3 months in boot camp prison had done wonders for me. I was in vastly better shape physically. Eating and exercising on the regular, plus eight hours a day of swinging an axe clearing forestry will do that. They taught me about routine, responsibility and teamwork. Its amazing how little sympathy you get from people when you’re not paying them directly. They asked me why I was on medication and I said I was crazy. They told me I was full of shit. I said I was depressed, they asked me to do more push ups. When I did get medications, I was required to work into the night sawing wood to pay for it. I gained a great deal of confidence in myself and my ability to face the world. I also came out of this camp with a GED, providing me the ability to further my education. Although I didn’t have much of a choice, this was the first thing I had finished in my life, and I felt a sense of accomplishment. I fully expected to be a better man when I went home.
The problem with freedom is what you do with it. Once I was finally free I needed to celebrate. I got together with a friend from the prison, and some girls I knew from Charter. It was the perfect recipe for disaster. My parents had left town, with the keys to a 280Z sitting on the table. I decided to go pick everyone up and get some vodka and jello. I also picked up a can of butane for myself. The night was going well so far. I was trying to hook up with one girl and ended up in a foursome with two other girls and my friend. Of course the one girl I brought wasn’t happy and I had to take her home.
When I got back the party was over, and I had to drive my friend and the two other girls home. It was interesting getting everyone in a two seater sports car. I managed to get one of the girls home, but I was coming down at this point and decided to start hitting the butane. The yellow line in the road grew brighter and brighter, then I felt several bumps in the road, a crash, and then darkness. I could hear the girl screaming and suddenly saw the door handle in the darkness. I reached for it and opened the door. As I stepped outside I saw that we veered off the road into the woods. The front end of the car was wrapped around a tree. I was in the middle of the woods in my boxers and nothing else. We fortunately had seat belts on, but the girl had struck her head on the windshield. I threw my butane can into the woods, and managed to make my way to the road to flag someone down for assistance.
When the police arrived, they took us in an ambulance. There were no major injuries, and at this point I was no longer drunk. They gave me a breathalyzer which came up under the legal limit, but I was still underage. I was charged with reckless driving and sent on my way. This time I had to call my parents on vacation and inform them that I had screwed up again. Of course it was the usual stories. I went off the road a bit and lost control. The truth never suited me.
Well I went back to the first girl I had driven home and apologized for my behavior. We started hanging out more and more, and eventually lived together for about 6 months. We had to move out of where she was staying and in with her parents since I couldn’t get or keep a job. So we decided to get married to make her parents happy. He was a church pastor, so basically the wedding came and went at no cost to us. I didn’t want to go back home a failure again so I went through with it all with no contest. Problem was we had two things in common, smoking pot and having sex. I realized the drugs were an issue for me so I quit and decided I would only drink from now on. She decided she didn’t want to have sex anymore after we got married. So there really wasn’t anything left after that. I also rekindled an old friendship from high school and met several of his new friends. One of those friends was a fiery red head who I became closely acquainted with during a party at his parents’ house. I knew the marriage was over at that point so we separated after only 6 months together.
To be continued…