“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ – Luke 15:21
Moving to Des Moines would provide me with a couple of things. For one I would be far away from all the memories that I had built during the time my wife and I had been together, and two I would be able to reinvent myself, much in the same way I had done when moving to Texas. I would be moving to an area where only one other person knew me and so moving seemed like one of the best ideas I could make.
When I arrived my friend was living with his brother and his sister-n-law. Soon the other occupants were going to be moving out and so it would only be my friend. I got along fairly well with his brother but his brother’s wife was one of those overly bubbly, overly loud, and incredibly obnoxious types. The good news was, I had been told they would be moving in two weeks. After three months, I realized their moving out was less and less likely.
I got along fairly well with his brother but his brother’s wife was one of those overly bubbly, overly loud, and incredibly obnoxious types.
I found work at a local Git-N-Go gas station. During my time there I worked evenings and it was easy enough to pick up extra shifts, especially in stores that had gotten robbed in the last week. It was believed, though I never verified it, that if a store is robbed they are far more likely to be robbed in the days following the initial robbery. So I would work at my store and pick up an extra couple of shifts per week at various other Git-N-Go stations around town.
On the personal side, things were getting both better and worse. I had decided that I would never be hurt by another woman for as long as I live. I became the type of guy that seemed like a dream at first but later would dump you like a nightmare. It was fairly easy to find people to hang out with and so I roamed around a lot. Within the confines of my mind, I never enjoyed being this type of person, but outwardly I acted as if I loved it. At least it seemed that no one would ever become close enough to me again to hurt me in the way that I had been hurt.
A couple of things shortened my time in Des Moines. The first was the fact that i never had any privacy, since the two occupants that were supposed to move out never did, I was stuck sleeping on the couch. This wouldn’t have been so bad, but getting home at midnight, grabbing a quick bit to eat and going to sleep around one, only to be awoken at 3 by the other occupants getting up and getting ready for work, got on my nerves fairly quickly. Second, my friend was addicted to meth. He was trying to get clean but at least once a week I would find him crying and telling me how he had relapsed and was back on day one. I tried getting him to check into a local rehab but it was too expensive and, had he done so, he feared he would lose his job.
Lastly, I found that even though I had moved away from all of my problems, my problems had found me. I was still drinking way too much and had started popping pills again from time to time, either to stay up or to get sleep. I felt empty inside, and I would often times park somewhere and sob into my steering wheel. This was no way to live and I knew that I was still going nowhere in life. I felt awful about myself, my surroundings, and life in general and was probably the closest I had ever come to ending my life.
Lastly, I found that even though I had moved away from all of my problems, my problems had found me.
I remember one night, I was sitting at a total strangers house that I had met a few days before. I was sitting at their computer while not more than 5 feet away he and his girlfriend had incredibly loud anal sex behind me. It’s quite the awkward position to be in but at the time I felt nothing. I had taken a couple of xanax and was drinking a bottle of whiskey. It became quiet behind me so I figured it was over, so I got up to leave, the guy was supposed to give me a ride home. Before we left I asked if I could use the restroom. Upon entering the restroom I promptly threw-up all over the entire room. I nearly passed out but caught myself at the sink. Looking up I saw myself in the mirror and was absolutely sickened by what I saw. This wasn’t me…I wasn’t this person… I cleaned myself up and walked out of the bathroom, closing the door tightly behind me. So if you are the girl whose restroom I threw up all over, I’m sorry.
The next morning I could barely move. I was burning up with a fever and my chest was so congested that I struggled to breathe. Going to the doctor was out of the question, I had no money and had no interest in waiting 3-5 hours at the free clinic for an appointment. So I went to sleep and I slept, for three days I slept, the whole time getting worse and worse. On the fourth day I awoke in my bedroom at my parents house. I kid you not, somehow in my sick stupor, I had woke up, driven the sixty miles to my parents house, walked in, told my mother I was home, and then went to bed. When I awoke my mother took me to the hospital where they gave me some fluids, medicine, and told me that I had a really bad case of strep throat and on top of that a stomach bug. I would end up spending the next week in bed.
Once I felt a bit better, I received a call from my friend who was livid at me for moving out. I told him I hadn’t actually moved out and tried to explain exactly what had happened but he would hear none of it. He told me they were keeping my stuff and that I was never welcome back at his house. I hung up the phone and didn’t talk to him again for about 4 years. Thankfully he did get cleaned up and we were able to make amends to some degree. We aren’t really friends anymore but we aren’t enemies either.
Anyway, things went relatively back to normal. I got better and started looking for a job. I found one at Wal-Mart but the job wouldn’t start for a couple of weeks and so I had a lot of time on my hands. I spent most of my time on the internet visiting chat rooms and playing games. One day while I sat at the computer, the phone rang, I picked it up and said “Hello.” The female voice at the other end of the phone said, hello and then asked if I was my father? I said no, and that my father was currently at work. I asked if I could take a message? The voice on the other end of the phone said no, and said they would call back. Then they said something that nearly blew me away.
“Well, anyway, I’ll talk to you later, I guess this means you’re my brother.”
The voice on the other end of the phone was my sister, a sister that I didn’t know that I had until that one day, on the phone, at 22 years old.
To continue on to part 11 click here.
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