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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

lucky strike (a.k.a. oh, henry!)

saturdays are "sober fun days" here at klean.

[hello. i am an oxymoron. ]

despite this being my sixth saturday, it was my inaugural adventure...

every other saturday, i had been detoxing, bedridden with the plague, elevating rock hard heels swollen from the truck load of immunosupressives with which i'm currently cranked, or aggressively dodging the movie selection, "tower heist" (god forbid we hit up almodovar's latest...).

but, today was bowling.

i suck at bowling. i still have a cold. my second cold in six weeks. my heels still hurt. but i was so in.

but, first we had a morning group with j..

j. is awesome. last night, jacked up on the shimmering, red threads dripping from my brush, she unwound me with her tales of sober transitions. puffy tufts of hair, drain and heart clogging. shafts of gray sprouting above and down under. connect the dots running wild across her face...all in the name of getting sober.

[makes you wanna...oh. right.]

after glorious, gut giggles of resignation faded away, she asked me to write a goodbye letter to either my kidneys, alcohol and drugs or my hair. {so many issues. so little time...} and so i crafted last night's blog, the poem, "fake it 'til you make it". one of the largest cliches in recovery that sheaths my desperate truth.

as i read my poem out loud to the group, my voice shook with firm nervousness and determined vulnerability. and then i went soft; flaccidly quiet with explanation. and j. nailed me.

"your artistic voice is there, present; so strong. but you need to find henriette's voice..."

[couldn't have said it better myself...]

cut to: SOBER FUN DAY! 5 clients, 4 hours, 3 miles, 2 techs and one unconvinced hen...

as we careened over the infamous hills and dales of laurel canyon, my stomach bungee jumped not from the long and winding road to the valley; it flipped at every familiar road and flopped at every familiar store. when we finally parked, i stood, very still, in the lot, like a lost child in a department store, on the verge of tears, compass broken, lost, not found.

every sight, every sound, every taste, every touch, every smell a trigger.... like whack-a-mole.... i got this under control...ok. wait. god...

LOOK...ventura blvd., sober...ok. wait. god...LISTEN...terrestrial radio, sober...ok. wait. god...TASTE...a piece of gum, sober...ok. wait. god...FEEL...this door handle, sober...ok. wait. god...SMELL...the waft of french fries, sober...ok. wait. GOD.


so we shufffled in, shuffled for shoes and shuffled over to a cul de sac of seats around lane 19. before long i was crowned gutter queen and flirtatious repartee and feathery hilarity unloaded the boxes cluttering my mind.

but still i would flinch. darting eyes, indiscernible flick of the wrist, reaching for that glass. craving that throat burn, tweaking for that heady enhancement, that dark infusion, the sexy empowerment that would elevate me to star of the show...

[tap water doesn't f*#king cut it.]

so i got up again. as usual, "henriette" was too long for the digital score board, so henry was born. crotch grabbing, strut talking, crowd pleasing, hank. so with a ten-pounder in hand, an orbit of "his" hips and a thrust of delight, "he" released all expectations down a slippery, uncertain lane...


the shriek heard across fifty states propelled me into flight. pogo stick hops of hysterical joy. fist pumping, high-fiving ecstasy. and bright eyes of surprise; comrades in smiles.

the high i rode, for just a few minutes or more, was clean. and pure. and mine.

i earned it.

my (lucky?) strike.


  1. Way to go Hen!! So glad you got out, going out is a test, you passed it sounds like! I'm happy for you! XXOOXXOO

  2. Pleased to meetcha at last "Oh, Henry"... Well done on every front. Well done... xo