Six years ago today my Crazy whispered, “Sobriety? Sure, Pal. Let’s spend the rest of our life as a tragic bore. It’s all crosswords and tea cups from here on out.”
I replied from my slumped fetal position under the hard florescent lights in a psychological-observation lazy-boy betwixt two other mad-hatters, “Have you seen where we are right now?”
“Exactly. You need to figure out how to get us out of here pronto. We’ve managed our way out of worse together. You’re good with the words, let’s make with the apologies and promises and see if we can’t be excused. Better yet, when they move us out of this room, let’s just make a run for it. Maybe with a little luck we can still make it to JFK to hop a flight to Austin and catch the Texas/Missouri game with your old man,” my Crazy replied.
“They’ve got my wallet,” I said. “Not sure how we’d manage that.”
“You’re not using your head—think, Dude.”
“Well, I think my credit card information is saved on the JetBlue website site, so we could probably buy a ticket to Austin online.”
“And, my passport is at home, so we’ve still got an ID. I’m not even sure what hospital this is though, we could be miles from the apartment.”
“We’ve walked longer distances, I’m sure of it.”
“True, but not in a hospital gown.”
“This is New York City, no one is going to think twice about us. And if we had to, we could hail a cab and ditch it at a light. You are a fast runner, Peter.”
“Yeah, I am pretty fast. Even barefoot. They’ve got my keys, but my landlord is probably home, he could let us in—hell, he might even give us a ride to JFK if I told him it was an emergency,” I suggested.
My Crazy conspired with the part of my brain that was responsible for doling out what little adrenaline my body was still capable of producing. “Alright then, we’ve got a plan. Let’s do this!”
“What do we do when get to Austin?” I asked. “We don’t have any money, and unless I can convince the staff here to let us leave peacefully so that we can have our things back, I’m not sure how we’d get any.”
“Lots of pawn shops on the way to JFK, my friend.” Crazy insinuated. “You are a man with one too many guitars, aren’t you?”
“Genius,” I said. “We’ll hock the Fender, it’s worth like four grand. I bet we can get at least a grand for it.”
“See, Peter? And here you thought we’d no options. Let’s get going.”
“We tried to run last night though, remember?” I warned.
“Not your best effort, that.” my Crazy scolded. “You’ve got more ‘oomph’ in you now. Let’s stand up, see if the door is still locked, and go from there.”
I stood up, shuffled across the room with my blackberry between my butt-cheeks, to test the door, keeping a watchful eye on the attendant through the observation room’s glass. Locked.
“It’s locked.” I informed.
“Thanks for the update, Chief.”
I gazed through the small window on the door, out at the long hallway we’d have to sprint through if somehow magically the lock just popped to open in the next few moments. “Well, the dude behind the glass already told us we had to wait for the doctor to show up. He seemed pretty perturbed the last time we bothered him. What now?”
“Remember the time we faked being ill to get out of that Bronx jail cell?” my Crazy reminded.
“Oh yeah, we did do that.”
“Same thing here, should be even easier, don’t you think?”
“It’s not really apples to apples, but yeah, I get what your saying.”
“Alright then, enough talk.”
“This all sounds like an awful lot of effort just to see a football game,” I said.
“QUIT FUCKIN’ STALLING!”
“We aren’t trying to escape to go to Austin, are we?”
My Crazy regained its composure, though its desperation was still evident in the trembles that punctuated its words, “Come on, Rosch. You know the answer to that.”
“This is about the three tallboys still sitting in the fridge from last night?”
“If you say so, Peter.”
“There’s always the chance we already drank those and we only think they are still there,” I warned.
“Well, we won’t know until we know.”
“True. Okay. When we get back to the apartment, we’ll drink those, get cleaned up, either have the landlord drive us to JFK or convince a cabby to take us to a pawnshop on the way to JFK, and then once we are in Austin we can call the banks and get new credit cards, bank cards, and figure the rest of this out—BUT, right after that, we are getting sober.”
“Absolutely. Wouldn’t have it any other way.” my Crazy assured. “I mean, we pull this escape off, we deserve a drink, but after that drink—after just enough to keep us sane on our way down to Texas—we’re done with it and on to the crossword puzzles and church choir or whatever it is you’ve decided our life is going to be.”
“Cool. Let’s eat the Froot Loops they set next to us while we were sleeping, and then we’ll head out. I’m starving.”
“I like this idea. I’m no doctor, but I suspect your stomach isn’t really going to be too psyched about its re-introduction to milk, sugar, red no. 5 and the rest of it. You puke that up and it’s win/win.”