After awakening one morning and not knowing where I was, I finally realized I was at my old high school buddyBuckner's house in Portsmouth. At first I didn't think anything was strange about my being there, but upon deeper reflection, I recalled that the night before I had gone to bed at the Logan Street House (where my mother used to live). I lay there quite a while pondering how I could possibly be waking up at Buckner's house when I had fallen asleep at Logan Street.
After I saw on a clock in the room that it was 10:30 a.m., I realized I was lying on a couch in the kitchen.
I lay a while longer until Mr. Buckner (Buckner's father) walked into the room. Mr. Buckner seemed to have become old and rather senile and he was clearly no longer in complete control of himself. He began fixing some coffee and knocked the coffee pot onto the floor. It occurred to me that I had once had a dream of that very same thing happening. It puzzled me how I could have possibly dreamed the incident had happened and then have it actually occur right in front of me.
Finally Buckner (who had gained quite a bit of weight) walked into the room. After I motioned for him to come to me, he did so and I asked him, "How did I get here last night?"
He looked at me puzzled at first; but seeming to understand what had happened, he indicated he didn't want to talk to me in front of his father and he said he would tell me later.
I continued thinking about the matter until I began to realize what must have happened. Apparently I had left the Logan Street House the night before, drunk some alcohol and blacked out. Having blacked out disturbed me because I had never blacked out before. Now for the first time I couldn't remember what had happened after drinking alcohol. That was definitely not a good sign.
Trying to figure out what could have happened, I thought, "Well, I might have gone over to Walls' house and drunk something over there. Or somebody might have stopped bymy mother's and then I had gone with them."
I tried to think of all the possibilities, but my memory simply wouldn't function. I still couldn't remember where I had been.
Finally I rose and walked into the next room where I found some other fellows, one of whom had already begun to drink some alcohol that very morning. After he told me he had drunk a whole fifth of some kind of alcohol the night before, I asked him if he had a hangover and he answered, "No."
Finally several of the fellows and I left the house and walked down the street until I realized we were in Columbus, Ohio. I began thinking that the fellows probably smoked marijuana or used other drugs and that I could probably pick up some law business defending them.
I thought about how I had defended quite a few people arrested for possession of marijuana, even though I hadn't really acquired an expertise in the area. As I visualized my work, I had a shabby opinion of myself as a cheap lawyer who defended drug cases. If I were ever arrested for drugs, I would probably not even want to defend myself. I would want some top-notch defense attorney. Nevertheless, I felt confident about defending petty little drug possession cases, even though I had a low opinion of myself doing that kind of work.
As I walked along, I realized I actually lived in a house next door to Buckner. The only way I could really change my life would be to simply stop associating with him. I needed to become completely independent; he would simply have to realize one day that I no longer used any alcohol or drugs. I thought I definitely needed to break off my association with Buckner and his friends. After a while he would simply get used to it and accept it.
Verily, I was seeking a different kind of life and I thought there might be some people in the world who were seeking the same kind of thing with whom I could associate.
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