Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Salvation Diary Twenty Two

"Salvation" artist Amanda Milke

April 3 Wednesday Day 203

Woody was talking to Mia shortly after I woke at 4:00. "Broadway Danny Rose," on channel 13. Mia's looking pretty saucy in this one.
I had time to read three chapters out of the Bible, one out of "The Milagro Beanfield War," and today's entry from the "24 Hour a Day Book," before going on down to breakfast and work.
Dennis Smith came into my office before he went to work to get some pills out of the medication box that I have in there.
"Good morning, Dennis," I said to him, "looking mighty obsequious today."
"That's a pretty obstreperous thing to say, Mr. Joyce."
"Yes, thank you."
I got a lot of writing done this morning, finishing up just before lunchtime.
I talked to my counselor, Richard, today. We talked about school mostly, and how to bilk the government out of grant money and loans. I also asked him if he would help me with my Fifth Step next week. He said that he would.
I typed a letter to my mother in the afternoon, enclosing some of the photos that Jill had given to me. I asked her to try and be here on the night of September 13th, as I would like her to be the one who gives me my first birthday cake for having one whole year of being clean and sober. She deserves a lot more, but at least I can give her that.
One of the guys from the drafting company right next door to the residence, on the east side, came over to see me. He said that there were hundreds of empty alcohol bottles littering their roof, and that some of them had smashed into, and damaged their air conditioning unit. He seemed to think that our guys might be sneaking up onto the roof, which overlooks our neighbor's roof, and drinking, then disposing of the empties on their air conditioner.
As if our sweet little angels would do such a thing.
I got rid of the guy, and then told Ed Reitz about it. He said he would tackle the situation by conducting a massive, surprise dorm search, and breath test after his last group this evening.
Tonight was birthday dinner night with Major and Mrs. Johnson. Those who celebrated their birthday last month got to go have dinner with them. Ron Collins, among others, was eligible.
Chapel went smoothly and according to plan. Kevin Rockoff, Bill Rausemplat, and Ron Patrick, all received their graduation certificates.
Very good.
Graduate Group with George Plick was fun. We all talked about what had happened to us the week before. Reuben Smith thinks that Maggie Harbottle is trying to have him committed to a mental institution.
He may be right.
Ed choose dorm number 41 to make his massive, surprise dorm search and breath test on. We picked 41 because all of those clients happened to be in the residence at the time. Dorm 41 consisted of Kevin Rockoff, Dennis Smith, Kelly Timmons, Robert Fordan, and Jorge Estrada, all unlikely secret drinkers and pilferers. Ed used the PA system to ask all of the men of that dorm to be there in 5 minutes, effectively giving them a big warning that something was up.
After the 5 minutes Ed and I pounced on the hapless dorm like hungry wolves.
Everyone was negative for alcohol breath, and all we did with the lockers was to see how neat and well arranged they were. Ed asked them if they had been pilfering.
They all said no, that they had not.
"Hummm, obsequious looking locker you have here, Dennis."
"Thank you Mr. Joyce."
"Yours on the other hand, Mr. Timmons, is a bit obstreperous."
Later, I did some calibration runs for amphetamines and cocaine on the ADx machine, but inadvertently placed a cuvette (a small test tube) upside down on the carousel (a circular device that rotates with wooden unicorns attached), thus ruining the cocaine calibration, and wasting about $40 of the Salvation Army's money.
After running the calibration again, correctly, I made it to bed by midnight.
A poem by Eddie Pick Gillespie:

The Raton Kid and the Denver Dude

Face to face in the noon day sun
Each with his hand raised over his gun
hard eyes locked in a deadly stare
Assholes twitching at their underwear
Lips drawn back in a death mask grin
A duel to the death only one can win

The Raton Kid and the Denver Dude
Were about to settle a raging feud
Fueled by the love of the same dance hall woman
Whom everyone knew had a damn good one
Fanned by the legend of who's gun was quicker
Ignited by a card game and too much liquor

The Dude's hand dipped and came up aflame
banging and banging, again and again
The Kid's hand blurred at the very same time
Spitting out death as it came on to line
The screams of the woman was a sharp knife of pain
The fact that she cared for them both was so plain

They lay on their backs with their legs in the air
It is fair to describe they were shot everywhere
The blood had splattered a good hundred yards
Twenty two windows were shot into shards
The shots still echoed, smoke filled the sky
And the dance hall woman had started to cry

Out of the din and the smoke in the air
A strange apparition began to appear
Locked arm in arm two ghosts walked from the fray
The woman dropped to her knees and started to pray
It's an awfully tough way to get out of being married
But the only sure way is to be dead and buried

April 4 Thursday Day 204

I woke up this morning to Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton John dancing like fools in "Xanadu."
Another full day of work ahead. I read from the Bible and the "Twenty Four Hour A Day," book before I went to work.
I also managed to get some writing done early, and read parts of a relapse prevention workbook that Barbara Grothe had given to me.
I had just finished my laundry when Ed Reitz came over wanting to do some more locker searches. Not inspections... searches. He picked dorm 45 this time. He said he was looking for bottles of alcohol. He reasoned, I suspect, that the folks in dorm 45 had been boozing it up in there, and then flipping their empties out the window, up over and on to the roof of our neighbor's business. Unfortunately for Ed's theory, we found no bottles, nor drugs of any kind, or drug paraphernalia for that matter. We did find evidence of pilfering. An engraving machine and a radar detector were found in the dorm, and last but not least, and honest to God Geiger counter was in Daryl Sipp's locker.
We confiscated them all, and no one came to claim them throughout the rest of the evening. Odd behavior (or lack thereof) for one whose real property was missing.
Ed plans to have a super big locker inspection (search) tomorrow, at 4:00, when everyone comes in from work. I believe he's getting into some kind of locker search frenzy, his only barrier to success that I can discern was to give everyone twenty-four advance notice of the big inspection. I'm not saying it will, but it may allow pilferers a chance to dump whatever they have before said inspection.
Somebody must have dropped a lit cigarette into the trash compactor across the street. The Fire Department was called to extinguish the smoldering inferno just as everyone was getting off from work. The end result being a mountain of black, sooty, sludgy, garbage sitting right in the middle of Waverly Dr. About an hour later the police came and posted signs with blinking lights, all around the stinking, smoking pile, so motorists wouldn't smash into it throughout the night.
The evening was rather hectic, with people's moods a little flared. There were rumors of dorm inspections to worry about, confiscated property to contend with, going to required meetings. I hardly had time ti finish "On the Beach."
Daryl Sipp came to see me. He complained that people were making fun of him because of the Geiger counter we had found in his locker. He did not offer any explanation for it being there, he was just embarrassed by all of the attention this article had brought his way. He said that the guys at the desk were telling everyone about it, and thereby invading his privacy. He was probably right, and I apologized for their behavior.
Dennis Smith came in and talked to me at about 10:30. He said that he knew Charles Parsons had been drinking tonight, within the residence. Dennis believed that the administration was demonstrating a double standard, tolerating "valuable" employees, while giving the boot to commonplace beneficiaries. Parsons had been caught red-handed drinking at the Transition House, and instead of being ousted and fired, he was allowed to move back into the main residence. The word was out that he would soon be allowed to move back into the Transition House, so he was comparably being given a mild slap on the hand for an offense that would get everyone else terminated.
So there is a little discontent within the residence. Talk about the staff being hypocritical, allowing certain behavior by certain individuals, while checking for "unacceptable" behavior in most others.
The talk may be correct.
What an obstreperous situation!
Well, we shall see what transpires.
I finished reading "On the Beach," then went to beddie-by.
I dreamt of radioactive dust particles in my hair, as I sat and watched the waves break upon the Aussie sand.

April 5 Friday Day 205

I woke to the sight of Steve Martin arranging Rachel Ward's breasts in, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid."
I used to be in love with Rachel Ward.
I went back to sleep, missing most of the movie. I stayed asleep on purpose (avoiding reality), till lunch time. I did not go down for lunch. I read out of the Bible, then washed and got ready for work. Before I began my shift I wrote in the lobby. Ed was there on his day off, preparing for the big, massive, sweeping dorm inspection that would be held at 4:00PM.
When I started my shift I told Ed what Dennis and the others had said to me last night, and he seemed concerned. We both went to Charle's dorm and had a look inside his locker and found nothing of an incriminating nature. That wasn't too surprising since everyone was aware of the upcoming massive dorm inspection and had an abundance of time to get rid of all of their contraband.
Charles was even one of the inspectors.
As the men returned from work at 4:00, we breath tested each, gave them their locker key, and instructed them to go to their dorm (or private room. I also had plenty of time to get rid of all of my contraband. Previously I had brought the ream of paper that I had appropriated from the Brick-A-Brack Department yesterday, down from my room and into the office. That would stop any embarrassing questions, such as, "What the hell are you doing with five hundred pieces of laser printing paper in your room, Joyce? Never mind, I don't want to know. The question is, where did you get it?" I had also taken the precaution to make sure my room was nice and tidy), and wait by their lockers.
The inspection team, consisting of Ed, Mr. Vasquez, Frank Corona, Charles Parsons, and Bill Richardson, went around, made a quick and thorough (and massive) sweep, then let the men come down where I paid them their gratuity.
Nothing was found, and no one was busted. One would have to have been in a coma for the last 24 hours to have been popped in this raid.
After dinner (fish), and after things had settled down a bit, Eddie Gillespie took me aside and told me he would be leaving tomorrow. "I thought I should tell you first. I have high hopes for you Joyce." I asked him what he would be doing and where he would be going.
"Go to the races, and the weeds."
I spent most of the evening with him, talking to him off and on, while reading a book he had pilfered and given to me, "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare." I read the first half of "A Mid-Summer's Night Dream," my favorite of his plays.
Eddie's thought processes must be as random, fast, and obstreperous, as my own, for every now and then he would look up at me from the western novel he was reading and begin talking about different subjects. Horse racing mostly, the weeds (living outside), his wife, his unsuccessful attempts to receive veteran's or SSI benefits, and the Korean War. He would shuffle from one topic to another in a haphazard, disjointed manner. I sometimes speak of my days in the navy that way. We had that experience in common. Life in the military had been exciting, a time we shall not soon forget. We could discuss books somewhat as well. But the strength of our bond, I believe came from our mutual respect, if you will, for being able to keep our individual dignity while doing a job, or living and succeeding (by our own standards) in a somewhat hostile environment, and thus achieving a certain sense of responsibility to ourselves, and a certain freedom.
I had not socialized much with Eddie. Once in a while we had lunch, or breakfast, or dinner together. Or on occasion I would sit next to him while he smoothed down a bowl of ice cream in the canteen. That's about all. His world is much different than mine. Our difference in age is significant. But I am very fond of him, and will always remember him.
At midnight there was no one to write up, or A.C.O. Everyone has made it back by curfew. Our job done, Eddie and I rode the elevator to the second floor. I shook his hand, "Well goodbye Eddie. I wish you the best out there. Come back and see us if you can."
"Oh I will, and I'll try to be somewhat sober. See ya later, Rick."
We walked to our rooms in opposite directions.

April 6 Saturday Day 206

I didn't wake up until 11:30AM, at which time I decided to get my lazy ass up and see what was for lunch. Lasagna it tuned out.
Eddie was still here. Decided to stay for lunch, he said. We sat together, not talking very much. There wasn't much to say. My lasagna disintegrated before me into wet, gelatinous glop, but tasted great. Eddie finished eating, turned in his tray to the scullery, and then was off.
I returned to my room and laid down, still tired. I read two chapters of "Beanfield War," then showered and got ready for work.
I wrote in the lobby, before my shift. Kevin Rockoff was working a double shift today, to fill in for Eddie. I would work the morning shift tomorrow.
At 2:00AM the clocks would be set ahead one hour to conform with Daylight Savings Time, which would deprive me of an hour of badly needed sleep.
I finished off Robert's left over paperwork for him when I came on duty. He, of course, was running around somewhere. I wrote the termination papers on Eddie and Charles Parsons (who would be returning to the Transition House today). I also wrote up Franklin Smith for being seen at the mall while still on 30 day restriction.
"I thought I was off," he said when he got back. I gently reminded him that he still had a week to go.
The idea came to me to change some of the clocks around the residence ahead one hour. I got compulsive about it, and began with the clock up in the chapel. I soon found out that Robert had already changed that clock, he was in fact up there still, and we inspected the chapel and the upstairs apartment together, giving me a rare opportunity to chat with him at length.
We discussed the leaky air conditioning system, Jan Skiecicz, the ability of the residence manager to save money owing to the fact that he pays no room and board, about jobs that we've had, women, cars, and places we have lived.
Upon returning to the lobby he took off to give the ladies in the thrift store a ride to the bank, and to put up the damn bar in the thrift store parking lot. It was 7:22PM, and 4 seconds, real time.
At 10:39PM, and 30 seconds I had spent the interval reading and writing about nicotine, sold canteen cards, gave instructions to the Night Crawlers, smoked cigarettes... administering nicotine into my bloodstream, started movies, photochecked the ADx machine, checked the As-Is-Yard for suspected burglars, drank mass quantities of coffee thereby administering caffeine into my bloodstream, finished up required daily paperwork, counted daily collected monies, ate one humongous chocolate covered buttermilk donut thus administering enormous amounts of unwanted fats and carbohydrates into my bloodstream, and waged my way through malingering drunks and disturbed informers.
I thought I'd call it a night.
I still have over an hour to go on my shift in which I believe I shall read some Shakespeare. And when Mr, Pandolfi comes my way near midnight, I shall go upstairs and fiddle around for a while, and hopefully get and hour or two of sleep before I am awakened by the same Mr. Pandolfi, to get ready to come back down to the desk for another shift and resume where I left off with nicotine and try and stop smoking. Wish me luck?
Good night.

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