I don’t talk about it a lot, but I’ve been in an intensive outpatient program for the last five weeks. I graduate next Friday and then go into an aftercare program at the hospital. It’s been a really good five weeks, to be honest. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve met some fantastic people, and I have come to terms with a lot of my shit, mentally, emotionally, and physically. The program has kept me sober, and has helped me with all the mental/emotional shit that comes from being batshit insane. It’s a good thing. I feel healthy and strong for the first time in FOREVER, and I’ve even found a NON-12 step program to back it up. This is huge. We who have addiction issues and don’t subscribe to the 12 steps are kinda left in the lurch, and finding this program has been great. So all in all, things have been really good.
Of course, I gotta be me, so naturally I have to be a pain in the ass every step of the way. The most fun is messing with one particular clinician, who thinks he is SO funny and SO witty, and SUCH a card. He’s really cheesier than Velveeta, so I’ve had a great deal of fun at his expense. It’s really of his own doing, when you look at the facts. He called me out for wearing a Red Sox t-shirt in New Jersey, which got my gears grinding. Then he made fun of my “Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters” t-shirt, even though no one in the room had any idea what it even meant, much less that it was a clever nod to my beloved X-Men. Those are just two examples of many, so suffice it to say that I’ve been plotting his downfall for weeks. Today I got that opportunity. And my beloved little squirrels? It was delicious.
Picture it. We’re in group, slugging coffee, waiting to see what twee little lecture or activity we’d be doing that morning. Today we had to write a letter to our addiction. Oh Jeebus take the wheel, were they serious? They were. We hemmed and hawed, and many eyes were rolled. But in the end we took our papers and pencils and did it. That’s when Mr. Man sealed his doom. He grinned and said offhandedly, “Five bonus points if you write a haiku.”
What what what? Was this a joke? WAS THIS A CHALLENGE?!?! Was the proverbial gauntlet thrown? My face lit up and I curled my lip into a sneer. He wanted a haiku, he was gonna get a haiku. So this is what I wrote.
You miserable bitch
Vodka rotting my liver
Also I got fat
But I didn’t stop there. OH NO, I did not stop there. I couldn’t do just ONE haiku. I pressed on. The 5-7-5 poetry SANG to me, people. I was going to beat Mr. Man at his own game.
Booze out of plastic
That little cap makes me spill
Drooling hooch all day
Now I was on a roll. The poetry kept coming, and I giggled and scrawled more and more.
Now I have no fun
Just kidding, booze is bad right?
Coffee helps me live
It was about this time that we started sharing what we had written. I reminded Mr. Man that he had issued a challenge, and read all my haikus. He then accused me of being a smartass. Moi? A smartass?! And that’s what brought the punchline. I sat back in my chair, grinned, and said the following.
“I wasn’t being a smartass. Had I been a smartass, I would have written the whole thing in iambic pentameter. But Shakespeare got to get paid, son. You get haikus. Don’t challenge me. My father is a professor of English. You will lose, Buster Brown.”
I’m sure they’re going to miss me SO MUCH there.