Who goes to Toledo?! (Memoirs of a Vacation 1)

This guy.  This guy right here planned a vacation to Toledo, Ohio.  Sometimes it’s not about where you are going, but who you are going to visit.  Sometimes, it’s just about escaping to anyplace that isn’t home.  I’d say both apply to me.  If the Motel 6 in the next town over (which would be Lombard) was the only place I could go, I would jump on that opportunity too.  Luckily for me I get to leave the Chicago suburbs and visit one of my best friends.

I’ve known Mitch for way too long.  It’s a friendship that has changed, and had its ups and downs for over 13 years.  We are lucky to have been the original staff at Crew Bar and Grill in Uptown, which I was shortly fired from for slapping a girl in the ass that was playing pool after I had a few after work beers.  Self centered me still has a little part inside that thinks I got fired because my ex was the owner and the boys all loved me.  Mitch worked in the kitchen and I remember his light eyes underneath that blue Crew hat he had on backwards peering at me over the hot food area.  I’m sure there is a technical term for the place they put your orders on when they are ready to go out, but I’ll just stick with “hot food area”.  For what its worth, he looked ghetto as hell with that fitted hat on backwards and it made me melt.  To this day, that is still my favorite hat, and I still feel some type of way when I see a cute ghetto boy.

Mitch was anything but ghetto.  He remains one of my most intelligent friends.  We started spending a lot of time together and exchanged many phone calls and texts.  Most of my life I have beaten myself up for what I was doing instead of where I was going, and this time was no different.  I was probably at the peak of my escorting days and even though I portrayed confidence on the outside, I felt like a piece of cat shit on the inside.  As the relationship developed, I pushed him away, like I do most people because I feel if they ever knew my truth, they would leave me anyways.  He was moving to New York for culinary school anyways and I certainly did not trust myself to trust someone else to go to New York and be faithful to me.  Relationships have always to date, been my downfall in life.  He was too good, and I was too bad, so it needed to develop into something else.  That something else became something more.

While in New York, I came to visit him and had the best vacation of my life.  After I went back a lot of things changed.  The worse I felt about myself the harder I pushed him away, and my actions of self indulgence while seeking attention eventually over powered the friendship.  When the only way you know how to make friends is to have sex with them, you develop a strange sense of self.  I still struggle with this today at 35!  What is wrong with me? I’ll tell you!  I had problems with being the person someone wanted to know, versus being the person you wanted to have sex with.  I imagine this is the struggle Britney Spears also goes through everyday. Yes, I just compared myself to Britney Jean Spears.

He went to New York, and I went to the burbs to go to beauty school.  I met Tony and he met some dude I already forgot what his name was.  They moved to Phoenix and I moved all over from Florida to every burb in Chicago.  This is the first time Mitch hurt me, instead of me doing it to him.  Basically he decided that it was best to not talk to me, because his boyfriend didn’t like it.  That was a shock because over the years we always managed to have some contact, even when I was with Tony who limited all contact I had to other guys.

They broke up, and he eventually moved back to Chicago.  I had a new boyfriend Jason and a thing on the side called a Crystal Meth addiction.  Through everything, Mitch was always there in my heart and my head.  He was safe place for me.  I told him most everything about my life and my addiction and he never judged me, but maybe that’s because he had an addiction of him own that I never saw.  Porn.  Just kidding.  He was a struggling alcoholic.

My time line is shaky, but we both moved so much!  He then left Chicago again, and gave me all his plants before he headed off into the sunset.  I was at the peak of my meth addiction and again, shrugged it off that he was leaving.  He hit his bottom.  He then moved back to Ohio and become a recovering alcoholic instead of the functioning alcoholic his body and brain trained him to be.  I WAS OUT OF CONTROL AND ALL OVER THE PLACE.  The worst place in my adult life, back to prostitution, sex for money, sex for drugs and sex to feel wanted.  His recovery was great, and again just made him look better then me on the inside.  All I ever cared about was what I looked like on the outside, because addicts manipulate people and my body was my biggest weapon.

Finally God served it to me HARDCORE and I lost it all.  Including my mind, at the same time Mitch was taking a trip out to see his drug addicted friend.  I needed him the most those few days and life played out to have him there for me.  I tried staying away from meth.  Now I was going to an outpatient facility and was going to stop everything including the marijuana that I loved so much.

Today we are both in recovery.  Mitch has never met me sober.  I would never even take a trip to Toledo in fear of a 5 hour commute without smoking weed.  I would never go to Toledo anyways because how fun could a sober guy really be?? Today I have never been so excited to go to Toledo.  I get to see one of the best friends I have ever had in my life.  He gets to meet me, completely clean for the first time in our life.  Our relationship has truly passed the test of time, and I know someone who has taught me that not everyone just wants me for my body.  Furthermore its been a long and rough summer, and I need to get away.  I cant think of a better person to spend my time with.  My train leaves tomorrow, Chicago to Toledo at 6PM.

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