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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wheels coming off for the Adelmans

It would be just another ne'er-do-well-high-school-coach story, but it's got a real twist. This person has the same problem her brother has, and it's wrecking both their lives. That's beyond just being part of a bad trend. It is profoundly sad.

Comments (4)

I guess it's okay to share this since it'll be 25 years ago this November when I gave up drinking.

One night, back in the day, I had the usual suspects over at the band house for a party. In those days we weren't alcoholics because that would have narrowed it down way too much.

At the conclusion of the party, after 2 or so, this one guy said he had to get home to Northeast Portland. I said there was no way I could drive and that he could crash on the sofa out on the porch.

The guy went into the ultimate headtrip. If he didn't make it home he would lose his wife, his kids, his job and he probably said his life. He was begging and practically weeping. I'm not exaggerating.

I went for it. I rounded up this friend of mine and we headed out in a vintage Galaxy 500 I had purchased for 200 bucks.

We made it very close to his house when we got pulled over. It wasn't for bad driving as much as a car full of guys really late at night. I'm not saying I wasn't impaired but I was not drowsy. Believe me, some of the things I was on made it very hard not to be wide awake.

I was put in the back of a squad car while the cop checked my record. A whole bunch of unpaid parking tickets came up on the screen and that was a setback.

Then we looked up at the backseat of the Galaxy 500 and my friend was leaning at a 45 degree angle. The cop said, "Is he hiding from me or is he just wasted?" I replied, "No, sir. He's just very, very tired."

Then I assured the cop that if he let us go I would park the car in two blocks and we would stay there that night.

He didn't have to, but he let me go. It was one of those breaks you get that could have gone a whole other way. Not only was I drunk but several of the other things I was on were illegal. I was extremely fortunate to get past that situation although I paid a price thinking back on it.

The classic part was when I explained to the guy that we had to crash at his house. He went right into the same rap: If we did that he would lose his wife, his kids, his home, his job....

Me and my friend parked the car and I told the guy we helped thanks for nothing, and we started a long, slow, wasted walk back to SE Portland that took hours. Probably 'til around 4 a.m. I remember walking down the middle of Grand or the other big street. It seemed like nobody was out but us.

The other classic part was that we were so relieved to be free that we spent most of the way laughing our heads off, and insulting the guy who had caused us these problems.

The next day I went and got the car. There were still several years of drinking left but a decision had to be made. I parked my car at home and I decided to give up driving. Really. Not just drunk driving - all driving.

I didn't drive again for at least a year.

Of the various things going around in 1970s Portland, I still think alcohol caused me the most trouble. These members of the Adelman family have got to quit drinking.

This will sound stupid but it's not: The way to quit drinking is to quit drinking. Don't drink for 5 years before you even consider if it was the right thing to do. Give your body chemistry enough time to adjust. Meanwhile don't drink.

The only thing they'll regret if they quit, is that they waited so long.

Couldn't agree more Bill. April 14, 2005

Well, I don't drink anything stronger than pop.
Then, too, ol' pop he drinks about anything.

But seriously, folks. The alcohol is a bad partner to go steady with, leave aside co-habitation. Look what swimming in it did to Dubya.

Too many succumb to the too-wide temptation. The point of my comment is to redirect or defray the conviction that only particular (named) people are affected adversely -- whereas I say it affects all of us, it's the climate today, and society corrections must be done wholesale -- and then add reminder to recognize, that the particular (named) people can get past these stumbles and repair from the falls, these aren't indelible tattoos, pick themselves up, dust themselves off, go on further on and find new mistakes for the making -- we all do and it's easier to faggedabouddit and reclaim self-dignity after some practice holding it to others.

Best results are hardly achieved by telling someone, 'don't do that.'
What works more often is saying, 'let's trade.'
Your burden for mine. And we'll split the joy of relief.

Am I the only one who hears the alarm going off when a newly-recovering Whitney Houston says she still has a drink now-and-then?

April 15, 1985

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