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My Robot Is Pregnant theme song!

tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

December 12, 2006

Hitting bottom ain’t so bad. At least you have a firm place to stand. You’ve come to a conclusion, you gave everything you had. You didn’t quit till you crossed the finish line. At that point you stop drinking. There is no challenge left, you know you rode the bull till he stomped your spinal cord too hard to ever let you ride again. You can still wear the chaps, you earned ’em cowboy. No shame there.

I’m back at work at the junk mail factory with my old pallet jack operating friend Sean. We had a 16 foot box truck full of circulars to deliver to the downtown distributer and with this holiday traffic being so bad, Sean was slowly reviewing his evening of cable television from the night before.

“The wife and I were in bed by ten to catch Intervention. That’s the one where they showcase a couple of drunks and a druggie and the families send them away to get sober.”

We were at a dead stand still right at the Cesar Chavez exit on the 101. The truck was rumbling at idle beneath us, we sat right on top of the 6 liter diesel.

“You ever hit bottom?” I asked Sean.

“Oh yeah, couple times. I remember waking up at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza, off to the side where the maintenance crews park their vehicles. All the doors of my Subaru wagon were open, my feet were sticking out the hatchback. It was almost noon and I was in my underwear. I had no idea where I’d come from. I still have no idea. That whole night is lost to me. I wonder why I decided not to cross that bridge…”

Sean looked wistfully out the large windshield towards Potrero Hill, wondering how his life may have changed had he made it to Marin County that night.

“Then there was that time in Hawaii, when I was sailing, where I passed out in a park and woke up to a homeless guy shaking me, violently, just shakin’ the shit out of me. He had me by the chest, holding my t-shirt balled up in his fists and he was knocking me backwards into the tree I had propped myself up on.”

Sean crept the vehicle forward in the slow moving traffic, looking down at the passengers in the vehicles below us. “Pretty one there” he mumbled, then went on.

“I remember opening my eyes and seeing his filthy beard, and he was shouting. But I didn’t want to wake up. So I shut my eyes and went back to sleep. It didn’t matter. That there was probably the first sign I had a bit of a drinking problem. But the Navy does that to you.”

Hitting bottom ain’t so bad. It’s a firm place to stand.


  1. that’s bullshit. i wasn’t in the navy.

    Comment by sean-0 — December 13, 2006 @ 7:32 am

  2. Isn’t that what they call sailing on boats? or was it coast guard?

    Comment by jon — December 13, 2006 @ 1:45 pm

  3. I think the fact that you weren’t in the Navy makes the statement even more haunting; the fact that the navy could do that to you even if you weren’t previously affiliated. I’m going to use that excuse the next time I’m extremely hungover.

    Comment by Lyle_S — December 13, 2006 @ 7:23 pm

  4. I´m confused! So passing out in a car in underwear and having forgotten why, is hitting bottom? I thought it´s an integral part of growing up male in the U.S.?

    Comment by dastard — December 14, 2006 @ 1:21 am

  5. It was the third day in a row he woke up there.

    Comment by jon — December 14, 2006 @ 12:46 pm

  6. I think to hit rock bottom you would have to lose the underwear

    Comment by Lyle_S — December 14, 2006 @ 1:06 pm

  7. what if he had someone else’s poop in them?

    Comment by jon — December 14, 2006 @ 2:12 pm

  8. That’s pretty good but he wouldn’t really hit bottom until he picked the poop apart and discovered foodstuff that clearly was not something he could have eaten in any recent digestion cycle.

    I suppose if there was a note attached to the poop that identified the owner that would preclude the need to investigate further and Sean could be at rock bottom.

    Comment by Lyle_S — December 14, 2006 @ 7:53 pm

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