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Extenuating circumstances

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Friday, December 1st, 1978

My official charge was public intoxication, which is a fancy phrase for “passed out on the roller rink at your daughter’s 14th birthday party.”

I don’t have much to say other than I’m glad they didn’t find the ounce of coke in my car.

I’ve gotta do this AA thing for 2 months, and they’ve got me writing to myself to “track the thoughts, places, and people that lead to my drinking.” Their words, not mine. I know why I drink. Frankly it's the only way to bear the emptiness of everyday life and pretend everything's fine. Plus I've had a nightcap before bed everyday since I was 25. How else do they expect me to go to sleep?

Holly’s not talking to me. She’s ashamed of me, which, I get it, but it doesn’t make it hurt less. That’s an asshole thing to say. I ruined her day. She has the right to be hurt, not me.

God, I could use a drink.


Friday, December 8th, 1978

On a case with Healy tracking a stalker. The long hours sitting in the car with him really tries my patience especially when he has no idea how to talk about sensitive topics. “How’s AA going?” is not the proper way to start off the workday.

My sponsor says I have to write in this thing more than once a week. What do they expect? Monday: Slept until 2PM. Tuesday: Don’t remember. Wednesday: Want to drink. Thursday: It’s almost the weekend. Sure could use a drink. Friday: Great, time to go to another pointless meeting.

Can’t I just be a high-functioning alcoholic like every other fucking guy I know? How does anyone else get through the day sober?


Sunday, December 10th, 1978

I’m a big massive fuckup who will never be happy and doesn’t deserve to be happy.


Tuesday, December 12th, 1978

This weekend was bad. We followed the stalker into a club. Had a few drinks. Jackson got stabbed because of me. Guy had some friends and the bouncer interfered before it got too hairy but there was nothing I could do to stop it because I was too fucking drunk.

It’s been maybe 12 hours since my last drink, and I’m starting to get shakey and feel really weird. Called Jackson. He said go to the hospital. I can’t drive right now. Holly’s at school. I don’t know.


Friday, December 15th, 1978

Couldn’t go to meeting this week. Just got back from hospital. Jackson drove me and looked after Holly. She’s being really nice but like the kind of nice people do when you’re dying or have a metal rod sticking out of your head.

Jackson and Holly worked a case without me. It was an easy one. Lady thought her grandson was stealing from her, and turned out her dog eats the money she keeps under her mattress. Told Jackson not to let her join him on cases anymore if I’m not there.

Haven’t really slept in a while but I don’t think I can.


Sunday, December 17th, 1978

Slept maybe 6 hours the past two days. Trying to work but I doze off in the car. Jackson’s over a lot. When did that happen? He and Holly play checkers or chess or that Pong game. I just smoke and wander around the house. Need to call construction guys about the house for Christmas present. That would begin to make everything up to Holly I think.


Wednesday, December 20th, 1978

Been getting 4 hours of sleep at night then napping a lot. Lots of business. The holidays are always great for PI work. Guess the cheer really gets people’s criminal juices flowing.

Finally got to call construction guys about house. Gonna start building after New Years. Should I get Jackson a present? What does he even like? Guns? Leather? He needs a new pair of shoes that’s for sure.