Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sober Home Living #1

The other day my friend was encouraging me to download a song she thought I would like. I knew I wasn't going to like it, I even told her so, but she insisted. No surprise, I hated it and took great pleasure in rubbing it in her face. It was a techno song that I don't even remember the title to but it reminded me of some things from my stint in the Sober House.

For six months I lived among 15-25 people at a time. Those that know me are more than aware that I can't stand people so this was a true test of my patience. The first 3 months I had a great group of friends but once they all left I still had 3 more months myself with a bunch of new people I really did not care for. As someone who tries to stick with the "winners" I found myself becoming more friendly with the staff then the actual clients themselves. It wasn't anything personal, but I can read people really well and the majority of them I felt weren't taking the program seriously.

This one younger dude Alex killed me. He was 22 years old and this was his second time in this house. The first few days Alex was without a phone so he was constantly asking to use other people's. That's fine and all, but after lending it to him twice and he proceeded to have a 20 minute conversations I banned him.

"Not cool bra," he would say.

"I am not an undergarment, sir," I would explain.

The moment Alex got a phone was a glorious day for him apparently. That was the day he became a music producer.

Say what?

We were in our house meeting and had to go around the room and talk about the things we enjoy doing that keep our mind focused and distract us from addiction. When it came around to Alex he responded with a straightforward answer, "my music" and leaned back with a cocky grin.

"Your music?" the counselor asked.

"Oh you don't know?" a random girl exclaimed.  "Oh man, Alex is a producer! He makes all sorts of great music!" Alex is pleased by this girl's reaction and smirks even more. Borat's "King of the castle" rang through my head as I looked at him.

The counselor was impressed, "I had no idea you had such talent Alex. Do you play guitar? Drums?"

Alex scoffed, "No. I can do it all from my phone."

"Well that's very impressive!" the counselor said. I looked around the room at the wide-eyed addicts, all impressed that the young man before them was an honest to god music producer. Right here, in our very home, and at the ripe age of 22. Clearly, this kid was the shit. I tried my best not to roll my eyes at the ridiculousness of it all and just went back to what I did best. Ignoring all of them and hanging out with the staff.

But sometimes avoiding would only get em so far. At this point I had seniority in the house so I had my own room to which I could retire and get away from the insanity. There was one major problem. There was a couch in the hallway of the Men's Floor. That couch was strategically placed near my door so that I had to pass it anytime I wanted to go to my room. Alex had taken it upon himself to make that couch his "studio" instead of the privacy of his own room. To the untrained eye anyone who saw him would think he was just sitting on the couch with headphones on playing with his phone. When in reality he was creating art.

The art of techno music.

Each day I would return home, exhausted from work, and just want to go to my room and relax before dinner. But Alex was always there making his music. But why should this bother me if he's not really hurting anyone? Simple. Every single time anybody would walk by he'd act "surprised" like he didn't see us, and then pull of his head phones and insist we "check out his latest track." Now, I had witnessed this happen to a bunch of people since he was perched right outside my door, so I used that knowledge to form my own strategy. Every day I came home from work I would have on my sunglasses and be listening to my iPod. This was as I walked down the hall to my room I could keep my eye on Alex while pretending to listen to music. He would call out my name as I passed but because of the ear buds I couldn't "hear" him.


That worked for about a month until he started pulling late nights at "The Studio." I came out of the shower one night, right before bed, and there he was on the couch. With no tools at my disposal to hide from him, I sucked it up and charged into the storm.

"Sean! Dude, you gotta hear this track I just layed down," he insisted, shoving the ear buds in my face.

"Alex, you should know I'm not really into techno so I'm probably not the best person to review your music," I told him.

"Oh man, you say that but I bet this shit changes your mind," he gives me the ear buds and I reluctantly put them in.

As to be expected the track starts with a few techno beats. Not getting into it I give him a look and he says, "Just wait for it." I continue to listen and sure enough after 60 seconds an additional "noise" is added into the mix, a sort of "ting" sound. So now he have 3 different noises. I reach to pull the ear buds out but he stops me, "it's not done yet. It gets better!" After another 60 seconds a 4th noise is introduced, another 60 seconds a 5th, and so on...

It all just keeps building on itself. When it's all said in done I am very polite about the whole thing considering he's forced me into a situation I didn't want to be in and I'm also still in my towel from the shower.

"That's great man. Really."

"You don't sound that impressed," he replied.

"Like I said man, techno is not my thing. I warned you I wouldn't be the best person to judge this."

"You just don't know good music"

"You're right, I have terrible taste in music. Can I go to bed now?"

As I closed the door to my room and let out a sigh of relief. Not five seconds later I hear Kevin, one of my older house mates scream, "Holy fuck Alex! I told you I don't like that techno shit! Leave me alone!"



bluedrakon said...

Sounds like someone needed his ego stroked and stoked and stroked. I wish it was that simple.

I just had to go outside and confront about 20 kids throwing a soccer ball.

One of them threw it at my son as he rode by on his bike and hit him. Had to lay down the law and let them know, 1. It's not cool and 2. Maybe you would like the explain it to a police officer the next time it happened. WTF is wrong with kids!

Seantaku said...

Wow, hope your son is alright. I have no idea why kids do the things they do.

Funny story. My one friend lives on the upper floor of a building complex. One of the neighborhood kids decided it would be funny to hurl rocks at her cat that was perched on the balcony. while she didn't see him throw it she confronted him and he denuded it, because he's a brat. this kid thought it was smooth sailing fron there until my friend remembered her downstairs neighbor is a crazy paranoid person who installed a camera on her porch to video tape her car at all times. my friend asked to check the footage and Lo and behold, fheres the kid right in frame tossing the rocks up at her balcony. boy was he shocked when the building manager showed up at their door. lol