So where did we leave off? Oh yeah, "love" letters.
The majority of the notes I received read exactly this, "DO YOU LIKE ME?" and simply had two empty boxes. One to check off YES and the other NO. That was it.
Deep. I know.
Of course there were variations of the notes ranging from the classic "DO YOU THINK I'M PRETTY?" to "I WANT TO BANG YOUR BRAINS OUT BEHIND THE TOOL SHED." (That was the PG version).
I was lucky enough to befriend older, wiser people who taught me the ways of The Force since they had been to rehab already. The easiest way to get kicked out of rehab is to get caught with a note. My mentor, Anthony, instructed that any note I received from a girl, no matter now tempting it was to respond, must be destroyed.
"It's evidence...," he would say dramatically, as if we were speaking of a dead body. "It must be disposed of..."
"But if I don't respond, how will she know she's pretty?!"
"Go back to the dorm, tear it up into tiny pieces, and flush it down the toilet..."
This became the norm for my buddies and I. Collect notes in class, go back to dorm, flush, repeat. Everyday. It's reasons such as this that the majority of people kicked out of rehab were women. Not for sneaking drugs in or having sex (though it did happen) but for getting caught with notes. While men destroyed the evidence, women did the opposite and held on to their "mementos of love" to cherish forever. Ultimately, this would be their downfall. Don't get me wrong, the guys were no better. Well, the White Tags like myself were fine, the Yellow Tags on the other hand were not.
Yellow Tags were the biggest hypocrites around. Let me paint a picture here for you. Every day around 9:30 or so we would have what was called a Men's Rap. This was the only group we had that wasn't monitored by a counselor and it consisted of just us guys. Half my stint in rehab the group leader of the Men's Rap was a dude named Lavertis. Did you guys know that Lavertis went to jail for 15 years for killing a man? Cause he did. I only mention that not to scare you but because he brought it up every day at group, sometimes several times within the hour. Don't get me wrong, compared to 90% of the other guys, Lavertis actually had a good head on his shoulders. Voluntary manslaughter aside... not a bad dude.
At the beginning of each Rap, Lavertis would be tasked with announcing the messages from the counselors. Every. Single. Day. The same topic was brought up. "Stop disrespecting women." Every day! Which would lead to Lavertis' "Scared Straight" tactic where he would yell at us about disrespecting women for 15 minutes of our hour long Rap. This worked in my favor the days I didn't feel like talking but also usually left me with a splitting headache the rest of the day (Only 12 more hours til lights out!). It did however give us some fantastic material. Imitating Lavertis became a favorite game for my friends and I, along with counting how many times Lavertis would say "man" in a rant. Top score was 67 "man's" in 14 minutes tallied by yours truly.
So in these rants Lavertis would scream at us for shaming women and all the while his fellow Yellow Tags sat back nodding their heads in agreement. When Lavertis was done, they would all take turns chiming in with the same bullshit "Yeah man, Lavertis is right. You guys can't keep doing this shit. It's disrespectful. I don't know about you, but I want to get back home to my wife and kids." This grew tiresome to me because the ones getting lectured were not to blame for these acts.
Do you know who were the one always getting caught in bed with women? I will give you just one guess.
Surprise! The Yellow Tags. I know I know, it doesn't make sense, right? I mean, they said they loved their wives and children. They said their family was the reason they were getting better. Their reason for living, even. They said they didn't want their kids to grow up with out a father. They said they would do what ever it takes to NOT go back to prison and to just finish their remaining months in rehab and go home.
And 80% of them threw it all away. Some guys had only been there a few days before they caved. Others broke down mere weeks before going home. Now I know their experience was much different than mine. They had to stay 8 months longer than I did, plus they had already been in prison for a set number of years before arriving at rehab, so that is a much longer time to go without female interaction. But every day they would talk about their families, show us pictures and the like, making it really hard to feel sorry for them once they cheated on their loved ones and got thrown back in jail. Their families on the other hand I really felt bad for.
Yellow Tags came and went during my 27 days there but no dismissal had a bigger backlash than the one that simply became known only as "The Carolina Incident"...