***this I also wrote in junior high, only about 6 pages worth, so didn’t get very far but again, I imagined this as a movie and my leading character, John Chaney, played by this man:
it’s a story about a man fighting alcoholism who is desperate to find someone that can help him through his ordeal:
“49 years old, drunk as a mule, sleeping in filth, when he has a warm house, a foxy wife, and all the protection he needs. It’s pretty sad.”
The cops watched him as he lay in a pile of garbage in an alley off of 32nd Street in uptown PA. They knew him well. John Chaney, an architect with an alcohol problem. He moved to Burbridge in ’83 and married the town sweetheart, Janeane Palandorf, also known as Cupcake to all her admirers. For the past 4 years, he has been brought in for being an old slob, always drunk, but nothing major. He’s not a criminal.
“Yeah, yeah, I know who I am and what condition I’m in.”
“Are you sure? How many faces do I have?”
“Enough to keep you single.” John smirked.
“You sure are an asshole when you’re drunk, you know that?”
“You should see me sober,” he said as Burt & Gary helped him to his feet.
“You guys need to be doing something more important, like catching kids stealing Playboys. Earn your pay, you know.”
“We know how to earn our pay, but not how to waste it on booze. This is the 3rd time in a month. We’re gonna have to take you in.”
“Alright, just don’t tell my wife. If you couple this with the toilet seat being up, I may be spending a lot more time with you guys.”
“Sure, we’ll cover for you.”
On the way down to the station, John asks “What time is it?”
“0800 hours, or 8:00 a.m. for everyone that is hung over.”
“I’m playing my lucky numbers tonight in the Super Lotto.”
“The lotto’s a rip anyways. Were you guys looking for me?”
“Where the hell have you been for 2 days?” Janeane smacked him right across the face, as he, Burt & Gary entered the police station.
“I went to see “Titanic”. It was longer than I expected.”
“That wasn’t even remotely funny.”
“Look, honey, I’m very sorry. I’ve been under stress , so I had a few drinks.” By now, the entire police station was watching.
“I’m not bailing you out. You’re going to stay here. I had to file a missing persons report. I called the site, I called Harry. No one knew where you were.”
The only thing John could do was stand there and look at her. He hadn’t a clue what to respond with.
“You hurt me, John. It’s not the first time. But, it’s going to be the last.”
“Don’t leave me baby. We’ve had so many good times to let this ruin everything.”
By now, everyone had gone about their business and paid no attention to the arguing couple. It was a common sight at the police station.
“I’m not leaving you John. I love you and I want to help you. I’ve talked to the chief and our doctor and we’ve decided that you should go to a therapy group. On Saturday, you’ll have your first meeting. I want you to go for me. And yourself.”
“I will. I promise, this will never happen again.”
“Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
They kissed and Janeane left. John was thoroughly upset about the therapy because he didn’t think he needed it. He thought about it all night in jail, and decided he wouldn’t go. He’d just talk to Janeane and tell her it’s a bad idea.
“Honey, I’m home. It’s me, John.”
He heard her say “hello,” He waited for her to come out of the bedroom.
She came out with a smile and said “I’m very proud that you are going to go through with the therapy….”
“I wanted to talk to you about that. See, therapy is just for people that need some brand of help. I don’t. For me, it’s just a hobby.”
“A hobby? You passed out in an alley for two days and by the way, you’re boss is pissed.”
“Oh, shit. I have to talk to him.”
“We’ll continue this when you get back.”
“There’s nothing to discuss. I won’t go to therapy.”
She stormed away angry as John left.
3 hours later…..
John was on his way home. It was about sevenish as the bright lights of Burbridge Park lit up the vague darkness of the beautiful green city. John enjoyed it’s quietness and remembered it’s downsides as he drove past his house. He once got drunk and managed to get Janeane drunk as well. It was a month after he met her and they were at a party for work at the park. He got a little crazy and tried to force himself upon her. She said no, so he tore her clothes off and halfway to home base, we’ll say he forgot who he was and stopped. He apologized so many times it lost it’s meaing. He don’t think she ever forgave him and he never forgave himself for it either.
He realized his car had stopped. He was in the parking lot of Shaughnessy’s Pub. There was an empty bottle of Sunrise next to him. He looked at his watch. 9:58 pm. He started the car up and back out, crooked maybe. No, his mirrors are just messed up. He was on the road but not moving. Oh, he was on the brake. He stomped the accelerator and jumped about 12 inches and kind of laughed to himself. Then he was laughing out loud. He was definitely moving now. A lot of lights were on. Moving lights. He turned on his moving lights and kind of swerved a little. Must be the wind, he thought. A few horns beeped at him. He just flipped them off. Yeah, everybody can go to hell. You shouldn’t beep at people. It’s not nice. Yeah, I know the laws. The road was kind of bumpy now. A brown car was coming at him. His lights weren’t on either. He beeped at him. Some people are real assholes, he thought. Must be a long car because he’s still coming. Get in your lane he thought. BOOM! His airbag shot out and the car stopped. Then, blackness.
John woke up in a hospital bed. His arm hurt and was wrapped up. He remembered the brown car now. He waved a nurse over.
“Can you please tell me why i’m here?”
“Why yes. You had an accident last night. The PA PD brought you in last night at about 11:00. You were pretty much okay except for the huge splinter in your left leg. Your car has been taken to the junkyard to be impounded. Should I call for you?”
“No, no. I would like to use a phone though.”
“Well, I may be mistaken….but”
She looked at the chart and then said “Yes, you are a free man.”
“Why , thank you.”
John hated hospitals. It’s so depressing with all the sickness and disease. He always been a little paranoid about catching things from hospitals. But, he never worried about the effects alcohol would have. It’s pure, clean, just like the air. It’s not disturbed. Drinking set him at a kind of peace, actually. Even when he’s drunk, he seem to think clearly. John quickly changed and wound around through the hallways and down in elevators. He approached the front desk and asked for the phone.
He dialed his number. He got the machine.
“This is the residence of John and Janeane Chaney. We are not home right now because if we were, we’d be talking to you. Tell us who you are and we’ll get back. Donke.”
“Yeah, honey, Jean, are you there? Hello, Jeanie, oh damn.”
John had a gut feeling she wasn’t happy. She would leave him. She’s done it before. He went outside and looked for his car, then he remembered it’s at the junkyard. So, he called a cab and went home.
He got to the door and saw a note.
“I’ve went to the airport. I’m going to my parents.
“God damn it. I’ve screwed up pretty good.”
He ran down another cab and took off to the airport but it was too late. He was turned away at every plane exit. She’s gone. She’ll probably be back. Maybe.
John went by the junkyard and much to his disgust, had to pay $100 to get his car out. He drove home to lay down. He picked up a bottle of bourbon on his way home.
He got home, took off his jacket and took the bourbon to his kitchen counter. He fished out a bottle opener just as the phone rang. He picked it up.
“I’m sorry, baby. Please don’t……”
“Shut up, please. You are in trouble. Wipe out your eyes so you can see what is going on. You’re an alcoholic and you need help.”
“are you crying?”
“Yes, and you would be too if you were watching you destroy yourself. Dr. Feltner is going to pick you up tomorrow. He’s going to keep me up on how you’re doing. I’m not supposed to come back for 3 months.”
John thought and realized something.
“You won’t be back until February. You’ll miss Christmas.”
“No, I won’t. I’ll have Christmas. The therapy is my gift to you. Getting better will be yours to me. I love you. Bye.”
She hung up.
“Damn it! I hate when she gets like this. She really thinks i’m dr….”
He trailed off for two reasons: One, he was talking to himself and second was that he happened to glance in the mirror. He didn’t know who he was looking at. His eyebrows sagged, mouth watered. He’d shake his head thinking when he looked back there would be a different face in the mirror.