50. That’s My Story…
The next Monday I was the first person in the building. We drug screened everyone on Mondays, with random screens later in the week. Clients who relapsed over the weekend typically called off on Mondays, hoping the drugs would be out of their system by the time we tested them. I got out my message pad and a pencil. In ten minutes the phone rang.
The first caller said, “My five year-old is sick.” I heard a muffled “Cough honey!” ‘Honey’ sounded like he might be the 38 year-old chain-smoker she lived with. Sickness was the most common excuse, but dentist appointment, court date, dead dog, dead grandmother, and/or dead car were popular. We didn’t have the resources to check excuses, but sometimes reportedly dead family members would later call us to check on their loved one’s progress.
I took the message, and tried not to judge the caller. Before I drank my way out of my Ph.D. program, I’d told my professors many a tall tale as to why I needed more time to take an exam or complete a paper. I was grateful that day there was nothing in my life I’d need to lie about.
Today I will be grateful for honesty.
Sober Not Somber © 2015 by Ken Montrose
(Just a reminder: Sober Not Somber is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to anyone you might know is purely coincidental.)