the guards over a tinny intercom to speak to, knew that it’s was going to be a long lonely night. That’s when I discovered one way to stop the urge: write. And it’s worked ever since. The other reasons I now journal are but a plus, and I am grateful for the interest, however when I’ve got The Angry Reds, you’ll know why I’m writing that day.

I am truly grateful for the concern and with that I will post nearly everyday.

Without Wax,

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Suicide Housewarming

First week on the job, I’m home for a little over a week, and Roger B. attempts suicide...on a work night no less. How inconsiderate? Albeit I’d only met the guy, but was there ever a man more stressed. Having driven a commuter bus for one of the largest companies in town for years, he let alcoholism end his career. Not that he’d ever driven drunk mind you, but alcohol has ways of destroying a man’s life other than by direct approach.

See, my sponsor seriously thinks by surrounding me by examples of lives gone chaotic that this will somehow have a positive affect on my sobriety, that scenes like these will have a chilling effect – hell, a sobering effect – on my sense of conscience. A wise man, my sponsor. And while I’m on the subject, there’s a double edged bragging right I flaunt with recovering alcoholics, ironically humorous and serious: “My sponsor can beat up your sponsor!” Like kids in a playground, we often joke around about the fact that many of us have maturity frozen in time since our first drink. “Yah, right pal!”, is the response I unusually get, however quickly stifled by a serious smirk that says, believe me, you don’t want to find out. If not, “He bench presses 285,” usually changes the subject right quick. The other edge to the sword is that he can easily bench press me.

But the real reason I take him at his word is that he’s endured more pain in sexual relationships than anyone I know and survived. There’s a time to shut up and listen and that’s usually when his lips are moving.

I was introduced to Roger one week ago at my first weekly house meeting. He appeared then like a man on the edge. Loosing the only decent job you’ve had in your life can break a man, especially when it goes along with your pension, professional reputation, and ability to move horizontally to another bus company. Although legally in the wrong for disclosing the terms of termination, the word got out to competing companies. No one will hire him. A potentially winnable lawsuit will not restore order to his life.

So when faced with the consequences of taking the mandatory drug screen and walking from Cuilinn House, Roger walked straight back to his bedroom, barricaded the door, and swallowed all his prescription medication. Roger is a big man, not one to walk away from anyone, but the manager bench presses 285.

It took the police of two squad cars the remove Roger handcuffed from his suicide note littered loft, a site comforting to most neighbors watching. The question in my mind now is: Are we on good enough terms with our neighbors that they’ll feel comfortable discussing the evening’s events? So far the silence is deafening, which doesn’t really tell me whether or not, who or whom knows that this is a sober house. Such facilities tend to attempt to build up a reputation that never begs the question.

Roger is recovering at the hospital right now in fairly stable condition. He did not do any major damage to himself physically. I can only imagine he’s there for the psychiatric assistance and housing. Our landlord summed it up eloquently when he responded to reporters and other sober house landlords’ voyeuristic phone inquiries as to his death, “Yah, he died! There was a wake. We buried him in the backyard!”, slamming the receiver down.

I don’t make hard fast rules about suicide, but I believe like most people that it is purely a selfish act. However, since working the program I’ve learned to take June B.’s past suicidal threats seriously. It’s hard for me to face the reality that I made the one person I’ve ever loved the most want to commit suicide.

Without Wax,

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Office Space

A cubicle doesn’t seem like much office space, but it’s mine, however temporary and small. Compared to my half of the bedroom, it may be bigger. But it’s far removed from the world I’ve been living in.

This morning, having made coffee and shaven, I was only slightly prepared for the phone call from the staffing agency to get my butt downtown by 9:00am. Rushing to make the bus fully dressed, I skipped the shower having done so late last night. Dress shoes and shirt, tie that matches most things, throw on a coat and I’m as prepared as needed. Blowing off the trust-funded unfamiliar roommate’s complaints about turning the bedroom light on so early in the morning, running a mental check of possibly forgot items, I sprint to the bus stop.

Preparedness, although not necessary in the recovery program, can keep you from lapsing over little things, like being late your first day of work. Not a problem, or so I thought. I’d planned the route to the office, actually visiting the lobby. Checked the bus schedule to find a route that would place me downtown within fifteen minutes and yards from work. Had placed all needed paperwork in one manila envelope at my disposal.

First it helps to enter the correct building. Why I did this I’m still trying to discern. I knew something was up when none of the surroundings were familiar. Panic crept in. Thy will be done, Thy will be done. Where the hell is my 3rd Step prayer card when I can't recall it from memory? No big deal, I know I’m close. Just ask for directions. An attractive young lady I’d stopped pointed me in the right direction, towards the express elevators.

Still relatively calm and early, I’d stopped to ask more accurate directions from the security guard at his desk, and for the use of a lavatory. Having explained this is my first day on the job, and dressed so, he pointed me to a secured bathroom down the hall. Relying on my newly acquired ability to run fast I booked down the marble tiled hallways towards the tinny sound of his vocal directions coming from an intercom mounted outside a chrome door. The thought occurred to me that I was being watched by him since his directions could not have been more acute, yet he was out of eye-shot. It’s a nice feeling to be protected by closed-circuit video when working downtown. As fait would have it, a restroom stop helped me notice the tissue still hanging from my chin from this morning’s close shave.

Stepping onto the express elevator, I quickly realized how useless they were when going to a floor in the lower half of the building. I kept choosing wrong elevators and arriving on lobbies with two doors: the elevator and a secured entrance. My preplanned time buffer rapidly evaporating, I visually grabbed an elderly government employee with the blue eyes June said I should bat during interviews and pleaded with her for the sanctity of the first impression on my not-yet fully acquired new job. With the excitement of a young schoolgirl she quickly explained the needed for such a complicated elevator system and showed me the quickest way to my destination, shaving off the precious minutes I’d squandered in terror. I arrived one minute early.

My supervisor hasn’t yet arrived. Good! Time to take a deep breath, gather my thoughts, review employee handouts, and wipe the sweat from my brow. Sweat!?! Where’d that come from? I haven’t had a drink in 100+ days, I’m on time, I’ve no need to be nervous; I don’t understand? It wont stop! It’s because I think I’m nervous, that’s it. Stop thinking you’re nervous! It can’t be. There must be a reason. That’s it. I’m screwed. They’re probably thinking, not another hung over lush. I’ll be politely asked to leave after a half day’s work. As I wipe the last sweat from my forehead, it occurs to me that it may be from running. Right then I stop perspiring.

The door opens and I meeting my trainer. I’m handed a permanent security badge that I use to enter the office.

Upon crossing the threshold of entryway double doors, I am immediately embraced by the smell of civility; that sense that is only a culmination of your existing five other mortal ones: The sight of tightly clad, barely dress-code, well maintained female form, the sound of women discussing their politically correct weekend’s, the touch of state-of-the-art office equipment, the smell of over indulged cheap perfume, and the taste of a fine cup of java.

Respect is the first order of the day. You are here under contract to serve your employer, supervisor, and co-workers. They have a need you must fulfill. The ladies, although dressed very attractively, are not doing so to please your senses. They command respect in the way they dress and demand to be treated as co-workers. So when John Henry starts to think for you, put him in his place. Just be thankful you are surrounded by attractive co-workers and leave it at that. You have a job to do.

I amazed myself at the skills I used to complete these tasks, none of which appear on my résumé. I know I couldn’t have done them in the decrepit state my alcoholic mind and body was in six months ago, not with the hand tremors and forgetfulness. This, to me, is one of the most important promises the Big Book prophesized. I have a lot more work to do, but tonight I have a lot less to agonize over.

Without Wax,

Monday, March 06, 2006

First Day On The Job

I took a part-time job working at a coffee shop in downtown Saint Paul. Some people would think this work beneath me, but I don’t...especially after my first day on the job.

Of course this has to happen the same day I move into Cuilinn House. With all the hassle so far getting into this house, someone on the other side tells me the entry code for the front door leading to what will become my bedroom. On the second floor, I find a sleeping student who apologizes for not responding to either the door or the phone.

First things first. I boot up my laptop, a parting gift from a dot com bubble burst long ago, and find to my relief access to the Internet! It’s not as spotty as I’d feared. In fact I’m accessing the Internet for this post on the first floor, so the RF signal is not bad at all. Next I start moving my stuff from the living room next door to my bedroom. A tenet next door offers to help. I think, Why do I need help moving stuff from one side of a duplex to the other?, but feeling I should take him up on his offer as to not be rude, I answer, “Thank you. That would be very helpful.” However, upon descending the stairs from my first load, I’m wondering why haven’t I passed him? Maybe he feels uncomfortable violating the newly acquired space of my room? I’ll most likely find my belongings at the base of the stairs. No, there’s nothing in the living room. So how is he helping me move? Oh, there they are, my belongings piled on the wet porch between the entryways (it snowed for the first time in weeks). Ah, the get-your-shit-out-of-my-living room-please type of help. “I think that’s about all of it,” he incorrectly assumes. I just don’t even say anything and grab the rest of my stuff. I’m running late as it is.

With everything piled on my twin bed, I examine the bus schedule and realize I have little time to change into boots, much less the cloths I wanted to wear to make a first impression. My roommate and another housemate throw rock-paper-scissor fists at each other to determine who will fairy my late ass to the bus stop. I’m on my way to work. It turns out that if I’d changed my cloths to what I wanted to wear, I’d feel more out of place.

My first day was simply an employee meeting, an introduction to all I’ll be working with, some basic rules that are more common sense than brainstorms, and opinions by the employees on what could be done to better the efficiency of the job. Although being initially overwhelmed by the staff who all of which are half my age, with every passing minute I felt more at ease. I started thinking of how I could contribute to the discussion and found myself blurting out relevant suggestions. When the delicate subject of dealing with the homeless situation in downtown Saint Paul came up, I could smell the discomfort that the boss Harry T. was feeling while searching for an appropriate term to describe them, so I chimed in with, “indigent”. “Indigent, yes thank you Wax,” he responded now at ease. Near the end, I even felt the courage to make technical suggestions for Wi-Fi customers.

I came away feeling a desire to start working immediately tempered with the fact that I might not get as many hours as I’d wished due to a decent proposal from a temp firm that supposed to start me sometime this week. It’s a good feeling when you want to go to work.

But then I got outted. Penny L., a petite spirited youth shared an observation with me. “So, are you in the program?” As luck would have it, I was staring at the iMac surfing the Web when she laid this bombshell on me, otherwise she’d pick up on the involuntary fluctuation of my pupils, an instinctive sign indicating stress for the fib I’m about to lay on her. Trying to appear distracted by the screen, I respond, “What program?” Oh God, she’s onto me. My mind racing trying to recall what it was that I said in the short time that she’s known me that would indicate that I’m an alcoholic. Indigent! It had to be my suggested terminology for the homeless.

But why? Why would she care? Does Harry know? He must’ve. I’m not concerned with my boss knowing that I’m a recovering alcoholic; I assumed he knew something was up from our first phone interview. His attitude is more matter-of-fact: Can you do the job without your character defect getting in the way? A newly divorced middle-aged man seeking employment is not uncommon these days. Everyone deserves a fresh start, I imagine are his thoughts. He felt comfortable hiring me.

But Penny is different. A young, bright, mischievous liberal intent on discovering a character flaw in this new employee that could endanger the delicate ambiance of the café. She could be concerned about physical harm I could inflict. Mind racing, I must immediately assess the situation, decide on a plan of action, a tack to take. What do all red-blooded American males do when confronted with the truth by a female of the opposite sex? Deny, deny, deny!

Okay, you can only run interference long enough to come up with a plan of attack. What do I want? I want to stay anonymous when it comes to the workplace. Revealing I’m an alcoholic freshly in the throws of recovery on my first day of work is not my idea of anonymity. I also do not want to lie. What does she want? Satisfaction. She wants to know whether or not her observation is correct. Her blue eyes, short auburn hair, and trusting smile tell me I should be comfortable admitting my addiction, especially since she thoughtfully chose to query at a time when we were relatively alone. She’s smart. You have to think around her intelligence if you’re to put her question to bed.

“You know, the substance abuse program,” she continues prodding. Youth tends to believe truth is the answer to all problems. My sponsor is a big believer in the truth and says you should be honest with employers and lovers, and everyone. This is not what the Big Book says when it speaks of honesty with one self. “No,” I pertly answer.

“No, you’re not in the program?”
“No,” I stick to my guns trying not to panic.
“So you are in the program?”
“No,” stubbornly.
“Wait, that’s a double negative.” I woman after my own heart, she argues like me. I feel one side of my mouth curl up in delight. I’m loosing this squabble already. Quick, think faster, chose a topic slightly off subject and engage. With a deep breath, I turn from the monitor to finally stare her straight in the eyes to discuss a slightly detoured subject.

“When living and working in downtown Saint Paul, we find people in various stages of life, from the homeless addict to the stressed out executive,” God your eyes are beautiful, “and we often must choose how best to serve them in our context of both
barista and humanitarian.” Her grin grows as I feed her this line of B.S.: She’s engaged! Don’t loose her before getting back to the subject she initiated or she’ll call you on it. Keep her occupied long enough to decide where you want to go with this line of thought. Yada, yada, yada, “When a man is found panhandling in front of our store, I can either ask him to leave, or give him some money hoping he’ll make the right choice to buy a sandwich instead of a bottle.”

“Or you could offer to take him to lunch,” she suggests. She bought it. It was on sale.

“But that would only make him feel you’re controlling his will. He must make that decision for himself. I can’t help him with his decision.” Now time to come back around to answer her question. “What I’ve found is that a person’s decision to make the right choice must come from within or it simply wont take.”

“That’s true,” she agrees. “Say, have you ever been to the Day By Day?”

“Day By Day? I’ve heard of it,” in a hopefully not too deceiving tone, “but never been there,” not a lie. It’s a sober café, like coffee shops aren’t, but it’s known for doing service work. She’s onto me.

“So, do you know of a market downtown?”, fully changing the subject. I’ve answered her question and softly avoided it at the same time. I considered afterwards whether it would’ve been more appropriate to simply respond, None of your business, but it wouldn’t nearly have the same effect. She was pleasantly curious and I found no danger in her knowing. If she really wants to know for sure, she’ll have to meet me in a closed meeting. Even then, I could choose leave, but probably wouldn’t.

Having successfully skirted the question, I volunteer, “My Father taught me a lot of things. I mean he told me a lot of things, usually things not to do...I’d do them completely out of curiosity. Like when I was five my Dad was working on the car and had pulled the battery; he told me not to touch both posts at the same time: black thumb.”

“You had to learn the hard way.”

“Yah, like what he told me about sex.”

Clearly curious, she asks, “What?”

“Never date a psych-major...”

“Oh definitely not. Their the worst.”

“I did anyway, my first girlfriend in fact…and ten is too young.”

”What?”, she exclaims.

“I was twelve,” I confess.

“Oh, that’s okay then.” Hmmm...makes me wonder at what age she lost her virginity?

“When he told me not to do something, I’d usually do it anyway. What he taught I’d never forget, and usually practice. He taught me not to wear my heart on my sleeve.” It is said.

With retinas locked, she confesses, “I understand.”

Without Wax,

House Chores

One of the privileges of living at The House is daily chores. It’s called accountability. The first chore a new resident is often given is cleaning the bathroom every morning. It teaches the virtues of humility, duty, and hygiene. Try to keep this in mind while unclogging the toilet, dissolving leftover after dinner mints in the sink, washing the snot off the shower wall, or scrubbing the crap off the porcelain alter. You’re cleaning up other men’s filth.

It doesn’t matter who you are, sooner or later anger will build up in you, which may lead to resentments. You start telling yourself, This work is beneath me, or Why am I cleaning up after total strangers, I’m not this filthy, or How exactly does this help me recover from alcohol and drugs? This is when I reach for my Higher Power.

Being a former atheist, I choose my late Father as my Higher Power. Having joined the Navy just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor at 16, about the age I was when He passed away, He must’ve experienced similar indignities. These young men, cocky and full of piss & vinegar, barely able to hold a job in the real world, on their own for the first time in their lives most of them, all had a singular goal. All were united in achieving this same goal. And all were in the same God forsaken boat.

Not far from the description of the dynamic going on at The House. Two dozen men, maturity frozen in time since the early days of using, living in close cramped quarters, shitting, pissing, showering, and eating with little privacy. We’re cleaning up after ourselves and others, maybe for the first time in our lives. Eventually trying to find work in the real world. All trying to stay alive.

So when I do these chores and feel anger grow inside me to the point of thinking, I didn’t make this mess, I don’t live this messy, why should I even do a good job? Just what’s required is all that’s needed, I remind myself of the indignities my Father endured that shaped his character and I press on.

Without Wax,

Chronological note: This was written much earlier in time and just now posted. Having 24/7 access to the Internet has afforded me the luxury of submitting old stories.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


My last day at The House has me running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. I was supposed to be packed yesterday, but had to weigh the advantages of $30.00 extra from plasma donation against a guaranteed moving ride to my new sober house, Cuilinn House. I blew off my ride in trade for the peace and serenity of packing slowly and organized. Fore I did not know what chaos lay ahead.

Packing was mixed with the excitement of a new place, the sadness recalled from leaving my only Minnesota home with June N., and the comfort of knowing were everything has been packed. I could take my time, being thoughtful about where necessary items were stored. This calmed me down knowing that all would be right.

Time to take a break. Having most of my packing completed, I wander to the upstairs TV room to find The Italian Job playing. Not a moment after seating myself to enjoy this exciting action flick, in roars Macombu W. demanding, “All four of you in the office, now! Having just arrived, I know I’m not in trouble. The fourth man to take the breathalyzer, under protest, tests positive. Yet Another Relapse Victim.

Brian J. is a black man who feels oppressed by society for the color of his skin. He previously relapsed because of the late opening time of the downtown library on Mondays. He tried in vane to make an argument that the system was conspiring against him, even implying that because of the color of my skin I was part of it. We have much experience with his short temper when he drinks. Whether it was his loud angered tone or smell of liquor that did him in this time is in question, but he is no longer welcome here. When you relapse for a second time at The House, you roll the dice with your residency. I hope he finds serenity at The Mission.

With my impatience getting the best of me, I ask one of the residents of The House to give me a ride to Cuilinn House this morning. I offer to pay him $5.00 and he agrees, but wont accept it upon arrival. Admitting I could use the cash and appreciate his gesture, I tell him that if he ever needs computer repair to contact me.

My instincts were correct. No one at Cuilinn House answered phones nor doors. I was finally let in by a resident who wasn’t informed of my arrival and felt he wasn’t getting paid enough for the job of welcoming new residents to their new home (I use the term loosely). I was allowed to place all my worldly belonging in the somewhat cramped living room while I wait for a bed to become available. It’s my understanding that one is waiting for me on the other side of this duplex and that I could simple open the constantly unlocked front door and find it myself. I don’t know what’s more unsettling; the knowledge that door is always left unlocked or the fact that it isn’t.

I’m sending this post from the only place I know of that receives Wi-Fi, the third floor. The Internet access here is spotty. Still waiting for a bed, hungry for lunch I must provide myself, and planning were to get dressed for work this afternoon, I complete this post. I’m missing The House already. Isn’t she a beautiful old Victorian House?

Without Wax,

Update 3/6/2006: Brian J. was found in detox last night.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Early To Rise

Up before the alarm clock, in search of coffee, wondering how this will affect my sleep. Grabbing my shaving kit, I head downstairs towards the kitchen, detour to the head for to pinch a loaf, clean the coffee pots as to attempt to start brewing, let in the relapsers. After all, it is the day after.

Walking down the long hardwood floor hallway towards the bathroom I spy an unidentified black man in the entrance hall gently tapping on the door. Halting in my tracks, trying to muster up alertness without aid of caffeine, I examine my watch: 5:16am. That explains why he’s rapping on the door, it’s locked, but doesn’t explain who he is and why he wants in.

“Get Macombu,” the vaguely familiar man demands. Okay, so he’s got to be a resident; he knows staff member Macombu W. Still shaking the sleep off without the benefit of coffee, I realize that this guy is strangely more alert than myself. I wonder what he’s on? Doesn’t he realize us old men need morning java before running up and down stairs to wake staff. He must not have been a resident long for me to be that unfamiliar with him. Boy I’m full of double-negatives this morning. I think he is Steve B.

Duty done, it’s back to the kitchen where the resident elderly coffee coinsure is patently monitoring my brewing techniques. Just as I complete the task, Peter D. is patently staring back at me through Winter filthy windows with that Mervyn's ‘open-open-open’ look on his face. I flash him the index-finger-to-watch combined with a stern head-shake sign language indicating that it’s too early to open the back door. He nods in understanding. Five minutes later I’d have let him in avoiding waking the entire house by setting off the exit alarm.

When you’re abruptly woken for the first time by this alarm you instinctively throw on just what’s required to exit a burning building. If you yell, “Fire”, while trying to save others’ lives, you’ll be spotted immediately as a newbie and laughed out of morning meditation. The intent of this alarm is usually to catch those who crave a smoke between midnight and 5:30am, but also for those with more nefarious plans.

Upstairs to wake Macombu again to let the whiner relapser Peter back home. Why bother? The guy isn’t grateful for what he has. I should not be taking them man’s inventory, but when a man jumps down your throat for almost confusing his girlfriend with his wife on the phone, complains that the food served is too fattening, and mentions in our bitch sessions that people should use the bathroom closest to their room, you realize that you’re all out of slack to give. Macombu informs me he’s already disarmed the alarm, and with that I let him in with, “Welcome to La Casa Country Club.”

That morning’s meditation meeting we learn of yet a third man AWOL who hasn’t returned. Peter tested positive, having broken a curfew from a previous relapse. He will be asked to leave and will not be able to return to The House for six months if the county allows him. Steven being still on his first week customary 9:30pm curfew relapsed on his cross addiction to sex, not an excusable offense, but guaranteed to abstain him for two weeks.

All this on the morning after the first of the month when everyone in The House receives their GA (General Assistance) checks: $91.00 that can pay for a month’s worth of essentials or an evening’s worth of trouble. And I haven’t even cashed mine yet.

Without Wax,