My Priceless Weekend
My weekend is actually on Sunday and Monday since I work on Saturdays now. I thought I would describe a typical weekend when I don’t have social plans, which does happen sometimes. First, there’s Saturday night. I get off work and go to Kick Butt Coffee to play on the internet for a while. A latte costs about $5 with the tip. I post a blog entry. I then rent a movie (An Education) from Red Box at the Wal-Mart and go home to watch the movie while I chain smoke and drink tea. I go to bed. A movie at the Red Box costs $1.
The next morning I start going through my latest issue of Vanity Fair for the hidden articles that aren’t features that I haven’t read yet. A copy of Vanity Fair costs about $5, but I bought it maybe three weekends ago, so that shouldn’t count. There’s a really cool little article on Preston Sturgess. I then decide to color my hair ‘cause, frankly, my roots have been showing for a while now.
By one o’clock I am out the door to the Denny’s down the street. Denny’s now offers free wi-fi and has this new cheap menu. So, I order chopped steak and green beans and corn with Texas toast for $8 and get a Diet Coke for free for that $8. I only eat half and take the rest home for later. So, lunch actually cost me only $4. See how I economize like that? I stay for about 90 minutes since it’s no longer the breakfast rush hour. I think about what to write for my next blog post and scan the internet for ideas. I am uninspired.
I need to get my haircut. This is the opposite of how I should do it. Cut and then color. Sue me. The hairdresser notices I missed some tiny spots near the roots on both sides of my head, behind the ears. No one will ever see it. My hair is cute again. The sum cost of cute hair for the weekend? Twenty bucks for the cut and $6 for a box of color that I actually bought about two months ago.
I am a walk-in. Of course, while I am waiting for the hairdresser to get free I have to kill time. The hairdresser is located on North Lamar in the new Chinatown shopping center. I decide to go to the Asian supermarket. I would have bought some fish, but I wasn’t planning to go home right away. So, no fish. But I did buy some cherries and some garlic and some shitake mushrooms and bean sprouts and red bell peppers and watercress and twelve grain bread. I think I’ll thaw a whole chicken I have in my freezer and maybe make an Asian soup in my Crock Pot. This cost me $15.
I go back to Kick Butt Coffee. I buy a $5 latte. Again, I am uninspired by the prospect of blogging. I watch the episode of Glee that aired episode before last on Hulu. I watch the next episode of Lost that I haven’t seen yet, one featuring a flash sideways with Desmond and Charlie.
Later, a talent show with poetry readings and some musical performances ensues. Some of the poets are energetic young people who give some really great group performances where they make some powerful sociological statements about the study of history and race.
I recognize an African American pastor from my neighborhood sitting in the booth next to me. He relocated to Austin after Katrina hit and made a new congregation for himself here. I nod and smile. He acknowledges me. I know he recognizes me even if he doesn’t remember my name. Some of the young poets attend his church, and he is here to see them.
A hot Brazilian man with a guitar then begins performing his own composition. A bossa nova. He’s really good. I stay for a song and then float out feeling like the girl from Ipanema.
I go to Walgreens. I hate to gross anyone out with too much information. You know I hate to do that. But I really have to buy a test kit and some medicine because I suspect that I am about to push a loaf of bread out of my birth canal, and I really need to get something to take care of that. That’s about $30. While I’m at Walgreens I rent another movie (Daybreakers) from the Red Box. I take that back home along with my groceries and my medicine and confirm that I am indeed incubating a loaf of Roman Meal.
The infection, which I haven’t had in about three years now, probably means that my blood sugar is high for some reason, or I’m stressed. I decide to forego dinner and take a blood sugar pill anyway. I watch Daybreakers while I drink hot tea and chain smoke.
Monday morning I wake up early because I have an appointment with my probation officer. I know. I’m a criminal. I haven’t mentioned that before. See, that thing about wanting to get help for my alcoholism. That’s true. I did make the decision that I wanted to quit. However, like all alcoholics, I’d still be drinking if there were no consequences for my actions. And one of my consequences was that I was convicted of DWI. So, now I get to visit a probation officer once a month and jump through tons of hoops.
I say a probation officer, but the truth is that I’m on my third. You’d think that I was a troublemaker with that kind of track record, but really it just means that unlike most people, I actually told the truth on my social worker’s assessment. (See the part about wanting to get help for my alcoholism in the paragraph immediately proceeding)
So, I got a second probation officer. And then I don’t speak Spanish, and my second probation officer does speak Spanish, and they needed him for the Spanish speakers. So, I got switched to a third probation officer who doesn’t speak Spanish. I don’t have to see all three of them at the same time. They just switch your case to a new officer. This one says that my identification and my MADD drunk driving panel certification are both missing. I’ve brought them in before…months before. Gotta love the government. I will bring them in again. Cost of copies: $1.
The probation officer gives me a way of taking care of 25 of my required sixty hours of community service. I am not an idiot. I will take the rinky-dink internet test on how to be a normal, functioning human being in society. Seriously. How hard can this be? I already pay rent and hold down a job. I know what a resume is and how to write one. This is going to be a piece of cake.
I blow on a breathalizer. It comes up 0.00. Whew! Am I ever relieved. I thought maybe the poppy seed cake I ate last week or the Crest mouthwash might have blown that! Oh, wait. The poppy seed cake is only on pee tests. The Crest mouthwash is peroxide. Listerine has the alcohol. Well, there was nothing to worry about!
Right now I’m at the coffee shop again. $5 latte. Later this afternoon I will go to my counselor for a one-hour session, which really only lasts 45 minutes. Cost: $20 co-pay.
So, as you can see, my weekend was very full. It only involved real human interaction with my counselor and my probation officer and some service employees at Denny’s and the coffee shop and the woman who cut my hair. I did not drink. More not drinking. I am really proud of me. Yay, me.
Entry filed under: Alcoholism/Substance Abuse.