Thursday, June 17, 2010

What's going on in my world today


I left my apartment this morning in the outfit pictured hoping to attract some attention. I went up to the Greek place to have a short stack of wheat pancakes and then I went out to the patio to talk to residents about a possible karaoke Christmas party with my new six pack of karaoke Christmas songs I have ordered (and Doc paid for). The karaoke lovers were all enthusiastic but nervous about Doc attending since he sort of tore up the karaoke party last year. I had to order him to go home after he made enough people mad with his intemperate remarks. But by that time the main and best karaoke singer who was sober had got mad and gone home, too. He asked me if I could not order Doc to stay sober. I said no, so far, he had never listened to that request, but he would go home if asked. He is bound to put in an appearance especially since he has paid for the new discs.
You might ask why order them? It is to keep Doc occupied with something else from now until Xmas practicing karaoke. We can make videos where he will not have to interact with anyone else. All the drinkers hardly dare make an appearance in public here, since public misbehavior can get them thrown out of here faster than anything. House rules forbid taking alcoholic drinks into the common areas.
I was out to the patio last night talking to Tony, who is the son of another of Doc's drinking buddies. He now has a bad problem with alcoholism and in the recession lost his job and is homeless. He has been staying here with his dad quite a bit but has now been told he has to leave in two weeks. I am worried about him as Dave, his father has been, because he is suicidal and another of Dave's sons already committed suicide. Tony's mother was Pima Indian and she died unexpectedly of cancer about six months ago. She wanted Tony to have her house on the reservation which was paid for but her white husband gave it to another relative. Tony who is also part Navaho through his dad, Dave, had probably expressed himself too strongly to this man while drinking. Doc does not like Tony because he is very articulate but too forceful when drinking. He expressed himself for about an hour and a half non stop in Doc's apartment and he did not dare order his father and him to go home, so he was not happy with Tony.
I like Tony very much when he sober, as he is extremely articulate, funny, and smart, but when he drinks whiskey, his favorite drink he says, he goes on the war path. So he is an extremely tough person to help.
There are other younger alcoholics in here who have gotten disability probably from either the ravages of drugs and alcohol, but who knows what triggers off mental illness. When Tony is sober he does not seem to be mentally ill, but he has very severe problems with employment because of a feeling of more entitlement than the jobs he can get I am sure, and if he kills himself as he almost did last winter with alcohol, he will be seen as extremely mentally ill now dead after the fact. Dave was very worried about his suicide threats last winter. I just hope that the time he has spent here talking to a number of people who now call him friend he will feel better about himself.
His mother must be a powerful spirit because I felt in touch with her almost immediately, but I feel her withdrawing now, knowing that he must leave here. His dad is basically such a recluse who never comes out and mingles with people in order to stay out of trouble, that I fear he does not want Tony to live with him and try to be his caretaker. But if he kills himself this will be another tragedy in his father's life.
So here he is now the sole parent faced with the dilemma of how to help his son. I told Tony yesterday that if Dave wants to help him he should quit drinking so he can assert more control over Tony's drinking. Telling him that if he did put him on his lease as caretaker, they both could not just sit around and drink! Tony just nodded at that. But it sounds like he lives in such a drinking culture both here and up on the reservation around Tuba City there is little hope of him staying sober. I have not felt so upset about the Indian drinking problem for a long time.
What have we done causing alcohol to become such a problem for Indians on the reservation, but hey, alcohol is a huge problem everywhere. We just have to muster up our courage to go on in the middle of it, trying this and that, and hoping for the best even when the worst seems on its way.

2 comments:

LaRena said...

Huge is right, and effects people adversely in all walks of life. I've been reading a book about the evolution of plants along with desires of mankind. The myth of Johnny appleseed (John Chapman, real name) talks a lot about his success with getting many varieties of apples started in America because of peoples desire for intoxication. The big destroyer. Apple cider was the big hit. The word toxic is hidden in plain sight in "intoxication." Of course you know how badly I hate to see anyone go down that path. Sometimes it seems the smartest and most talented among us is the susceptible ones. Of course this is not necessarily true but easy to focus on those of exceptional abilities and try to figure out what would be so impelling to them and what could possibly turn this around.(It can never improve the evelution of mankind) We were raised thinking that Indians should NEVER drink. I expect because they were apt to go on the war path:) I know we ran into some crazy drivers on the rez when we would make trips between Page and Flagstaff. I remember one Sunday afternoon when one swervinto our lane at gull speed. Lefair swervered out into the desert, saving us or our whole family would have been wiped out. Well I hope your energy can hold up trying to prop up the spirits of the suicidal drinkers.

kanyonlandking-annk.blogspot.com said...

It sounds like you have plenty of drinkers to work with around. So many are bright, witty, and full of fun...and they are destroyed by drink. Doc may be able to get out a number of utube Christmas songs if you start now. We can enjoy them all year! It sounds like he is not trustworthy at a party. Linda's Buk certainly had to be the wild man at a party. Seems like a common problem.


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