ENDING UP IN TEXAS
Topic: Bottoming Out or How Uncle G Ended Up Living In Texas
The year was 1986. I would be turning twenty-five years old that Summer. Here it was in the Spring. A good time to leave the State that for twenty years I called home – New Jersey. I would make my escape as a passenger in a small older car that would take me to Bennettsville, South Carolina by way of Naperville, Illinois. What a detour. The driver had family and friends there. A free ride was a free ride, and I had all the free time in the World.
By the time ’86 rolled around, I was worse for wear. At age twelve, as I mentioned on here before, I was already indulging in adult activities; smoking cigarettes / inhaling marijuana / drinking alcohol, and sex-wise, had already reached third base. As the years went by, my self destructing behavior progressed. Especially once I was out of school. I worked hard, and I partied even harder. I felt it was my right for busting my ass during the day. Over a decade of this, and my liver was swollen. I could not say no to an alcoholic beverage. I didn’t even care what it was. My beer of choice was always imported, usually from Canada or Germany. Lack of steady employment and my selection turned into whatever the cheapest suds I could find.
During this time, I smoked pot. The thing is, I was so out of it with cocaine and my drinking, that the only time I toked was when someone passed me a lit joint. I stopped buying and keeping any stash. All my funds were going to different highs at that time. Just kind of removed myself from the pot world. Besides, I had a new lover – Lady Cocaine. And what I wanted more than anything else was to feel her in me. The drip in the back of the throat, moments later followed by happy feet. And I would chase that down with whatever cheap booze I could find. If it not cheap beer, then usually a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20. I couldn’t really afford anything else but gut rut. I was barely eating. I’m six foot, and I was getting skinnier with every day that went by. Two reasons: the first one being fairly understandable. Most people know, cocaine isn’t cheap. Most of my money, including my food budget, went to cocaine. And there’s reason number two. Unlike cannabis, coke decreases one’s appetite. Having it steadily in your system, you don’t feel like eating anyway.
Here’s something I’m not proud of. I stole to get money for coke also. To someone in Lady Cocaine’s clutches, it’s the next logical step once out of cash. I would drive past chain gangs being supervised by police on horseback with a hot air conditioning unit behind me in the trunk of the car. When looking up the word “stupid”, that definition should be given. Seriously, I was very blessed that I wasn’t caught. I would probably still be in their jail system to this day.
Moving to Bennettsville, South Carolina was my first wife’s idea. Before leaving the State, I thanked her by having sexual intercourse with her best friend in a corn field. In my defense, we were yet again separated. Being best friends, my soon to be ex spills everything about our sex life. Her so-called best friend, must have liked what she heard. The chick had a child, and no husband. She made the first move. Being the first guy to get her off, she became somewhat attached to me. After screwing in a car one morning, I informed her that I was leaving. Certainly I was in no shape to pick up and start living with her and her boy, not that I wanted to do that anyway. I knew I had a problem. That in itself had become a bad thing. Main reason is because I just stopped caring about myself. My attitude sucked. I felt I had become a total failure.
Alcoholics Anonymous labels a treatment whereas the problem drinker picks up and leaves for someplace where they start life anew as a geographical cure. The reason it doesn’t work is because the person, when moving, takes themselves and all that dysfunctional behavior with them. It could not be any more true in my case. Also, as luck would have it, I moved down the dirt road to one of the biggest cocaine dealers in or around those parts. At first I really tried to go the straight and narrow. With each day came temptation. I failed miserably. Sorry to report, but I was drinking within my first few days there. After that, it didn’t take long for my desire to do illegal drugs to come back either. Of all things, I even did blotter acid one night. For the record, that was my last LSD experience. Nothing too wild. If I remember right, it was the rum that did me in that evening.
After staying a spell with friends, I moved into my own house. The place needed some fixing up. Was located in the next town over – McColl. Within a month, I was the new town drunk. No shit. Wish I wasn’t. Also, my road to hell doing cocaine really started to kick in at around this point. At first I was just snorting the leftovers in the corner of the bag. Up to now in my life, I’ve done coke on and off for like a decade. Always up the nose. Here’s a news flash – sharing straws, and snorting large amounts of coke can break blood vessels in the nose. Hello Hepatitis C. Of course, no one knew the simple act of sharing a straw could, decades later, kill you. My new friends would always leave me coke in the corner of the baggies they used, the nice people that they were. This time was different. I no longer seemed to have any limitations. You know, the mental list everyone has of things they will, and will not do. The one promise I always made myself, I finally broke. With my inner guard down, it didn’t take long till I was right alongside them having it pumped in my veins. At the time I thought that the best feeling in the world. Once you’re doing that, all bets are off. A.A. was correct. The move failed to straighten me up. All those plans and miles traveled for nothing. Matter of fact, I left South Carolina in worse shape then when I arrived. Now that’s saying a lot.
I had a friend give me a ride to Interstate I-95, going South. Two hands meant I could carry two bags. Brought with me mostly clothes. Got out of his car. We said our goodbyes. I promised to send a post card to let everyone know that I made it alright. One legged Danny pulled away and there I was standing there on the side of the highway, just about totally broke. Financially that is. I left a lot of possessions behind. Things I could not carry; dishes, bedding, etc. I didn’t care. Figured they made more then one of any of those items and that one day I’d just go get another. The little voice inside me told me I was killing myself. That this was all for the best. For the most part, I quit eating. Cocaine and warm Milwaukee Best Beer in a can was about all I was consuming. Oh, back then I also smoked a pack and a half to three packs of cigarettes, a day. I stuck out my thumb, and started walking east towards the State I was born in – Florida.
My first ride got me to the Sunshine State. Some chick a few years younger then I was. Many hours later and in the middle of the night, she left me on Interstate I-10, pointing west. A good ride. Nothing weird. Once dropped off, I didn’t go anywhere for a while. Set up a spot to crash in the woods on the side of the road. The exit had one gas station. Salvation really. My source for water and a public bathroom. While there, a young couple gave me a handful of black hashish. They were paranoid, said someone was following them. Doing my public duty, I took the pile which was wrapped in tinfoil. An empty soda can made for a good pipe. Man, did I get get stoned. It took the edge off not doing any other mind altering substances. I was a few days into not using cocaine. Mentally, I pictured myself just walking away from the illegal substance, pretending like I never really did it. It worked until my arms started itching. Springing ahead, it took me at least two years to finally arrive at peace with myself. I believed that after the first shot, that I’d be hooked. I knew I would dig it that much. It’s a high like no other. I disguised the truth at first, that I was a drug addict, by saying how I could control my cocaine use. Experience will speak to you now; you don’t control cocaine. It controls you. Not a physical addiction like heroin. Cocaine grabs a hold of you mentally. Do it enough times and it won’t let go without a fight.
My next ride took me to Florida’s capitol city – Tallahassee. A preacher and his driving companion were the people who gave me a ride. He wanted me to participate in a short prayer service in return for a private room in a nice hotel. After about ten minutes, he prayed over me with his driving companion in tow. He said he detected small, playful demons in me. Seeing how it was now a couple days since I had any cocaine, I agreed with him and sat there as they prayed for the demon’s removal. After that they left, telling me a wake up call would be round 8AM. Breakfast at 8:30AM, and like the room, free. They soon departed and hoped I had a safe trip to Houston. That was my destination. Before catching a lift out of town, I sent Danny a post card. I kept my word. For the record, I also called a few years later just to say hello. I was indeed remembered, and the ones I talked to were grateful to hear of my successful sobriety.
I hitched out of Tallahassee, catching a ride with an older gentleman driving an older car. I think he just wanted company. Not in a perverted way. It was still a long way to Texas. In the beginning, I told him my story. The rest of the way we were cool. He purchased coffee and all the meals. We stopped in Louisiana so he could bang this woman he knew. They went in the bedroom together, and I sat there in the ladies living room watching TV. I didn’t mind. Our next stop was Houston.
I remember reaching our destination. It was early in the month of August, when we arrived in downtown Houston. I’ve hung in New York City as a teenager. I knew at least some of what it was like in the big city. My ride dropped me off in Herman Park and gave me twenty bucks. I found my way to a bar and drank up damn near every dime I had. After that I slept in the park for a couple days. The bartender was cool and let me keep my bags there in a back room. I finished my hash at the Astrodome. Once I knew I was ready, I had a place to call where I could get off drugs and alcohol. It would also provide a roof over my head and three squares. The catch was I had to want to be there. The place was called Texas House. All I needed was a desire to stop drinking. I did still have moments of clarity. My mind was made up. Too bad my body didn’t want to stop without a fight.
This is when I went through the DT’s. At one point I’m rushed to an emergency room. No drugs or booze in my system and my insides were screaming. In five days I was back at Texas House, where I end up residing for about four months. I worked as a house manager for them, learning about alcoholism and various mental health problems. An experience I’ll never forget.
Years went by. I divorced my first wife. Traveled and moved around some. Various jobs. I managed a casino collage for about a year until the money ran out. The owner was going through a divorce and the husband would drink away the profits. Didn’t matter what I did, the only direction this school was going was down.
Pot I put aside for longs periods of time, but sooner or later would always pick back up. It’s been that way since the year 1973. I’m enjoying being an active smoker nowadays. As for the other means of catching a buzz…no booze to really speak of. If I want a glass of wine or a bottle of beer, it’s there. Nothing I do that often. Acid reflux is really what prevents me from drinking alcohol again. No fun in it. I end up getting sick, and that’s that. A glass of chilled red wine, or a bottle of good imported beer would give me a slight buzz. I allow myself the choice. Nothing I would recommend for anyone else, especially a real alcoholic.
I can’t remember the last time I took an illegal drug just to get stoned. I’ve been cocaine-free since I hitched to Houston. Which leaves pot. Nowadays, I’d rather take a few puffs than pop a pill. When that applies, I do just that. And as for recreational fun, there’s nothing better than good old Mary Jane. It enhances the senses and opens the mind. Unlike booze where one can totally lose their faculties, with cannabis I’m able to be in control more. I do two or three good hits of regular weed and stop. I like having and maintaining a buzz as compared to being stoned. One too many drinks and I’d be totally out of it. It’s not the same with pot. All the more reason to keep using it.
Note: You may contact Uncle G, in care of this website: Ganjagrannysez@greenribbonworld.com
or try contacting him directly at: UncleGsCorner@gmail.com
PS (Post Script):
01.) Our Website: Please take a moment and sign our guest book / petition. Much appreciated.
02.) The main purpose for writing this every month is so people can read about cannabis in a more positive, and sometimes humorous fashion. If enjoyed, don’t keep it a secret. Make like a joint…provide the link…..and pass it on.
Thank you !!!