Friday, June 18, 2010

From the Loony Bin: Part 2

Or...When Men Are Powerless!

No, literally. We were without power last night for a good nine to ten hours. One of the power distribution boxes in the neighborhood decided to catch fire. Things that go up in flames rarely work the way they should, and so the power went out on our side of the street. And just our side. Across the way, people were home and comfy in their air conditioned trailers. We'll be blowing up their box for revenge at an unknown date. =P

Our first method of combating the situation was to head to Wyatt's house. We were told it would be at least an hour and a half before power was restored, so that's how long we waited...and then I was done. That is, I was running a low-grade fever from the tooth removal and needed proper rest. Power or no, I wanted to lie down.

The things about trailers is that they are very much like aluminum cans left in the sun. They gather heat, and become quite uncomfortable. So when we returned and discovered we still didn't have power, I used...MY BRAINS! (Yes, I still have functioning brain cells!) I took a clean, long sock and filled it with ice cubes. (They were just melting, anyway.) I draped the sock around my neck, and I was instantly cooled off. In fact, I was comfortable enough to fall asleep.

Before sleeping, I turned off my reading lamp...or so I thought. When the power returned in the wee hours of the morning, it was the light that woke me. (Genius!)

Ah, but this is about the loony bin, and so there are other things to discuss.

Like the Great Steve Conspiracy. Steve is an admitted ex-drug addict. I can't tell you how many of his stories start off with, "This one time when I was high on heroine..." I've never said anything, but I personally found his amusement at such tales rather disturbing. Oh, I have a few tales that start like that. But they're just a few. Almost ALL of his stories start like that. And the concept of an "ex-addict" is pretty stupid. There's no such thing. Once an addict, always an addict. It's just a matter of whether or not someone is using or not.

Anyway, there was a point where I had some of my percocet go missing. I trust my housemates implicitly, so they were never suspects. Wyatt, who suffers from a degenerative disc disorder, would sometimes arrive in absolute agony, and I would volunteer a percocet to keep him from perpetually wincing with almost every move. (I pressed him to get his own meds, as I am not a pharmacy.) On extremely rare occasion, Steve would do something that hurt him, (and there were always witnesses to such painful acts), so I would also pass him a pill.

This kind of thing happens all the time between friends and family, despite the warnings on bottles, so no frowning upon me. I also gave nothing when I realized that my supply was limited. This was rare, as I was actually able to maintain a schedule that kept me ahead of the game when it came to my meds. All was well.

And then there came the day, numerous months ago, when quite a few of my tablets went missing. The circumstances surrounding the first disappearance of pills was a little fuzzy. Did I misplace them? Did Nike nock around my pill container, causing me to lose them? I wasn't sure, but I brought it to Ray and Cody's attention.

The next time pills vanished on me, things were less fuzzy. It was a Wednesday. (When I remember it this clearly, even many months later, you know something's up.) I was taking my second pill of the day, and checked to be sure there was still eight pills in the remaining days of my pill divider. Then I retired to Cody's room to continue playing on his computer, as I still didn't have mine yet.

During the hours spent on his computer, Steve, who was hanging out in the house, demonstrated his "ninja skills" by creeping down out creaky hallway in silence. His intent was to try and scare me, but the floor gave him away before he reached Cody's bedroom door. We joked a little bit, and Steve returned to the living room.

I went to take another painkiller a couple of hours later and was surprised by what I found. Around 10 or 12 tablets were missing from my pill divider.

I called Ray back to my room and the great conspiracy officially began. Of the suspects available, only Steve had motive, opportunity, and knowledge of how my pills were stored to commit the theft. When confronted, he denied it, of course, stating that he's enough of a jerk that if he HAD done it, he would admit it. Uh huh. My thought was, "I never lie," said the liar. From then on, I kept my pills on me, as I couldn't trust the guests coming and going all day in our home.

I haven't been on perocets for some months, so you must be wondering why I'm bringing it up now.

Well, it has something to do with Ray's dad and the fact that a portion of his regular percocet prescription gets handed over to Ray for safekeeping. (This is my assumption. I don't pry into other people's business. That, and by remaining hazy on the details, I can't answer any questions if it ever comes under scrutiny. The New Yorker in me can then officially say, "I'm sorry, officer, but I have no idea what was going on.") Last week, Ray's father came by and counted out 50 tablets. Then Ray counted out 50 tablets. Then the two of them counted out 50 tablets. It was triple-counted...in front of Steve, who then accompanied Ray to wherever the pills are hidden. Since Steve was a trusted friend until that moment, there was no reason to hide the activity from him.

Now as far as I know, this emergency stash is for the sake of having extra pills hidden away for Ray's dad. Should the man run out, he has some set aside with his son. The next day, when this stash was check on, 18 tablets were missing.

This time the list of suspects boiled down to one, and only one person. I didn't even know Ray's dad had been by. Neither Cody nor Ray would steal meds that are needed. No one else was around, except Steve. Thus, we have the criminal...we just can't get a confession from him. Steve's claim is that his admission of previous drug use just makes him an easy suspect. What he's failing to realize is that there is no one else to blame. It may all be circumstantial, but even all of the circumstantial evidence points to him.

If you ask anyone who knows me, they'd be able to tell you that I have a great deal of patience. It takes a lot to make me genuinely angry. Thus, when I tell you I'm angry with Steve, you know I've been pushed to my limits. The others don't want to have any great confrontation, and I can understand that. No one (that I know) likes having a fight. They've made it as clear as possible to Steve that he is no longer trusted, (which I'll discuss in a minute), and a new household rule was laid down: no one is to walk past the bathroom without being escorted by someone who lives here. And I, personally, have made it clear that Steve is no longer welcome to spend the night. I don't care what his circumstances are; he can't stay here for any reason whatsoever. The fact that he brought drama into my home has me ticked off, all on its own.

Now about the whole trust thing...I don't understand how anyone can be called "friend" if you don't trust them. At best, in my book, Steve is "an entertaining and relatively nice acquaintance," and that's it. He's not a friend. You can trust a friend. I don't trust him...at all.

This recent drama has me seeing Steve in an all new light. And it's not a good light, either. I see him as I see my brother Barry. They both have a ton of charisma, and can often get what they want, when they want it. But given enough time, they will reveal their true selves, and that's when everything falls to crap. Neither one learns from their mistakes; they simply move on, finding a new group of people that are of use to them.

My plan is to remain civil with Steve...when possible. My anger could well get the better of me, at which time I may simply call him "Barry" for my own satisfaction. From my point of view, that's a pretty big insult. The best scenario would be for Steve to stop showing up here. I mean, he embezzled money from his last job, has been using numerous people for the fact that they have a roof for him to stay under, and is now suspected of stealing medications that were NEEDED by those taking them.

That's about all I have from the Loony Bin. With any luck, come next May or June, I'll be fulfilling the plan of moving in with Becky. Then I'll be doing even more to get my act together, as I should have a bride-to-be by then. *contented sigh* There's nothing like having a ray of hope - and a beautiful one, at that - to help you through excessive drama.

Be well, all.

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