We missed the bus in Hammond by like 17 minutes I think. Damn. Now we were stuck. And running from the law, broke. My hostage’s friend agreed to purchase a hotel room for the night, provided it was cheap. Boy did we find a winner! This place was a dump, some place in Merrillville that was like thirty dollars a night. So we checked in and sat down. So how could we spend this last night, the three of us together? I called a buddy of mine to come on out and we were going to party one last time, the four of us. He arrived a short time later, called the room to let me know he was outside, and I jumped in his truck. I was broke, and so was he, but that didn’t matter, I was a master thief when it came to getting loaded. On whatever it was. Plus, I had a plan. That’s one of thing about me when I’m using, I ALWAYS have an ulterior motive. And this was it: I was going to go into the nearest grocery store with my friend, we were going to steal some booze, go back to the hotel, get wasted and then convince my hostage’s friend to blow her money on whatever drugs we could find. It worked like a charm. We were back at the room drinking on our four stolen fifths of vodka, various Smirnoff flavors and a bottle of Grey Goose, when that appetite hit me and I knew it was time to start working on her. I didn’t have to apply much pressure. She was in! I made the call, I was at the time shopping with this guy in Gary, and my preferred flavors were cocaine and Ecstacy. He had both, and we were on our way. We blacked out on the rolls, booze and coke and partied until day light. Then there was a knock at the door.
With my amplified paranoia- I froze, but the voice on the other side of the door let us know who it was, and it wasn’t the cops, but it wasn’t much better. It was my girl’s father, and mother, and grandfather, and sisters…. Shit. A very loud confrontation broke out and we did our best to gather our things while trying to ignore the verbal assault. We had made up our minds. Over the threats, begging, and tears, I did my best to focus on my own thoughts. “We have GOT TO get out of here!” “This could be VERY bad.” These people would have no problem turning me in at this point, I’m actually very surprised that they didn’t. We got our things packed and shot through the throng of angry and pleading relatives for the waiting teal Cougar. Still stinking like booze and half spun from the uppers, we made our way for Hammond and the bus station. We would be making this bus. We said our good byes, and thank yous to her friend, and ascended the small stairway onto the waiting Greyhound bus. Destination Atlanta Georgia. Again. Only this time, We had no where to go, we had $1.67 in change in a zip-lock baggie, and it would be getting way worse.
We spent the change at the first stop along the way on some chaser, because, you know, we had to make sure we brought our remaining vodka along for the ride. Duh. Necessities, right? We were both so sick. We pan handled and begged the whole ride south, for money for food and for cigarettes. And we arrived in Atlanta 28 hours later. Sick and reeling from the days prior. What the hell did we just do? What were we going to do? This was bad. Her parents agreed to keep paying her cell phone bill while we were gone, in case she needed to call home. So that was a plus. I phoned my mother, and she agreed to come collect us at the bus station on MLK in downtown. But this was to be all the assistance we would be receiving, from family at least, until we made some progress. We made our way for Peachtree City, toward the neighborhood my aunt’s old house was in, and I instructed my mother to drop us off at the cul-de-sac down the street. I had a plan. It sucked, but my plan was that we were going to make a lean-to in the nature preserve and start from there. Find jobs immediately and work our way up. And that is exactly what we did.
We would sleep in the woods every night for two weeks, waking at dawn, dressing and getting ready in the woods, covering our belongings with brush, and we would venture off to find jobs, and we found some right away. We saved every penny. For these two weeks, we did not drink, we did no drugs, we just worked, waiting tables, and bumming smokes until we had enough money for a deposit for an apartment. If we worked at different times, we agreed to meet at the mouth of the trail that led into the preserve, waiting until the other arrived. We stuck together. We were going to do this! We weren’t. On right around the 17th day of this venture, we counted our money on an old downed log in the preserve, did the math and decided that it was enough to get started. We took up our suitcases and started our trek for the apartment complex we had found a week earlier. It was about a five mile walk, so it would take us a little while to get there, but we got there. We walked into the office, asked to speak to someone, and we were in our own apartment that afternoon! The first thing we both wanted was a nice hot shower. It had been quite sometime since either of us had had a real shower, so we would be taking advantage of this feature right away! After showering, we walked down to the complex laundromat and washed our filthy clothes. Returning to the empty apartment, we looked at each other, we had actually done this. This was going to work. It wasn’t. I called my mother to inform her of what we had done, and where we were, and she was there within 45 minutes. She was so happy! She brought with her some pillows, blankets, food, smokes, some cash, and some hygiene stuff, what little she could afford to help us with, she was now willing to. She also told us about a church in Tyrone that would possibly help us furnish the apartment, since ours was completely empty. I called them right away and set up an appointment for roughly ten days out, it was the earliest we could get in, so it would have to do. we spent the next nine days just working double shifts, sleeping on pallets on the floor, and enjoying our accomplishment. On the tenth day my mother was there just as promised to take us to this church for our appointment. And boy, was this a major blessing! The church COMPLETELY furnished our apartment! Equipped with a king sized bed, a T.V and anything we could possibly need! We were set up! This was going to be great! Only, it wasn’t…