Sunday, June 7, 2009

(part 165) COURT

I have no recollections of who I contacted, or where I stayed, when I got back to Nashville, but I do remember taking a 3 grain tuinal, a sleeping pill, before going to court.

This act of stupidity left me slurring my words and unsteady on my feet while trying to maintain my composure in the court room. I suppose I believed I might go to jail so I'd opted for being high if in fact that occurred.

As I stated in previous posts, many of the people I knew in Nashville had grown up together and gone to the same schools. It was a very small town in a lot of ways, and because of this, the lines between the non law abiding and law abiding were blurred.

For instance, DP had become a cocaine dealer, while close friends of his had ended up in politics and the government. One of these friends of his was the prosecuting attorney in the case against me, who I'd met during my previous time in Nashville.

The fact was, that I'd introduced this particular attorney to a flaming red haired nymphomaniac who he'd fallen in love with, and subsequently married. Who would have guessed?

Anyway, that was the case, and in this guy's mind I'd done him the biggest favor of his life, at least that's the way he saw it. Couple that with the fact that I knew where the cocaine I'd sold had originated from, DP, and the prosecutor was a friend of DP's, you had a mighty interesting and unusual set of facts.

While I sat in court, waiting for the proceedings against me to get underway, the prosecutor informed the judge that the state was not going to proceed with it's case against me for various reasons.

I sat there in shocked silence, and then was ordered to stand up while the judge launched into a long rambling dissertation about how the state of Tennessee was being drug traumatized, and was going into debt trying to deal with all the drug cases. He said the state was running out of jail and prison space because of it.

The long and the short of it was, that the judge said Tennessee had enough of it's own people to deal with, and that the state wasn't interested in further burdening it's dwindling resources to prosecute, convict, and then house idiots like me from California, who had come to Nashville and gotten in trouble.

He ordered me to leave the state forthwith, and not to come back for a very long time, if ever. I stood in the court room with my mouth hanging open, while it quickly dawned on me that I'd just been cut loose and was free to go.

One would think that I could have seen that I'd been miraculously spared prison, and that I'd sober up and go back to L.A. and rededicate myself to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, but this was not to be the case. In fact, I ended up at Friday's bar celebrating with DP and his crowd, and was told repeatedly that I'd beaten both the odds and the system.

During this celebration, the prosecutor, whose name was Tom M., and who'd dropped the case against me, walked up with his hand outstretched and a big smile on his face saying, "Stay out of trouble Bobby and good luck."

As I reached out to shake his hand he slipped a neatly folded hundred dollar bill into mine saying, "I owed you one partner, now we're even." I always assumed this was due to the fact that he'd married the red head I'd introduced him to.

Again, I have no recollection of leaving Nashville or getting back to L.A., but I assume I was stoned out of my mind, and stayed that way.

Something had occurred in my psyche, which caused me to reject AA altogether at that point, yet in thinking about it now I can only guess as to what that was.

Maybe it was just wanting to be loaded more than I wanted to face the world sober. Possibly it was as simple as I got clean in the first place because I was faced with prison time for committing a felony, and now I was over that hurdle.

I may have thought that appearing to straighten out my life by going to AA in the first place would help me with the problem in Nashville, but now that the problem was resolved I simply returned to what I wanted to do all along, which was to get loaded. It may all have been nothing more than a charade to cover my tracks.

I can think of many reasons, but may never really know the whole truth. The fact that I needed sobriety was self evident, but wanting sobriety was not.

There was no hunger for it the way I had thirsted after success and fame. There did not exist for me in those days a driving need to stay clean and sober.

What I do know for sure is that when I went back to drinking and using, I went back with a vengeance, the likes of which I'd never known. It was as if I was daring life to take me out of my misery, and my aim was to push it to the outer edge of all things reasonable.

My ticket back to hell was in reality, spending the next fourteen months of my life trying to drink myself to death, and vowing never to go back to AA. In fact, I did everything I could to make it a reality.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing twists and turns, eh?

    It is a very strange feeling to be suddenly off the hook for something this big. When I turned in my draft card and refused induction into the military in '68, we watched a number of identical cases the day I was arraigned. The trials took 5 to 10 minutes, and every single guy was sentenced to 3 to 5 years. My case was set for 4 months later. Literally, the day before my trial and my inevitable incarceration, the Supreme Court brought down the major free-speech decision that rescinded several thousand draft convictions and threw out another bunch of pending trials, mine included. It was, indeed, a very strange feeling.

    Celebration is certainly warranted, but you clearly still had other demons dogging you and other battles brewing...

    Thanks for the telling of the tale.