Mike made it 70 days after completion of his second rehab before relapsing.
He couldn’t pinpoint why. Boredom, restlessness, ease, and comfort, maybe. He did know he was an alcoholic and would often stop there, when trying to self-analyze his motivation. He did begin to wonder if maybe he was “constitutionally incapable of being honest with himself,” part of the 12-step mantra.
“There are such unfortunates,” the mantra cautioned, “they are not at fault. They seem to have been born that way.”
If he was truly incapable of self-honesty, what does the rest of his life look like? He genuinely wanted to quit and was still reciting the rote prayers.
There’s one surefire way not to get DUIs. Stay home and drink. Can’t get arrested for Staying Home Under the Influence.
He was doing Topeka a favor.
Champ uprighted a chair and helped Victoria up off the floor. He stopped the bleeding using gravity and pressure. When he’d learned first aid in Boy Scouts, it was aimed at the aftermath of hiking accidents, not your drunken mother after someone she thought looked like Tyrone Power used her for a punching bag.
With a dampened dishrag, he mopped the blood off her face and neck. She’s gonna have a shiner, a fat lip, and a swollen jaw in the morning, Champ thought as he got her to her feet. He slung her left arm over his neck and had his right arm around her waist. At 14, he was smack in the middle of a growth spurt, but already a good 4 inches taller than Victoria.
“Ho...lee Maaarrry, motherrruhgod...”
Shuffling her feet, leaning into her son as he guided her to her bedroom. It was preceded and followed by more groans. He wasn’t about to try to get her into a nightgown. Experience had taught him that she’d soon pass out. He covered her with blankets and turned out the light.
Finally, Champ set a bucket on the floor next to his mother’s bed. He had learned the merits of the upchuck pail the hard way.