Sunday, August 20, 2006
Two Weeks Sober
Looking into my wallet, I can’t help but calculate how many 1.75 liter bottles of whiskey I could buy, and amazed that I’d lasted two days without buying at least one. Many A.A. people speak of the subconscious planning the next relapse. I remember not too long ago when I we never nervous about thinking of a drink; it just would never happen. Now, it’s on my mind constantly. It’s Saturday and the liquor stores are open, which later will play a role in the day’s events.
I’ve gotten so used to this bus route, that near the end, I looked up from my novel, examined the surroundings, then my watch, and feet we had gone astray. We’re not in the right place for this time. Placing the bookmark, I move to the front of the bus where I discover the on-going conversation with the driver and a rider iss actually a training session. “How late are we?” I ask the driver.
“We’re not late”, replies the student.
I explain my reason why we are, stating that we’re not even at the next checkpoint, and we’re ten minutes behind. Both driver and student are dumbfounded. Okay, whatever; I just have to book to my appointment. I arrive just on time.
Donation goes off without a hitch. Again, I look into my wallet: I’ve got $60.00, three bottles of whiskey. I’ve been waiting two weeks to recharge my cell phone. Without that phone, I can’t get a job, call A.A. for help, nor communicate effectively. Right now, all I’ve got is e-mail. When I’m homeless in a little over a week, I’ll have little opportunity for e-mail access. Scarfing down my lunch on the bus, I think of how to best to spend the rest of the day.
Back in Saint Paul, the first stop is Wal-Mart to purchase 500 minutes of cell phone time. They charge $48.67 for a $50 phone card, which comes to $52.08 after tax; the best deal in town. What’s left is just enough bus fare for Thursday’s donation. Come Saturday, I’ll be able to pay the gym bill, so I’ll have some place to shower and change. The Monday after that, I’m going to try to donate locally at City Plasma. If they suspect I’ve donated someplace else, they’ll defer me for a week. But, I have to try.
The rest of the day is devoted to job searching. I apply at a nation-wide discount store on location at their kiosk, since I’ve tried online and they don’t have Internet job applications. There’s even a Website devoted to complaining about this national discount chain’s lack of online job applications. It’s a good thing I was dress fairly well, because as soon as I completed their job application, I had an interview with the hiring staff. They are looking to hire immediately, and I’ve found that there’s an opening in a few weeks in the photo department; something I might be able to move into.
Sprinting home for a pit stop, I change shirts, and plan to hit the small local retail outlets for job applications. Rushing to avoid running into my landlord, since she called and left her daily mentally degrading voice mail, I know she’s on her way over. I quickly change shirts, and prepare to walk out whatever door she doesn’t knock on. This apartment, unlike most efficiency apartments, has a back door. She usually parks near the front, but today, she didn’t. I hear her rapping on the back door and I silently squeak out the front. I don’t want to deal with her crap today. I’m on a roll. I want to look for work with a good attitude.
Finding four small retail stores that are hiring within walking distance is a good sign that school’s back in session. An ice cream parlor is hiring. My old pizza job is looking for a morning cook, so I’ll stop by there tomorrow and speak with the manager again. The Deli next door is also hiring for 3rd shift; I’m told to fill out the application and come back at night to speak with the manager. And finally, the local liquor store is hiring. Okay, not the best choice, but I’d rather be selling it that drinking it. I’m told the hiring manager will be in early Monday morning.
Evening comes and I’m back at The Deli. It’s late at night and, to my surprise, they’re still open and full of activity. The late evening crowd is a little too jovial; I witness one man bitch-slap another, and you’d think a fight would break out. But it didn’t, so I guess he really is his bitch. Speaking with manager Ryan B., who’s a hard-working man, I discover that he’s looking to fill out his employee roster. He asks if I’m willing to work 40 hours, and I agree. It’s a little busy, but he takes the time to go over the schedule and finds several openings for me. “Can you work tomorrow night?” he asks.
“Sure can,” I reply. I’m given a W-4, the menu to study, and a firm handshake.
“I’ll give you an extra $20 just for memorizing the menu. See you tomorrow night.” I’m employed! With a mental check of my wallet, I’m tempted to purchase a sandwich to go, but that would deplete my bus fare. Not wanting to beg for one, I think of the tuna sandwich I can make at home. I’ll probably go home tomorrow night with a meal.
Closing my thoughts, I’ve staved off a liquor purchase, recharged my cell phone, started The Deli job at night, and possibly will be working at a large discount store next week. Now, if I can only convince my landlord to keep me on. Because there’s a conflict with my new job: I can’t sleep at The Mission at night if I’m to work at night.
I'm looking forward to my next A.A. meeting.
Update: The discount store called for an interview Monday morning!