Words Have Power, They Are Magic pt 16
I had only been in the hospital for 24 hours and I needed a drink. I mean I really needed a drink. My hands were shaking, I felt like I was going to vomit, sweating, my heart was trying to jump of my chest and I felt just plain miserable. I needed a drink badly. The heart rate got the nurse into the room. She took one look at me and turned to call the doctor. That is when I went into seizures. I remember starting to twitch all over, and then I remember nothing.
When I came to again I was hooked to even more bags. I thought I was out but a few minutes but it turned out another day had gone by. There was something about hospitals that made time fly, I guess. Anyway, they had some lady there with a wig on telling me that I was suffering from severe alcohol withdrawals. That I was currently being treated with antibiotics for my feet, stuff for my dehydration and b12 for the withdrawals. I was also being something that made me sleepy all the time. There were other drugs on board for the nausea and such, but those were the main things. She went on to tell me about Alcohol poisoning, addictions, depression, and shit like that. I figured if they gave me some whiskey I would be fine. No go on that one.
It took a bit but I finally figured out that this chick and the doctors wanted me to get sober. They claimed it would kill me. I claimed that that might not be a bad thing. Of course, that was the wrong thing to say because now I was diagnosed with depression as well. They added valium to the mix and I was moved to the psychiatric ward. To watch me, they said, for the depression and until I got the alcohol out of me. My son had given his blessing. Jerk
Eventually I was sober enough to take part in some group therapies. Man, those people were miserable. All I did was drink a lot. Those people were messed up. I really did not feel like I belonged in the ward. I was pretty sure that one day she would kill someone if not a lot of someones. There was also Stuart, who diagnosed as bipolar was currently a zombie. Whatever meds they had him on; he had no outward emotions or expressions. He was a zombie. All I did was drink.
Finally, I was declared sober and healthy enough to be discharged. They had thrown away my clothes when I got here so my son brought me a new set. Did pretty good, he did, but the pants were a bit short. The docs patted me on the head admonished me about drinking, the shrink handed me a pamphlet with a list of meetings and they pharmacy gave me a bottle of valium with three refills available. I was set to be let out into the world again.
The whole thing was stupid I thought. I mean I drank some but for good reason. No one in the ward even asked me why I drank. I got all kinds of education and reasons why most people drank. I usually sat here and agreed. When it came time to share my feelings, I made up something plausible. Never was asked why I drank. I would have told them about the words. That it kept me from wishing. In fact that last couple of times I wished, it was to be left alone. So I could drink, So, I did not have to share.
My son wanted to take me home, but he told me that his wife did not want me there. I guess my grandson took my advice to heart and truly believed that words were powerful, they had magic. That, of course upset the dumb bitch. She did not want me there to influence her child some more with that nonsense. My son was a bit distraught, not knowing what to do with me. He rambled on a bit about getting me an apartment, but they had just bought a house closer to the city and so it might be a month before he could. Did I have any friends I could stay with?
I laughed at him. I had been living out in the elements for most of my life. I was ok with it. I really didn’t want an apartment actually or a house or a family. I didn’t want nor need them. I smiled at my son and told him to drop me off at the park I would be fine. He told me that he would come by on Monday and bring me some of the cash that I had earned for the stories. I said ok I would be at the white bench in front of the pond.
I got out at the pond smiled at my son and watched him drive away. He was a good boy and I know he was a bit embarrassed and sad to leave me here. I really was ok. When I was in the car, I glanced at the brochure and there was one of those meetings at the shelter round the corner. I decided maybe I should go. Check it out and see. So, I did.
I walked into the building and followed the red arrows until I got to a back room. There were about 25 people there and the smell of fresh coffee permeated the room. The tables were set up in a big circle and there were chairs against the wall. I sat in one of those near the door. Just in case, I needed to leave early or something. The meeting started. They asked if anyone was new there and several folks got up and introduced themselves. Some of them were alcoholics because they said they were. Fools. Words have power.
An hour and half later the meeting was over. I was careful not to introduce myself to anyone and was making my way to the door when Leroy, the self-professed alcoholic and runner of the meeting, caught up with me.
“Hi” he said. “How are you? It was good seeing you here today. You are new aren’t you?”
I nodded and he continued.
My name is Leroy what’s yours.” At my silence, he talked on “We have lots of meetings here daily and other places let me get you a brochure“.
Leroy headed back through the meeting doors and I took that opportunity to slip out the door. Leroy didn’t understand. I was not one of them I was not an alcoholic. I might be a drunken bum, but alcoholic I was not. When I was drunk, the world was safe. I could not harm anyone if I could not write down anything. It kept the magic from happening. Leroy, he drank to escape, he drank because he had to, and because his body insisted I drank because of the words.
I thought I was in the clear when a small voice said, “Where you going? You afraid of us?”
I wasn’t afraid of anything; I drew up short and turned around. What I saw reminded me of Audrey Hepburn or maybe Liz Taylor. The woman standing there smoking a cigarette was stunning. Dark hair, dark eyes, and figure that made hourglasses jealous. A beauty. I took it back. She scared me. I was attracted. That scared me
“No,” I replied. “I have to go thought I have an appointment.”
“At 10 pm?” She asked. “What kind of an appointment does one have at 10 pm, except maybe with their dealer? You an addict? “
I shook my head no. I looked at her for a minute then decided to be honest
“I am not an alcoholic. I don’t belong here I am a drunk. I don’t have the problems you people have. Mine are unique. Different. “
“Of course you are a drunk.” she smiled. “And of course, you are unique. Just like the rest of us. Come on man, if alcohol runs your life then ya probably belong here. Most people don’t come here by accident, ya know.”
No not like that, not unique like I do not drink a lot I do. Has it affected my life, yes, but not the way you think it does. I haven’t lost anything because I drink; I have lost it because of words.
I moved closer to her. I might as well tell her.
“Words are what have messed up my life. Words are what have caused all the problems not the whiskey. Whiskey kept me from using words. From tapping into their power, their magic. “
She did not understand. “Words? Don’t you think you would not use those words if your were sober? Do you think that you have as special ability with the words to make them more powerful, more magical? Maybe only when you drink.”
“NO you don’t understand. My whole life words have hurt others. Only when they are written though I learned that they have only a little magic when spoken.”
Leroy came bursting through the door. “There you are.” He said cheerfully, “Here is the brochure I was talking about. I circled the good meetings that I think you should go to. I really like the one on Wednesday nights.”
I looked at the beauty next to me. “Which one do you go to?”
She pointed to the one Leroy had circled. “Wednesday. I sometimes go there.”
“Maybe I will come and teach about the words. Maybe I will be there on Wednesday.”
“Words?” Leroy looked a bit confused.
“Yea”, I said as I started to walk away. “Words. Word are powerful, they are magic.”