Friday, March 15, 2013

Ass, Gas, or Grass, No One Meditates For Free!

8:10 PM

Picture 25 bodies sitting in 25 chairs in a circle.
Legs are flat on the floor, palms rest on kneecaps, a harmonious breathing fills the room.
" Breath in, one, two, three, four, " Our facilitator says. " Breath out, one, two, three, four."

This is group mediation. Part of Wednesday night’s "recreational therapy."

" One, Two, Three, Four..., " Our facilitator continues. "…and out one, two , three, four."

"This is fucking stupid" says Charles.

"Breath in One, Two, Three, Four..."
"Shushh, don't get us in trouble." says a voice to my left.
"Breath out One, Two, Three, Four."

The only thing worse than meditation, is meditation on small plastic chairs. When Alexander Parkes invented plastic in 1855, I’m sure he meant well. If Parkes however, had known the pain and suffering he caused on recovering drug addicts Wednesday nights, he might just change his mind.

" one,two,three,four..."

I open my right eye and catch a quick glance at Charles. Through my peripheral vision, I notice Charles making a pumping motion with his fist above his lap.
Across from him sits an attractive lady, mid twenties and has what Charles calls, "Milky White Titties." After he has her attention, Charles winks, smacks his lips and blows a kiss

"...and out one, two, three, four..."

1 hr 50 min earlier

Every Wednesday, Both the North and South group get together with the Young Adults group for a combined session of group activities.
Chairs are set up in a circle and everyone arrives at six O'clock. In case I have to piss, I take the chair closet to the door. Sitting directly to the right of me is Charles. Charles is sixteen . He's here not because of addiction, but because, and I quote "I could no longer master the art of the deal."
Charles was busted transporting 17 pounds of pot brownies across the transcontinental United States.
So he claims.
So, Like a small percentage of Recovery Works clients, Charles was ordered to attend 28 sessions of intensive outpatient therapy.
I'm here because of a DUI.
Let's not waste anymore time on me.

Shortly after my arrival, Charles spots me, picks a chair next to mine, and sits down.
"What's up Miggity Mike?" he says. Charles sees the need to use "iggity" before every word
"Hey Charles." I respond. "how are you doing today?" I ask
"Good, just Chiggity Chillin' he responds.
As we wait for the rest of the group to arrive, I pull out my cell phone and pretend to text someone. My attempt to avoid small talk fails when I notice his hand waving in front of my face.
I look over towards him.
"You know the new girl?" he asks.
He pulls his chair six inches closer. He smells of Brut after shave and Marlboro Cigarettes.
"No" I say
Putting both hands six inches away from his chest he says "sure you do,the one with Big Milky Titties?"
"Not ringing a bell dude."
Actually, I lied.
I did know who he was talking about. Her name was Katharine. Everyone knew her. Besides her big milky titties and beautiful blue eyes, Katharine was smart, funny and sexy. She was outspoken in class and had a witty remark for everything.
I feel a nudge in my rib cage.
He points to a young lady sitting directly across from us.
"O her." I say, "Yeah, I guess I do know her."
"Yeah, well later tonight," he says "She's totally gonna be all over my nugs."
Arm outstretched and palm down, he begins to make a motion that resembles a blow job.
"She’s 26" I tell him.
"So." He says.
"Your only 16".
"So" he says again.
"She could go to jail." I tell him.
"That's cool. Optical visits turn me on."
"It's conjugal." I tell him
"Whatever, jail or not, I'm tappin' that ass tonight!"
I turn my attention from Charles and listen to the group leader start our nightly check in.
We are asked to give our name, what we're here for, and if we could change anything about today, what would we change.
I want to say; "My name is Mike, I'm here for a DUI, and I'd choose a different seat."
Instead I chose to go down the same road I always take. "Mike, DUI, I would change everything."
Charles says "Charles, Dealer, and I would've slept in longer." Some of the younger kids in the group laugh.
After his turn, he leans over towards me and whispers, "I was going to say, I would've beat off two times, instead of once."

I just smile and nod.

After the introductions, we meet outside for a group activity. "The goal..." our facilitator says, "is to drop an egg from a ten foot wall and not have it break." I remember doing this in Jr. High.

In Mr. Cannon's science class I chose to wrap some duct tape around the middle of the egg and tried dropping the egg on its nose. Some fuckin' classmate of mine, he told me if the pressure on the weakest part of the egg, the middle, was secure you could drop the egg on the end which was supposed to be the strongest. The egg was supposed to hold and I was supposed to win. It still broke.
The facilitator tells us we can use:
-Ten Straws
-Five foot long strips of masking tape
-A pair of scissors
-A felt Tip pen

She explained that we were given 20 minutes to complete the task and each egg must be given a name.
Our facilitator, she goes around the group having each of us number off One through Four. It felt like P.E. class all over again.

I count clockwise around the group to find my teammates.

I'm a three.

Charles is a four.

So is Kathrine
Luckily, I was teamed up with my friends.

"The drunken Trio" they called themselves. In a room full of opiate, meth, and cocaine addicts, these three somehow prided themselves on the fact that liquor was the only drug they used. Danny, the oldest of the three, once told me that an addict was somebody who passed out with a needle in his or her arm.

"I only drink, therefore, I'm a drunk not an addict." He once told me.
Danny, was bald,mid-fifties,held a great tan, and despite his age, sported a hoop earring in his left ear. Today he wears a red button up Hawaiian shirt consisting of white flowers scattered all around.
Scott, not too far behind Danny in age, looked like 70. After years of drinking his liver shut down and was all but pronounced dead. Both his cheek bones had been broke several times in several bar fights. He reminded me of a china doll whose face was put back together with glue.
Clay was called the "younger brother." Mid Thirties I think. I remember a year ago, I read about a local MMA fighter who crashed his car into a telephone pole. His wife, while knocked out, was moved from the passenger seat to behind the wheel. Clay was heavily intoxicated, and at the time, thought it would be a good idea since his wife was sober. When she regained consciousness, she started babbling about being in the passenger seat one minute, and finding herself in the drivers seat the next.

Clay's wife, she was rushed to the hospital and Clay was charged with a 3rd class felony for obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to 90 days in the Salt Lake County jail, plus 180 days of Intensive Outpatient Therapy.

"What the fuck is that?" Charles asks.
Charles and his group had finished their model twenty minutes before everyone else. With Katharine in the bathroom and nothing else to do, Charles decides to compare models.
"It's your mother after I fucked her asshole." Clay responds.
"Ha ha, not so funny Dr. Jones!" Charles, he has a thing for movie quotes. "You really think that piece of shit's gonna hold up? Whaddya call it?"
"Spudnick" Danny says
"Lets see your piece of shit." Scott says
Wrapped around every inch of the egg were straws followed by duct tape. On the duct tape the name "unbreakable" was scribbled in thick capital letters.
"You couldn't come up with a more original name?" I ask
"Fuck no! If the egg's unbreakable, why not name it the same?" He shoots a head nod towards our model. "It's better than your lame ass...whatever it's called."
"Spudnick" Danny says.

Finally are facilitator brings us all together."Alright everybody, it's time to test your eggs." She says. Charles shoves his elbow in my rib cage and says "I'd like to test her eggs."

Team "Super Drooper" goes first. Super Drooper's egg is connected to a parachute made from the straws and duct tape. Brandon, a tall and lanky twenty something year old has been designated to do the drop. He's instructed to stand on top of a three foot wall and drop the egg.
"That egg's gonna fuckin' briggity break." Charles says.
Brandon drops the egg. It falls as if it's attached to nothing and cracks open.
"See" says Charles.
Up next is team "Tail Spin." Like Super Drooper's, they've also connected their egg to a parachute. The difference between Super Dooper's is the spiral the parachute makes.
Tail Spin Drops their egg.
"...and...splat! Fucking Lame!" Charles says

Up next is our team.

"Sputnick," "Danny says "Like the Russian Satellite?" No one says anything.
"What was your motivation?" the facilitator asks
"Less is always more." I say
"Quality over Quantity" Danny says
"We didn't give a fuck what it looked like." Clay says
The group chose Danny to represent and do the drop. He stands on the ledge and presents our Model. We have several straws tapped randomly to the egg. It looks more like a large kidney stone than a satellite dish.
Danny drops the egg.
"Fucking knew it!" Says Charles.
Next is team Unbreakable
"You've died with the rest, now watch the best." Charles says
He picks his egg up and stands on the three foot wall.

Holding unbreakable with his left hand, his right hand points an index finger at Katherine. Charles winks and says, "This ones for you."
The palm of his left hand opens, and the egg is released.

8:10 PM

Picture 25 bodies sitting in 25 chairs in a circle. Legs are flat on the floor, palms rest on Kneecaps and harmonious breathing fills the room.
" Breath in, one, two, three, four, " Our facilitator says. " Breath out, one, two, three, four."

"This is fucking stupid" say's Charles.

"Breath in One, Two, Three, Four..."
"Shushh, don't get us in trouble." says a voice to my left.
"Breath out One, Two, Three, Four."

In through the nose and out through the mouth my eyes are now closed. My eyes are now closed and on my way to a peaceful and relaxing journey.

The voice to my left, her name is Ann. Ann is a 15 year old Japanese American addicted to heroin.
I’m gonna do it." Says Charles.
"Don’t you fucking dare asshole." Ann says.
"I can’t hold it any longer." Says Charles.

After three minutes of deep breathing we begin our journey.
"Picture yourself in an elevator." Our facilitator says. "…and in that elevator you notice a color. A color that surrounds the elevator like a bright aura..."

Charles was right. He couldn't hold it any longer.


"Charles, you fucking asshole!" Ann Whispers

I press my eye lids together and concentrate

"...inside the elevator you notice an unlimited amount of numbers waiting to be pressed. Each button represents a floor. Each floor represents a choice you may or may not have made in your life..."

Puefff, puff, puuusshhhhh

"That smells so bad." Ann says

I can no longer concentrate.

"…Without putting to much thought into it, press any button you’d like."


"That’s it! Charles, you’re fucking disgusting!" Ann shouts.
I open my eyes. Ann is out of her chair and walking towards the door. Others are laughing, Ann is upset, and Charles, he just sits there with a stupid fucking grin on his face.

Just when I thought tonight couldn't get any worse, it. The room not only holds the smell of stale addiction and nostalgia, but now adds onions rings and double cheeseburgers.

After another five minutes of meditation, the facilitator turns off the soft music and turns on the lights. She never mentions the noise.
Ann walks back into the room but stands on the other side of the circle. She raises a track marked right arm and extends her middle finger.

Charles nudges me in the rib cage and says "At least I didn't shit my pants."

We hold hands, say the serenity prayer, and wrap up recreational therapy. My night with Charles is done.

On the way to my car, I see Katharine cross the parking lot and get into her Honda Civic. I laugh to myself. I laugh not only at the fart noise, the shitty eggs that broke, and the girl who left the room, but at Charles. I laugh at Charles and his confidence and light a cigarette.

As I’m laughing I see Charles. As I’m laughing and smoking I see Charles walk across the parking lot and into a Honda Civic. Katherine’s Honda Civic.

"...and out one two three four..."