Lee's Story

His conversations with other people were mostly interruptions with his inner dialogue.

Alcoholic Messes.

This is the most popular story from Young, Sober, & Free and the one we receive the most comments on.

Part One, Early Childhood
Part Two, High School
Part Three, Age 20
Part Four, Age Twenty One
Part Five, It wasn't long before I finally arrived to stay in AA. I was 22
Part Six, Learning about the Fellowship
Part Seven, Today
Part One, Early Childhood:

“Oscar Lee--Oscar Lee--Get up and get in the kindling and coal. You didn't do it last night so get up and go do it and hurry up. You never do anything you’re supposed to and...”

“OK! OK! god damn, you don’t have to throw a butcher knife.That stuck in my pillow! You’re crazy!”

“Don’t you talk to me that way or I’ll get the razor strap!”

Crack! Crack! That’s Grandma’s neck. Whap! Whap! That’s her arms. Thud! That’s her wrinkled face. I hate her. I hate her. I’m going to run away.

“Oscar Lee. You got that kindling? Bring it here and quit messing round.  Listen, mister, if I hated someone as much as you hate me I wouldn’t live in the same house with them. and don’t you try to leave either. If I ever see you going down that lane to the highway like You’re leaving, I’ll shoot you in the back! I sure will. Now you get out there and feed and water those rabbits--and don’t you forget any, either. You left a cage open yesterday, and that old brown doe got away and that old rusty dog had to catch her. You never do anything right nohow...”
God damn rabbits--God damn Grandma--God damn everything!
Part Two, High School:

“Lee, what makes you think you can walk out of here, be gone for three weeks and stroll
back in as if nothing had happened?”
Oh boy, big deal!
“Mister, you have one more chance in school. do you hear me?”
“Yes sir, I’ll be good! 
How many times have I heard this crap, “One more chance?” I’m sick of it. “This is your last chance.” --bullshit. 

Yes sir, I hear ya, I’ll be good.”

It was Marylins’ mother. She transferred Marilyn so she wouldn’t be around me. Why can't people just stay out of my life--leave me alone?) “Marilyn, I guess this is good bye. I have another girl pregnant, and I guess I’m gonna have to marry her--I guess it don’t matter anyway. You’re going with someone else. I love you...”
“Lee, I think I know how to solve this. You wouldn’t have to marry her if you were already married to someone else--ME.”

“Do you mean it? Would you marry me?”

“Hey Lee, don’t hog that hooch! Someone else might want some of it. Hand it back up
here or I’ll kick your ass.”

“You and who’s army?” 
Betty’s pregnant, I’m kicked out of the house, no job and Marilyn don’t love me. Running away with some guy for three days to Utah--I don’t want her back--I want her dead. I want me dead. To hell with it.
Part Three, Age 20:
God damn! Three-and-a-half years in the army, getting discharged in New York, waking up in Washington D.C.,  thinking I was in Chicago--finding a job, a rooming house room. I haven’t touched a girl in months. Where the hell is it all heading? I feel like I’m fourteen. I wish I had a woman--any god damned woman. 
I should have married that girl in Germany. What was her name...
“Gimmie a shot and a beer.”
I’ll get cleaned up and go to a nice restaurant and I’ll meet a really nice chick--a lean lanky blonde with really big tits and nice clothes. She’ll be really nice to me and I’ll take her to her apartment and it’ll be all real feminine and we’ll talk and have another drink and dance and then we’ll go to bed...
“Another one.”
If I had a model ‘A’ with a Chrysler 300 and dual carburetors and a four speed and dual glass packs, I’d be running a hundred miles an hour and playing the radio full blast and Marilyn and a girl friend  would see me streak by. Marilyn would think she saw me and .. 
“Another one.”
If that a big guy came over here and said something to me I’d say “Why don’t you shut up,” and he’d take a swing at me and I’d throw up my left arm to block the blow and I’d grab him by the shirt and I’d throw him over my right hip and he’d crash into the juke box and...
“Yeah another one.”
I’m really a lot different person than anyone knows--I’m smarter and tougher and I can draw and nobody knows any of that. Nobody really knows me at all. They think I’m a coward. If I had a chance, I’d show ‘em.
“Yeah, one more...O.K. O.K. I’m leaving anyway.”
I need a girl--I’m gonna hide in this alley and if a woman comes by I’m gonna grab her and pull her into the alley and make her have sex with me, but I’m not gonna hurt her--I want her to like me..If she were in pink lipstick...gotta get home, where’s my key? Gotta get up in three hours...
What the hell ‘m I doin in this water. I’m all wet. God I’m sleeping in the tub! Gotta get out of these wet clothes and get to work.  Gotta get some coffee! Wonder if anyone saw me sleeping in the tub with my clothes on. Wher’d I go last nite? What happened? Gotta get to work--Gonna get fired.
“Sorry I’m late--I didn’t have bus fare. I had to walk.”

“What’s that stuck in your eyebrows?”
My God, it’s puke. I got  sick last night in the tub.
“Anyone else want coffee?”
I’m never gonna drink again! I think I’m gonna die. If that black girl in the delicatessen would be nice to me I’d marry her. I wonder if she’d go out with me? Where would I take her? What a day, I ‘ve got to catch the boss before he leaves and get some money.
“Why are you always broke the next day after pay day? You should budget. I’ll make you a deal. If you come to work on time everyday for five days in a row, I’ll give you  a nickel raise. Soon I won’t be able to afford to pay you and then I’ll go to work for you. Go and get us some coffee and when you get back, I’ve got some errands for you.”

Part Four, Age Twenty One:
Wha’ the hell! Where am I? What’s goin on? Is that a guy or a girl? That’s a man in a dress. Oh my God! what am I doin’ here?”
“Oscar L. B.?” called the judge.

“Yeah, that’s me.”

“Do you want o do something about your drinking problem?” 

“I don’t have a drinking problem.”

“Do you want to get out of trouble?”


“Oscar L.  B. you’re charged with being drunk and disorderly and resisting arrest--how do
you plead?”

“Guilty, Your Honor.”

“The man ahead of you has been in this jail over forty times and man behind you over ninety time. From the condition you were in when you came in, I have no reason to believe you won’t be back. I sentence you to life on the installment plan. You can serve it any way you like, ten, thirty, ninety days at a time or in  larger quantities. There is an alternative--if you’re interested, go through the door in the back of the court room.”
Man does that air smell good. Greens grass! Trees! Birds! I didn’t know there were birds in Washington, DC. God it’s good to be alive. I never felt so good. Four day behind bars can give a man a different outlook. I’ll never go back there. No more booze! I’ll go to their meetings and live up to the conditions of the probation. I don’t ever want to go back there. 
I’m in an AA meeting! How’d I get here? Oh, my head! I wonder who sent me--Where have I been? What have I done?
 “Oh no, I don’t have anything to say.” 
I don’t want to drink. I want to work and get rich and fall in love. Maybe I can get Marilyn back, or maybe I can fall in love with some farm girl and have a nice house...
Part Five, It wasn’t long before I finally arrived to stay in AA. I was 22:

“Abe, I just found myself in a liquor store and I don’t remember the last several blocks. I’m scared. I just got a pack of cigarettes and got my butt down here to the AA club. Have you ever heard of anybody doin that?”

“Not that, exactly, but I have heard of people having delayed reactions to alcohol and that could be what it was. You’re going to need God’s help if you’re gonna stay sober.”
“Abe, I don’t know how to pray. I’m not sure I believe in God. Maybe good, but I don’t know about God!”

“I didn’t either, I just talked to Him like I do to you and slowly I started getting answers and I have come to rely on Him over the years.”
God whoever You are--whatever You are--if you exist--I need help!
“Lee, I’ve known you for almost a year now, and I think we’re pretty good friends. Being blind, I can’t tell how old you are. You must be about my age from your story. I’m fifty -one.”
“No, Abe, I’m only twenty-three. I’ve just got a lot of miles...” 

Does he know I’ve been lying? Does he know what I’m really like? Would he still like me if he really knew?

Part Six, Learning about the Fellowship:
Why don’t I just walk out on the whole thing and go find Marilyn. Maybe I was so screwed up when I was in Chicago, I just imagined that she was a lesbian. God knows I’ve imagined an awful lot of things. I don’t know what to believe. Well, I can believe some things--AA has helped me stay sober. I couldn’t do that on my own. I am sure that I want to make my living in art--making signs anyway. It’s a good thing Ican go to the AA club and release all my frustrations. 
“Hi, Henrietta, whendja get outta jail?”

“Hi, you rotten kid. Why don’t you go back home?”

“I don’t have a home. You gonna let me move in with you?”

“Not on your life!”

“If you’re not nice to me I’m gonna throw your coat in the trash again.”

“You’re gonna pay the cleaning bill this time, too.”

“Good morning, Bill. Sausage ‘n’ eggs and bowl of snot!”

“You really know how to improve everyone’s appetite, don’t you? Why don’t you eat at home and let everyone else enjoy eating here?”

“I’m just trying to spread joy and love.”

“Why don’t you wash your hair?”

“You just wish you had some!”

“Oh, You’re rotten!”

“Thank you.”

I thought you were going to Phoenix.”

”I was but I couldn’t afford to get to the edge of town.”

“If I had your talent I’d be a millionaire.”

“Yeah, and if I could hang on to money the way you do, I’d own Denver.”

“Lee, your breakfast is up.”

“OK, thanks Bill. This looks almost good enough to eat. Hi Russ, where ya been, in jail?”

“No, I have to stay out so I can pay your bail.”

“How’s your wife and my kids?”

“You want ‘em back?”

“No thanks, I can’t handle my the ones I got.”

“I thought you were going to Phoenix.”

“I ran out of money before I got out of town.”

Part Seven, Today:

God, I’m powerless over alcohol and my life is unmanageable. You can restore me to sanity and today I’m gonna let You. Please direct my thinking today especially that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonesty, self-seeking motives, jealousy, and lust. You know, God, the jealousy is gone. I don’t know what You’re doing with the lust but that’s Your business. I guess I could be a little more co-operative by not buying the dirty books and stuff like that. I offer myself to you to build with me and to do with me as You will. Relieve me from the bondage of self that I may better do Your will. I guess You have done that. I seem to be effective in helping other people and I seem to add some happiness to other people’s lives. I know I make a lot of people laugh and some really like to see me. Take away my difficulties that victory over them may bear witness to those would help of Your love. I guess I have been doing Your will even though I was all screwed up. I didn’t drink or kill myself and I have learned to laugh both at myself and with others. My kids love me and my wife and I are getting along better. I don’t f--ing daydream as much as I used to. I may not look like a hell of a  miracle to other people but I sure do to You and me.

“Young man, how can you purport to work a spiritual program with that vulgar mouth?”
“I just do."