Seventy-Two Hours

Well I decided not to run. Thank God nobody noticed when I went down to Espresso Bay on Friday morning and searched for Amtrak tickets then rethought my decision and decided to go back and at least see what my probation officer had to say. It turned out my P.O. decided just to give me a seventy-two hour detainer and take me out of the transition house, which is about the best thing that could’ve happened. Well except the seventy-two hours in jail.

I went into the jail at about 1500 (that’s military/jail time). They put me in a holding cell with a couple other guys— one seventeen year old in after he overdosed on “lean” (aka liquid codeine), one old guy who was in for a DUI, and a twenty-one year old in for missing a court date. It was cold as hell in there and I just wanted to lay down. So I did, and pulled the age old pull-your-tee-shirt-over-your-knees move to at least keep some warmth on the cold, hard concrete. After a bit an officer came in with some blankets. After a little longer, I got a mattress. 

At about 0130 I was booked in and transferred to the infamous “drunk tank”, the worst place in Traverse City that I know of. There was a guy there also from the transition house who was obviously high on something. He was waddling around mumbling to himself. In the morning I was woken to the highon clapping and giggling. The sergeant escorted him out, never to be seen again… The rest of the day I spent in and out of sleep, listening to people’s conversations. It’s amazing the gossip I’ve heard in jail. Seriously, it seems everything there is to be known about the scum of this town, I’ve heard at least two or three times.

Sunday was excruciatingly boring. Just listening to more conversations. I started reading the Bible, I was going to read the Gospels. Then we got some more books. I read a couple of chapters of a CJ Box novel. I really couldn’t get into it. Then I picked up a John Grisham book. If I was staying for longer I definitely would’ve finished it. It wasn’t like his usual courtroom dramas. It was called Calico Joe, and it was a baseball story. It reminded me of a story I just listened to by Stephen King, which wasn’t a horror story like his usual stories, just a good old American baseball story. I knew I wouldn’t finish this book either, and there’s an age old myth in jail that says if you don’t finish a book in jail, you’ll come back to finish it. 

Today started out with impatience. It’s weird that you can be locked up for months, even years, and accept it, but the day you’re supposed to get out, each minute, second, moment you have left, you really cannot wait. 1500 came around, and I saw out the window that they had my stuff ready to go, but the officers shot the shit for like an hour. Finally they came and got me at four o’clock. Outside, I saw my probation officer who told me to come see him in the morning. I picked up and deposited my check. I went over to my parents’ house and called around to different hotels. I proposed the idea of borrowing their pop-up camper, but my Aunt has it her parents’ cabin over on Lake Huron. If I can get it in the next week or so I’ll live in that over at Traverse City State Park. In the meantime I’m at Day’s Inn, drinking Coors, and watching The Office. I’m glad I didn’t abscond.

Fugitive Of Justice

Man, I’m sorry to be writing this but the gig’s up. I blew a .027 at the transition house. There’s no denying I was drinking. I went to Right Brain Brewery again today and had a few too many drinks. I’m on my last chance with probation, so I don’t see any reason not to leave. I’m not sure how I’m going to get away tonight as there’s only two doors, one with an emergency alarm and another right in front of the office. I have a feeling they’re going to call the police as soon as they realize I’m trying to leave. I texted my boss and told him I’m sorry. He said they like me there and I’m welcome back whenever I might be able to work again. 

One thing’s for sure, if I get away from Traverse City without being arrested, this blog is going to get a lot more interesting. I’m going to buy a Greyhound ticket tomorrow and go to Colorado on Saturday. I’ll go to Durango, in the southwest corner of the state and try to get a job there

BAC

I don’t know what to say today. I’ve been on edge all day, about to pack my bags and just leave. I had a few beers this morning, stopped into Right Brain Brewery this afternoon and had a glass of their Firestarter Chipotle Porter. Delicious, I don’t know if it was worth me stressing so hard about my breathalyzer test tonight, but it was tasty. I’m grateful to one of my fellow criminals who pointed out to me that we don’t have to test until 10:00pm. I thought it was 9.00pm.

I was told this morning that if I don’t pay all the debt I have with this transition house, including the time I spent unemployed and looking for work, I was told if I don’t pay all of that I won’t be able to go anywhere including my sister’s graduation. I’m not going to name the person in charge of this decision but I’ll just say she is not a very likable person.

Close Call

This morning I went to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting at Jacob’s Well. I had quite a bit of booze this morning and afternoon. I fell asleep at about three pm and woke up at about seven. I started to walk to the AA meeting on Sybrandt Road, but with the headache and light drizzle, I didn’t feel like walking all the way there. When I got back, I took a hot shower and laid back down for half an hour.

Then came the moment this blog almost became interesting. I had to PBT before nine pm, and when I did, I blew a .007, which is extremely low. I almost admitted to drinking right then and there. Thank God I didn’t. The house manager said to come back in five minutes. I went to my room and started to contemplate leaving. God, I thought, what am I going to tell my boss? There seemed no escaping it, I was going to be kicked out and arrested. I wouldn’t go down that easily. I went back to blow again and this time I blew .000. The manager asked if I had just brushed my teeth, and I replied that yes, in fact, I had. And that was the end of that. I was so close to admitting guilt, which would have been a grave mistake. I think the guy was doing me a favor, after seeing me work my ass off lately, but I don’t know for sure. I was so close to packing my bags and catching the Greyhound tomorrow morning. I’m probably going to ditch the beer I have in my backpack tomorrow morning.

I found a girl’s wallet on the railroad tracks today. I tried to reach out to her on Facebook, but she still hasn’t responded. I hope she’s okay.

If I Fail Probation

This morning I walked to an AA meeting up on Cedar Run Rd. I say “up” not because it’s out of town or north of where I live (how a lot of people use the word “up” in America), I say “up” because it’s mostly an uphill walk. It was drizzling rain the whole walk. I stopped at Oleson’s grocery store on the way back and bought a pack of Pall Mall’s and ten dollars in scratch-offs. I know that seems like a white trash move but I rarely buy lotto tickets and I smoke Pall Mall’s ironically, so fuck you. I didn’t have a single winning ticket and am inclined to never buy a lottery ticket again.

I quit the photography project. I may still buy a roll of film here and there and I definitely still have a project I want to do in the fall, but it’s a relief not to have to commit to this thing and spend money on something that is starting to bore me. I think a couple of really great pictures came out of it. I’ll still post the last few rolls once they come in and finish the roll that’s currently in my camera.

I’ve been going to Espresso Bay everyday before work to drink a coffee and read a few chapters from my book. I wonder what I’d do if I’m caught where I’m technically not allowed. I’ve been thinking a lot today about what I’d do if I was told I’m kicked out of the transition house. I was late to a couple of PBTs over the past week and being kicked out is a real possibility. My probation officer says that if I’m kicked out, I’m going back to jail. If I knew that my punishment isn’t increased or only increased a little if I abscond, then I’d definitely leave town. I’d probably lose my job anyway, so I might as well try and make a run for it. I have about a thousand dollars and I think I could live off that for a bit. To be honest, I’d probably start hitting the bottle pretty hard. If I were to skip out on probation I’d probably head back out west to southwest Colorado, start drinking cheap beer and whiskey, and maybe I’d finish writing this book I’ve started and see if I could sling that on Amazon while living in a motel. Unfortunately, I think I’m cornered as the consequences of leaving would be exponentially worse as long as I’m running from the court. If losing my job wasn’t in the equation I think that maybe failing probation might be a good thing as my sentencing guidelines are like three to nine months and I’ve already served like seven months. All-in-all I believe everything is going to work out. There are much worse positions in the world than where I’m at. I’m easily in the top third in regards to privileges in this country and top tenth in the world.

Fractious Day

I hate when I have a day off and I fail to make something good of it. It rained all day, which is not a problem, just an observation. What is a problem is my irritability with everything and everyone who’s stepped into my world today. My phone is acting crazy, podcasts will start and restart, skip and pause without any input at all. I was simply unable to enjoy anything that usually entertains me. I’m feeling less excited about things such as photography, deejaying, work, etcetera.

I walked and rode the damn bus all across the south side of town today.

I tried reading my book in Qdoba since it’s no longer safe for me to read at the coffee shop before work (see Scheduling Conflict II) but it didn’t feel right. I don’t want my memory of this book tainted by high school kids shouting at one another, hard seats, and Mexican music.

The good news is that I saw my probation officer this morning and wasn’t arrested. Also, I won ten dollars on a one dollar scratch-off ticket. I got a free pack of Pall Mall Red 100s.

I guess I have to meet with somebody tomorrow and I have no idea what it’s about, so there’s extra stress.

The List

Today I learned I was almost booted from the program I’m in. I don’t know what exactly caused the director to have mercy on me, but I was terrifyingly close to going to jail, maybe prison for missing my classes last week. If in the next thirty days I’m caught not going to classes or appointments or being anywhere I’m not technically supposed to be, I’m finished so I guess my pre-work coffee is on hold for the next few weeks (or at least I’ll have to go in the back room and be discrete about it).

I looked into Boardman Flats apartments. If I was able to pay for the first year, I’d almost be guaranteed acceptance.

I called WNMC. They should be setting me up for training next week…

I got The Oregon Trail in the mail. I’ve never played The Oregon Trail and always felt out of the loop. Well I made it to the Willamette Valley with my four siblings. Okay well three of us made it. One died and I missed it and Molly drowned in the Columbia River after our raft hit a rock. I preordered The Oregon Trail handheld game a few weeks ago on Best Buy’s website.

I got a bike today. A Schwinn “Sportrock”.

I’m going to say this again on Thursday— I am not proud of this week’s roll of film but I have made a list of forty-nine of the next rolls’ subjects and they range from different streets in Traverse City, different neighborhoods, nearby villages, to clouds and Lake Michigan. I like to think it’s a sophisticated, well thought-out list and I really look forward to carrying it out.

Scheduling Conflict III

The sun is shining. It’s sixty-two. The sky is blue. The air has a golden hue. It’s spring, I suppose.

I went to an AA meeting at the Presbyterian Church over by Tom’s East Bay. I stopped into work to get my charger that I left last night. I got quite a fun welcome from my coworkers. It smelled terrible in there compared with the fresh breeze coming off the bay.

While I was dicking around on my laptop my probation officer came in out of the abyss. I thought I was going to jail until we started talking a bit. Of course he says he heard that I didn’t go to my class yesterday. Says I need to complete that shit or else I’ll be headed to Jackson. I really have to remember to cross my t’s and dot my i’s (although I never cross my i’s, it’s unnecessary unless you’re asking for a pardon from the governor), really have to remember my p’s and q’s the next few weeks, until I’m off the radar because I’m on thin ice these days.

I bought a picture frame at Goodwill, today. The glass broke while I was putting it in my bag. As I sat through an AA meeting I inspected the frame and realized it was a 8” by 10” frame. Not ideal for a 2:3 photo. So, I took the glass out completely, returned it like nothing happened, and bought a new frame, a bigger frame, that seems to be of more appropriate proportions.

Cunard Confusion

Another smooth night working at the barbecue. I explained to my boss that I’m on felony probation. It didn’t faze him. Not surprisingly I’m not the only felon that works there. 

I got my first paycheck. $50 for the five hours I worked last week. Boss says I’ll get my first raise in a few weeks. I’m going to open a savings account at TBA Credit Union tomorrow. Thus begins a year of saving.

Engrained in the conception of my idea to travel to the UK was the notion that I’d be sailing back to the US on the Queen Mary 2. I found a passage from Southampton to New York for only $1400. I went on Cunard’s site today just to double check the price. I started to book a trip just to see what it would look like at check-out. And the price for one ticket at check-out was around $2500. Confused, I called Cunard’s 1(800) number and it was explained that $1400 is per person if two people book one cabin. I’m wary of paying five-plus weeks pay for a one week voyage. Now, I’m disheartened as I’ve invested so much interest in the idea of returning from a vacation in Britain by sea. The price of tickets drop considerably in the months leading up to the date of embarkment. So I think what I may do is book a flight and if while I’m in the UK the price for a cabin drops below $2000 I’ll cancel the flight. Maybe I’ll come into some quick cash in the coming year. We’ll see.

Psychiatric Medications

So I didn’t go to jail for skipping AA to go to The Brew but I’m still a little worried about seeing my probation officer tomorrow morning. You see, I’m on felony probation for passing out in a Rite Aid storeroom, waking up after they closed, and drinking every alcoholic beverage my bladder could handle. That happened last April. On January 28th I had been sober for about a month. I picked up an unopened Natural Ice I found in the snow and chugged it in the bathroom of the bus station. I proceeded to drink several bottles of wine and passed out in the Bayshore Resort. I was arrested and charged with trespassing and a probation violation. The trespassing was quickly resolved, but it took about fifty days before I saw a judge about the probation violation. Those fifty days weren’t terrible. I caught up with an old friend, watched MSNBC and the Super Bowl, ate Twinkies, and read. The judge released me with the added condition that I take all medication as prescribed. I’m currently prescribed Naltrexone and Olanzapine. I haven’t been taking them every day and there’s a record to show. I’m worried that my p.o. is going to violate me tomorrow.

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that’s supposed to reduce the desire to drink and block the pleasurable effects of alcohol. I believe it’s working for me. It may be a placebo but I used to drink at every opportunity I could, now at least I’m blind to alcohol and at most I’m repulsed by it. There’s a lot of talk online of the “Sinclair Method” where a person drinks small amounts while taking the medication and I guess it’s supposed to retrain the brain not to value alcohol as much.

Olanzapine is an anti-psychotic that I take at night. It’s used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This one doesn’t seem to do anything that I can notice. I wonder if this stuff does anything at all. Is this shit just a sugar pill that big Pharma sells to crazy people who are caught up in the mental health business? I don’t like the idea of taking psych meds, period. I feel like a guinea pig for the mental health industry who’ve built a business turning people’s spiritual, emotional, and social problems into a way to sell weird chemicals like Olanzapine. Maybe that’s the schizo in me talking.

I haven’t been taking these medicines as often as I’m supposed to. Not because I’m opposed to taking them (although a part of me is) but because I just forget sometimes. Hopefully my p.o. doesn’t bring it up in our meeting tomorrow.

Not Where I’m Supposed To Be II

Today I had two classes that I’m supposed to take as a part of staying at the transition house. The first is called Moral Reconation Therapy. I had to make a presentation where I explain to the class how I’ve been dishonest in my life. It was pretty easy, I went on to explain how four years ago I skirted all of my responsibilities, skipped town, and basically became a drifter. The second class was called Mental Wellness, where basically we just vent our frustrations. I had an earbud in the whole time and listened to 99% Invisible [podcast].

Later, about an hour ago, I signed out to go to an AA meeting. Once again I skipped the meeting and went to The Brew. My worst fear was realized. I was browsing Reddit when a bearded man walked up to me. At first I didn’t recognize him. He said, “you should head back to The Path [transition house]”. I immediately knew I was fucked. It was Matt, the director. When I got back I asked what was going to happen and was told that the worst that’ll probably happen is that I’ll have to sit a few nights in jail. I work tomorrow and absolutely cannot afford this. I’m dreading what my probation officer’s reaction will be. If I go back to jail, I’m probably going to prison, so if there aren’t any posts in the following days, well, that’s what probably happened. I have to talk to Matt tomorrow before I’m allowed to leave the house.

Not Where I’m Supposed To Be

Today was another successful day at work. Yesterday, I forgot to mention what I ate. “The Bacon Explosion” A smoked piece of pork wrapped in bacon and topped with cheddar, bacon, and barbecue sauce. Today I had a brisket sandwich.

I signed out of the transition house to go to an AA meeting. But instead I met up with DJ, who gave me a couple bucks for a pack of Smoker’s Choice. Now I’m at the Brew. I feel weird. Depressed maybe? I finally have a place to live and what seems like a steady job, but the sense that I might go back to jail is looming. Plus, the weight of loneliness and the turmoil of the last four years sits heavily on my soul. Hopefully the weather improves. I think I’ve read that this can be the most depressing time of year for a lot of people. It makes sense.

I saw a kid I used to know from the parking lot of the Brew back when I was living at The Whiting Hotel and would hang around there everyday and shoot the shit. He said he’s living down in Detroit. He was stoked about how little he pays for rent. It makes me wonder what I’m missing down there, and how I might be wasting my twenties in this town.

I was thinking about renaming this blog. Jacob’s Daily Journal is just a little bland. I want to incorporate the word electrocuter somehow since I’ve started to use this nickname on other sites. The name was inspired by the name of a song by Dabrye on the album Three/Three. 

First Post

I was reading Daniel J. Boorstin’s book The Discoverers and he was talking about how many days there are in the average life. If you expect to live to be eighty years old then you should expect to live 29,200 days. If you divide that into weeks you have 4,160. If you divide that into months you have 960. It’s not a lot. As I’m getting older I’m becoming more aware of how little time I have in each day. Continuously contemplating the number of experiences I have room for is something I do regularly. I came up with the notion, while riding the bus today, that it may add some meaning to my days if I keep a record of them. It’ll give me something that I can look back on and see the different dimensions of my life as it was. And so here I am writing this journal.

My life is very stressful right now. I’m on felony probation, I’m living in a transition house, and I’m unemployed. I’ve essentially been homeless for four years living in shelters, jails and on sidewalks all over the western United States, drinking and drifting from city to city. In this blog I may go back and revisit some of those experiences and explain how I got there but right now I’d just like to write about today.

There are things I want to do. I want to write a book. I have an idea for a book about a cannibalistic cult that I’m going to get started on soon. I also want to travel once I’m off probation. I have a plan to fly to London and explore Great Britain next year.

Things I own:

  • Box of Chamomile Tea
  • Holy Bible
  • Luther’s Small Catechism
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
  • A Simple Path by Mother Teresa
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (“The Big Book”)
  • At Home by Bill Bryson
  • Going Rouge by Betsy Reed (Yes I spelled that right. It’s a book about Sarah Palin that I bought when I was drunk.)
  • The Americans: The Colonial Experience by Daniel J. Boorstin
  • Escaping Your Prison (This crazy book for a “Moral Recognition Therapy” class I have to take)
  • Pile of my mother’s CDs (which I intended to rip to my hard drive but only ripped about a dozen of)
  • Green backpack
  • Nunn Bush Hiking shoes
  • Eddie Bauer Winter jacket
  • 13” Mid 2012 MacBook Pro
  • Mouse
  • Some shitty headphones
  • iPhone 6s
  • Broken iPhone 5c
  • Chargers
  • Casio W-217H digital watch
  • Tobacco pipe
  • Tobacco
  • Pack of Smoker’s Choice Blue cigars
  • Few T-shirts
  • Few pairs of pants
  • Few sweaters
  • Socks
  • Detroit Lions winter hat
  • Some hygiene products
  • Black leather wallet (that I stole in high school)
  • Some change

That’s about it really.

Chamomile tea, as you may know, is a great way to end the night. I have a cheap box of Chamomile from Save a Lot and have made a habit of drinking it every night before I put on Interlochen Public Radio and fall asleep.