Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Day Twenty-two...Shave and a haircut...


It's me.

As you can see I have a beard.

Before the end of this post I will not.

It's kind of freaky.

Why am I going to shave? That's a good question. And I have what I feel is a good answer.

Tomorrow I must go to court. I must put my best foot forward (I tend to favor my right one) and allow a man with a big wooden hammer decide my fate. He may request to see the police report which features a very Gary Busey-like head shot of yours truly. And I want to look as unlike that as I can.

I'm a nervous wreck. I haven't felt this way since last February when I decided to start getting help. My hands are shaking, my eye is twitching, my big toe on my right foot is tingling, and I feel like I ate a big bowl of granite for dinner with a side of meal worms. Yeah, that good.

I believe I have everything taken care of. My alarm clock is set for 7. I went out and got a haircut. I have some attractive but respectful clothes picked out. I have a good lawyer. I have a good friend who will be at the proceedings. I have two glowing recommendations that I did not compose myself. I completed my intensive outpatient course tonight and received my "Keep it Simple" coin. I spoke to my Aunt who sent along good wishes on the outcome. And I have twenty- seven days of clean living under my new, soft, Italian leather belt.

I am, as they say, good to go. Oh, and I have to shave. Not all of it mind you. As the shepherd said to his wife's divorce lawyer, I'm keeping the goat.

The goatee that is.

But it has been a very long time since I felt the underside of my chin. Almost two years, in fact. It was February 2006 when two discs in my spine decided they'd rather get their own place. They found a little one bedroom out in the country not too far from their kin and they moved out. And subsequently, I couldn't stand up for more than 20 seconds at a time. This development made it really hard to shave. Conversely, it made it really easy to guzzle vodka, gobble muscle relaxants, and watch all of the winter Olympics. It was a hoot. And thankfully, I see the curling mania has subsided a bit since then. I had my worries.

It may have been the Korean massage girl's stiletto heel combined with her 92 pounds on my lower spine that did it in 2006. It could have been jumping off a 15 foot lifeguard stand and landing flat on my back on wet sand that occurred in 1991. Or it could have been everything in between combined that put me out of commission. Either way, it happened and happily I got better. I have my friends and family to thank for driving me to Boston for the cortisone injections. And now I have them to thank again for sticking by me through this gut wrenching but absolutely necessary transformation.

My best possible outcome? Probation for 2 years, Ignition Interlock device for 2 years, 2 week inpatient rehab, heavy fines, court fees, and my lawyer's fee of course. As well as losing my license for anywhere from 45 days to 2 years.

Worst possible outcome?

I don't really want to ruminate over that prospect. I'm still alive and I don't think I'll be leaving the courtroom in shackles. Let's just put it that way.

No, I think I'll just shave. Please excuse me for a few minutes...

Almost done...

Just a bit of clean up...


I can't tell you how good that feels although you can probably guess from my expression. Yes, it feels really, really good. And happily, now so do I.

A long time ago when I was little, my Mom and I would share our nighttime rituals in the small bathroom in the house that I grew up in. I'd brush my teeth and my Mom would sing softly and brush her hair. She always kept her beautiful long brown hair from tangling by diligently attending to it. This she did in front of a mirror that I was much too short to use. Each night she'd pluck out any stray stowaway strands that would get stuck in the pure bristle brush and gently discard them in the wastebasket. I was always so distraught by the sight of this that I would tell her, "Glue them back on Mom! Glue them back." She would laugh and say, "Sweetheart, they'll grow back. They will. I promise."

So tonight, as I attend to myself in the mirror during my nighttime ritual, I will remember those words. Because with all of the features which make us distinctive, a day is all it takes to see growth. With all the accents that lend us the appearance of either a roustabout or an altar boy, we ultimately hold only so much control in our hands. This could prove temporary if I want it. My clean face or my sobriety in equal measure. Because old habits, like strands of hair, have a tendency to grow back. You just have to look closely in the mirror each night and observe. Because they won't make a sound when they reappear. They don't have to.


I'll post the results of my day tomorrow around dinnertime 1/23.

See you then.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful smile. I am thinking about you all day today and await your evening post to see how your day went. Although I am not in the courtroom, I am there in spirit, trying to persuade the good judge that you are a changed man and that the positive attitudes will remain if Freddy remains free. Good luck Alex. I know that you have the strength to deal with whatever comes your way and the support to help you if you need it.