The place I moved to in Atenas was on the property of a friend of mine and was too expensive and too big for me but I made the first months payment. I had moved in mid-way through December and was preparing for the hardest time of year, the Christmas holidays and the New Year’s celebrations. Facing these alone every year for a long time was growing on me and although my words were saying “I am used to it”, my heart was crying out for love and companionship. Every year I would find this companion at the bottom of a bottle.
A buddy of mine I had worked with at Valcor lived down the hill from me, but Hunter had the same addiction problems as I did. Unlike me, Hunter would show his emotions when he drank and it usually resulted in uncomfortable stories or yelling. Although I knew he cared about me as a friend, being around him both frustrated and embarrassed me. I was one of those drunks that thought that when I was drunk I acted normal and well behaved. Looking back I see that I was wrong and knew it is was why I drove people away. I was to everyone else as Hunter was to me.
I had enough money to pretty much get through the holidays with 2 pachas (about 25 shots) of vodka each day. I spent every day drinking and finally on New Year’s Eve broke down and cried. All I could think to myself was “where was my life heading and what was the point of living?” After an alcoholic blur that was the holidays I was running low on money and needed to move into a room on the property that I was living. I could not afford the $400 a month in the house I was living and the room that was in the house only cost $200 a month which I could pay by the week. I was 2 weeks away from being homeless.
I gathered what mental strength I had left and took a job with another friend of mine changing people from AT&T to Birch communications for their telephone lines. This job consisted of about 100 plus calls each day to people asking them “If I could keep all their lines the same and cut their bill by 25 to 30% would they think about witching to Birch?.” It was not something I wanted to do but did not have a choice. Each morning there would be a morning session to smoke a bowl and then we would hit the phones. It is pretty amazing how pot makes it so you do not care if someone talks bad to you.
When I look back on this job and time of my life, I think in actuality it was a negative thing to have these crutches and friends to fall back on. I know the path we take leads us to where we are today and we needed to experience everything that happens to us to get us to where we are today, but in hindsight being able to continue my drunken lifestyle lead to my destruction. You surround yourself with people that can either help you get back on your feet or can continue holding you down. I chose the latter.
When reminiscing about those days 2 main stories stick out in my head to show that this was truly rock bottom and the people I was around were examples of the bottom of the barrel. Both stories are quite disturbing and involve masturbation in one way or another.
The first was with Hunter. I had said that he was embarrassing to be around well this will pretty much exemplify this to perfection. I had been working at the mind numbing repetitive call job when Hunter called and said that he needed someone to talk to. In almost all cases this meant that Hunter had fallen in love with another girl in about 10 minutes and she had rejected him. This again was the case, except this time he had gotten in touch with a girl he had dated 20 years before and after they had spoken for about 2 weeks she had told him she was dating someone. He considered this rejection and needed someone to vent his feelings. Not looking forward to this I said ok anyway.
We had decided to meet at a bar in Atenas at about 6 pm after I got back from work. If probably would have been bearable had we both arrived at the bar at 6pm but Hunter had been drinking since 5 pm. So far 5 shots and 5 beers were in his system. When I arrived there was what sounded like a woman crying in the bathroom. The bartender who knew who I was just gave me a look like “you need to get your boy the hell out of here.” Hunter exited the bathroom with his eyes filled with tears. He saw me and made a v-line towards a sober me. After a hug that lasted too long, he then began announcing to everyone at the bar in both English and Spanish (just in case that no one understood the English)…..”I have been alone for 20 years and masturbating 20 years because no woman wants me.” After shouting this about 15 times he embraced me again. I am not cold hearted but this was too much. I walked to the center of town alone and got drunk enough to forget at least for a little while how alone I was inside.
The nest story is pretty much a summation of where I was in life and how far I had fallen. In the house where I lived was a family from which I was renting the room. The son was named Franck and after having 2 children with his ex, decided to tell her that he was gay. Obviously the mother of the children was not fit to be the care-giver of these children as Franck smoked crack outside his room every night and everyday he would walk down the property to smoke it away from his children and then come back and “take care of them.”
I guess I cannot criticize too much since I now was doing cocaine about every other day. One day I asked if he could take me to buy coke. He said that he would and we drove off. While on the road he smoked a couple of rocks and then we arrived in a ghetto in Alajuela to purchase about a gram of coke for me and he bought 10 more rocks for him. This would usually constitute the end of a drug transaction and I expected us to be then returning home. Instead we drove to a field in the middle of nowhere and I felt quite uncomfortable. I took off across the field and down to one of Costa Rica’s polluted rivers only to turn around and see this high, gay guy following me. I tried to navigate some rocks in the river and fell in about up to my knees.
I headed back to the car with Franck chasing me with a terrifying look in his eyes. Upon arrival to the vehicle I convinced him to get in and drive back. We had made it about half a mile when he announced that he was thirsty and we were pulling into some random person’s ranch to find him water. I was actually kind of relieved as there were people around and he could not do anything to me. I sat outside with 5 Ticos and drank beer and ever through in money to buy another case. While outside we all noticed that Franck had been inside for quite a long time. The owner of the house went inside to return with a fire in his eyes. He motioned for me to come inside the house. After walking though the dining room I was greeted with a scene of Franck reclined in a chair masturbating in the middle of their living room. I yelled his name and walked out with the owner. I could not say anything but “sorry, and that we are leaving.”
Franck exited the house shortly and we headed to the car. Nothing was said as we pulled away as the tension and disgust filled the air. Ten minutes into the trip, Franck opened his mouth to say that “that happens to me a lot when I smoke.” I did not say anything and just counted the miles until I returned home and was safe in my room. I told Hunter the story later that night and he informed me that Franck was attracted to me and wanted to do sexual things with me. How far had I strayed from my path and my potential to be in this situation?
I was doing quite well at work and was actually starting to save a little money so I could soon move into my own place and get out of this situation. I thought that this might be the beginning of my steps forward in life. I had even started talking to a girl I knew from church choir when I was I high school. After communicating a while I found out that she had been attracted to me back then. Sharing stories and what we had been through, we both decided that we should give a relationship a try. She was trying to fulfill some vendetta because I rejected her in high school and I just wanted someone in my life. The fact that she said she had modeled in playboy was kind of icing on the cake of an immature fantasy based on outer beauty. This was my grasp to try to stop the fact that I was crying every day inside.
This ended up being 2 steps back emotionally as I took one step forward professionally. Little did I know that these next 6 months would almost be my last 6 months on Earth.
Next Up – The Playboy Model and Self Destruction