Valentine’s Day

Feb. 14th ~ the day of love, romance, sweet-hearts, couples, togetherness…. and big business, Valentine’s Day sales are expected at $18 BILLION this year.

For other’s, the single hearts, it can be a day of depression, anxiety, sadness usually masked by an over-indulgance of food, drinking or drugs.

I was, for years the lonely heart, as sad sack without the significant other to celebrate this or any holiday with.

There was  “The One ( that wasn’t),”  the person who captured my heart and desires and for many years I hung on to the delusion that one day we would be, um, together. We shared alot of life, but I always wanted more ( shocking behavior for an addict, huh?) He told me that he didn’t share the same feelings, but his actions, at least to me, said something else. I ignored the words and focused on the actions.

He went off into the military and I moved to California.

On Valentine’s Day, 1993, I was living in Palm Springs CA and was in my usual state of depressive drinking at my favorite bar, but the day was bringing out more self-pity that was coming out as arrogance and anger.

After a series of Budweisers and Jagermiester, I began to feel contempt and disgust for the couples around the bar that were celebrating the day together. As I made my way back to the bar from the bathroom, I don’t really know why or to prove what, but I started to go up to various tables and booths of couples and started barking at them things like: “Love is for one asshole that doesn’t know how to cook”  ” Love is for one fuckhead who can’t do laundry”   “Love is for one loser that can’t pay rent”

Not surprisingly, there were complaints to the bartender,  who was a close friend of mine. When I reached the bar, he said “Joey, you’re being rude. I am cutting you off” My anger swelled, knowing he was just going through another rocky breakup, I yelled at him: ” YOU!  You’re incapable of even maintaining a loving relationship with YOUR HAND!”  He yelled “GET OUT!” as he came around the bar grabbed my by the collar and the seat off the pants and pushed me out the door.

Extremely agitated for being cut off and 86ed, I hoped into my pick up truck and tore out of the parking lot onto Indian Avenue and began to take out my aggressions on the gas pedal and clutch. Although I was in a Ford Ranger, in my mind I was driving an Indy car and worked the clutch by the whining of the engine, and quickly dropped into 5th gear.

When I passed the police car that was sitting in a parking lot 8 blocks away, I didn’t realize I was doing 85 mph in a 30 mph zone. When I noticed the lights in the distance behind me, I thought it was an ambulance and if I could make it past the hospital a mile ahead, there would be no problem, so I stepped on the gas.

A quarter of a mile past he hospital, I realized that it wasn’t an ambulance, but could see now it was a police car right on my ass, I pulled over.

I received my first DUI that night, which was the beginning of my end, but yet at the same time the start of my recovery process, although it took another DUI six months to the day later, multiple drug offenses, stints in jail, two rehabs stays and 11 years to finally get the recovery process to stick.

Today, I am at peace with the day, who I am, where I am. That, but mostly, I just don’t give a shit about Valentine’s Day.


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