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The Bad Old Days

June 25, 2010

Remembering the bad old days is something I try to avoid but there are certain images, things or places which trigger a flood of memories. One of these is a pay phone. For those of you who have never heard of this contraption, allow me to explain. You pick up the receiver, put 2 quarters (sometimes more) into the slot at the top and dial the number you wish to call. Convenience is not associated with using a pay phone because you actually have to park your car, get out and stand in one position to talk on the phone (it has a cord attached to it). Someday, I suspect we might see one of these in a historical museum. They are certainly a thing of the past, including my past.

When I was at my worst in addiction, I did not have a cell phone. I could not afford it because I spent all of my money on drugs. Thus, even scraping up the fifty cents required to make a phone call at a pay phone was challenging at times. But I always managed to find two quarters if I needed to call my dealer. After all, even addicts have priorities. Whenever I see a pay phone today, it takes me straight back to those “bad old days.” Generally if I were at a pay phone it was because I was out of my drug and trying to find something. It was always a waiting game thus I would be “camped” out at that pay phone for an hour or two sometimes. At least as long as it took to locate and confirm my next fix.

The pay phones were usually located at a convenient store so people watching always helped to pass the time. I would notice all the “normal” people coming and going. They were buying normal items such as bread, milk, ice cream, sodas and such. All items that I was more than willing to do without in lieu of having my fix. Sometimes they had their children with them. I would look upon the families with envy. I wanted a family. I wanted to have children. I wanted to be “normal.” But how? I didn’t know how to be normal. I would have fantasy thoughts of running up to one of the “normal” people and begging them for help. Maybe I could start a new life with another family and put this all behind me. Maybe they have a really nice house and a dog and a pool. Maybe….

Then the phone would ring.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2010 12:43 pm

    Wow, I can really relate to this post. I can hardly bear to recall some of the memories I have of myself desperately, desperately seeking and waiting for what I wanted and wishing I didn’t feel that way. Certain places trigger those uncomfortable memories and I keep well away from them because of that.

    • June 25, 2010 2:09 pm

      Thank you for the comment. I am like you and try to avoid certain places as much as possible. They can invoke cravings in me as well and as much as I don’t ever want to go down that path again, I’m always afraid of temptation.

      I’m so glad you left a comment as now I have discovered your wonderful blog and what awesome pictures you have!

      • June 25, 2010 2:16 pm

        Me too – feeling afraid of temptation – I’m been literally climbing up a mountain away from where I might be tempted!! I’m really glad to have found your blog too and look forward to visiting often. Thanks very much for the compliment 🙂

  2. June 25, 2010 4:43 pm

    Makes me wonder what goes on in my daughter’s mind…And what places or things trigger her…Thanks for sharing and allowing us into your “head space”!

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