A lot can happen in two years; a lot of very good things. Time heals old wounds as they say.
After my tinkering, I took a shower, brushed my teeth, and blow dried my hair. As I stood in front of the mirror, I noticed how old I look these days. The rigors of my mental illness and my drinking days have taken a toll upon me physically. At least, I don’t look as bad as I did when I was homeless.
I then fixed my usual breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and cheddar cheese. Maggie also got her one scrambled egg and a piece of bacon. I and Maggie are such creatures of habit. We eat the same thing every morning without fail.
Speaking of homelessness, this month marks my two year anniversary of obtaining a home. I will never forget that brutally cold and rainy February night when I called my mother for help.
“Mom, I am in a mess. I need your help. I am so cold,” I said as she listened on the other end.
“I need to talk to your father first,” She said. “He will know what to do.”
I was estranged from my father at the time. He had told me that he never again wanted anything to do with me and to never call. My desperation overcame my fears of his wrath and his rejection.
“Where are you now?” My mother then asked.
“I am over here at Fat Albert’s on their payphone.”
“To hell with your father,” My mother finally said adamantly. “He will just have to be mad at me. It won’t be the first or last time. Meet me over at your late grandmother’s house. I am not about to have you freeze to death.”
I drove over on my motorcycle and met mom at Memaw’s house. It had been vacant for over a year after she had passed away. My father had continued to pay for and keep all the utilities on.
“Let’s get you inside and get some heat on and make up a bed,” She said as she got out of her car and followed me inside.
Mom made a bed and turned on the central heating and air. I will never forget how good that heat felt. I had been miserably cold for months. It was one of the most wonderful things I have ever experienced in my life. So many people take such things for granted.
I couldn’t sleep in that soft bed for weeks. I would sleep on the hard floor in my sleeping bag. My mother would come by everyday to check on me and bring me a meal from various restaurants in town to make sure I had enough to eat. My father was none too pleased. He came over one day and sat in a chair in the kitchen as I lay in the next room in the bed.
“I can’t take your crazy shit,” He told me angrily. “If you are going to live here then you have to take your medications and stop that damn drinking. You are nothing but a sorry ass drunk. No wonder Rachel divorced you.”
I didn’t say anything and just listened. He soon left and I spent the rest of the day wracked with guilt. It has taken two years of very hard work on my part to rebuild our relationship. He now tells me he loves me. He also bought me a house. I had to clean up my act though by taking my medications and by also stopping my habit of drinking twenty beers a day until I passed out. A lot can happen in two years; a lot of very good things. Time heals old wounds as they say.