Imprisoned at a Halfway House

The Flamboyant Professor gives his AA lead this morning and uses it as an opportunity to name-drop and talk about his family’s money. I see people rolling their eyes and Carter falls asleep next to me, but I sit in rapt attention. The story has the three main ingredients: sex, drugs, and money. He leaves out some very important (and disturbing) details, but don’t we all?

We eat lunch after his speech, and I’m mopping the floors when the obese counselor’s assistant with an elderly poodle stapled to her head waddles in. I smile and let her pass, grateful that she doesn’t bark some arbitrary order at me without even a ‘hello’ like usual.

She comes out of the kitchen (which she seems to hit on an hourly basis) and I can see that her jowls are shaking. Guess I was wrong about a nasally command. I remove my earbuds and the beautiful voice of K-Flay stops abruptly.

You should only have one of those in so you can hear me when I’m talking to you. Turn that TV off in there,” she bellows.

She points a doughy arm to the dining room before waddling off in a cloud of stinky cheap perfume. I’m rendered speechless, and a fire of rage fills my stomach as I jab the power button. Did that lazy troll really just take longer to tell me to do something that could have been accomplished by pushing a power button?

I watch from the kitchen as she leaves the office for her seventh cigarette of the day and I pray that she gets lung cancer.

It’s Fourth of July in the halfway house and I’m depressed. At least Favorite Therapist started doing yoga with me. The only bright spot in the day is when she tells me anonymous stories about patients from the mental hospital. My favorite is about an American who sometimes thought he was French and owned a thriving nightclub. He liked to leave her hour-long voicemails in an affected accent. The man even telecommuted to a clinical meeting from a payphone in the hallway because it was a ‘busy night at the club’. Sometimes he would clap when Favorite Therapist was done with group and yell ‘best audition ever!’.

That sounds like the perfect job,” I tell her.

Yeah it was…except the day one of the patients bit one of the other’s ears off, and I found it under the couch,” she says.

That’s pretty impressive…ears are mostly cartilage”

Sadly, a pay phone rings and ends our conversation

Later that night, I pick up a ‘Young People in AA’ pamphlet at a meeting and Eli sees me reading it in the van.

That’s not for you,” he says.

I throw the pamphlet at him in mock anger, but he does have a point. I am on the wrong side of my twenties and being told when to eat and when to sleep.

I use to look at guys my age sitting in rehab and think ‘what a bunch of fucking losers’.