"A 15-year-old is in traffic court for driving without a license, resplendent in his black leather jacket and black beret. Told to remove his hat by the judge, the young man reluctantly complies, only to have a joint the size of a cigar fall from his beret onto the floor in front of the judge's bench. He was, of course, arrested in the courtroom." - William L. White, "Recovery Rising," p. 140
Getting caught, despite our best behavior, is so often the set-up for a punchline or a physical pratfall which may be found humorous only in retrospect. In my mind, reading this quote from "Recovery Rising," I picture the young man's face taking on certain aspects of the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland.
A similar smile befell me as I sat opposite the desk of the Manager of a Waterbed Store many years ago. I spoke knowledgeably about how my advertising company's as yet unwritten promotions would have customers flocking to his store to purchase a waterbed (or two!). It all was going well until our nearly perfunctory good-byes when I reached into my sport coat to retrieve a business card (firmly in my hand). When I reached out to give it to him, I did not notice that a pack of Easy Wider 1-1/2's cigarette rolling papers somersaulted out of my pocket with the business card. It nearly fell into the bespectacled manager's coffee mug, landing next to it with a dull thud....
The jig was up.
I did not land the Waterbed Store account, but years later, the smile from the Cheshire cat finds form upon my face in memory of this short anecdote.
All life, my drinking and drugging life, is surely not so lighthearted. Deadly and near deadly encounters would follow in the ensuing years, but it goes well by me at times to remember those early years. They, too, are part of the fabric of my life.
And yes, I'm glad my Easy Wider 1-1/2's didn't fall "onto the floor in front of the judge's bench" (but the Manager of the Waterbed Store most certainly did sit in judgement, didn't he?)
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