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Fishing in Public

Cutting the Mustard

by | Nov 6, 2022

Hey, folks. I know I’ve been incredibly lax in writing, but alas, I do have something of an alibi. It goes back as far as the start of the pandemic. During them days, our take-homes at the clinic was every two weeks, instead of weekly, and things were generally fucked up. I might have a councilor for one week, gone the next. 

The counseling aspect of the clinic is taken very serious. When you miss counseling, it’s a mortal sin at my clinic. So, I did miss a couple of sessions — I’ll plead guilty to that. And at the same time, I’m having health problems, so’s I end up taking some shots of morphine. All legit, mind you — under prescription, you see? And I happened to end up with a councilor who don’t much care for me. 

So I ended up missing some sessions, plus the sin of opiates. Now, like I say, the morph was legit, but there was something about the way the councilor mentioned it — I knew I was in deep. Sure enough, she had just enough to hang me, so goodbye take-homes. 

You know what sucks is that another councilor would’ve seen my plight and would’ve had me come in for a couple one-on-ones so we could’ve discussed my troubles and covered up my misses. Well, not this woman. I didn’t even know her by name. 

Somehow (just to brag a bit) I managed to keep my patience — very, very important at the clinic — and started my way down the road and back again. 

My attendance had gotten to be poor. The clinic started closing early on afternoons, and I managed to get my schedule changed back to a.m.’s. I had a pick-up time of 8:35. Oh boy, get back in time for Perry Mason! Right — forget it! Never once did I get picked up and returned by 10 o’clock. One driver drove the long way deliberately! Oh well. 

When you’re 69 years of age, you can get a mighty slow start getting up in the morning. Then another problem. I get this ride from a transportation organization and they got hit by the labor shortage like all the other outfits on the horizon. Sometimes they can’t quite make it exactly on time. The clinic’s got a rule that if you miss showing up for one group meeting, you can’t sign up for another on a first-come-first-serve basis. Somehow I managed to get through that minefield. You know, some days it feels as if the whole friggin’ world is against you. 

Then what happens is I meet the staff of the clinic. I had, of course, known them on a hi-and-bye basis, but I started to really get to know them. And what a great bunch of folks! I should have expected that, they being nurses and all. I’ve always had admiration for nurses. And — it just dawns on me — there’s no males to frig things up out there. 

Boy, did they ever help me out. And I’m definitely a hard guy to assist. Let me put it like this. They have a program the same as, say, telehealth, that’s pretty neat once you learn it. But my problem is I can’t even send a text. I’m just lost when it comes to Wi-Fi. 

I’ve gotten so much help. My friend Bob procured for me a real nice Android tablet. But now I lost him, so he can’t explain things. Then, ta-da! — a councilor at CAP steps in and tries to take over, and bam, we’re stuck in quicksand. I guess I need a person with patience and extra time, but it’s hard for the councilor. 

Still, as far as it goes, I feel like a million bucks. Although I bombed at telehealth, I’ve managed to come out ahead in other groups. And I do really believe I’d never’ve made it without this new councilor. Swear to Christ. She has filled the gap the other girl left and really come to my rescue. More than I could’ve hoped for, including the return of my weekly take-homes. 

At one point I was gonna jump ship, just say, Fuck the clinic, I’ve had it. Boy, did I get lucky running into this right person. 

Now, during all this, one day I realized I was fucking senile. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what I got — a loss of cognitive abilities associated with old age. I’m not sure of the details of this diagnosis, but it had something to do with mustard. I think what happened is I lost it (the mustard). I still can’t find it.

I don’t think I have Alzheimer’s — at least, I didn’t. Now I’m not so sure. Do they got a test that’ll tell you what you got? I don’t know for sure. It could just be the cumulative reaction to getting high for what seems like millennia. Whatever, it does make memory an uphill battle.                                     

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