I run a 12-step recovery program called “Celebrate Recovery.”  We have live music and I like to borrow my music stuff to those that have less music stuff.  My complicated life consists of much-stuff, and I lend my much-stuff to those that live simply, without stuff.  Stuff makes life very stuffy.

Most of the musicians in the program wear ankle jewelry that transmits signals to their Parole Officer’s when they move beyond their designated boundaries,  like Mexico, or the Oasis Bar.

I like to borrow my music stuff to people I trust and don’t trust.   I also am rather naïve about if it will return to me.  Boomerangs work much better than guitars and amps.

I lent an expensive, gifted, guitar and amp to a guy that plays lead guitar.  He also has ankle jewelry and lives in the self-professed “ghetto.”  He quit coming to our 12-step group because his ride was thrown in jail, so the gifted guitar and amp quit coming as well.  I’m bummed.  He was a good man working on his recovery, and my stuff is missing.

In Montana anybody that gets like seven DUI’s is either in jail, or rides a bicycle.  Yes, you can run over the same little ‘ole lady seven times before they actually throw your intoxicated carcass in jail.  Those that don’t go directly to jail have the privilege of riding half the wheels they use to.  They lost half of their mobile stuff.  Drink, drive, and get caught and you earn the privilege of riding a bicycle for a long time. You could saw it in half and ride a unicycle, if you wanted to share your stuff with someone who has no bike?

If you decide to keep drinking and ride your bicycle to the bar, you probably can make it home. You may rear-end a horse trailer, but you should be able to make your way back to the ghetto, and lock the bike to the ankle of the guy sleeping on the bench.

If you drink excessively and ride your unicycle home, please wear a Helmet-Cam, and post it on YouTube.  We want to see that.

If you attempt to ride your unicycle down the three flights of stairs that lead up to your apartment with a helmet cam and post it on YouTube, send the link to the judge that sentenced you.  He might laugh hard enough to pardon you.  That is after your hospital stay, that’s longer than your sentence.

I called the musician and he told me to come and get the equipment.

I called back and the phone was disconnected.  I took an ex-military guy with me from the recovery program, and spent a Sunday afternoon sleuthing the town for his apartment.   We went to the police station, the local church where he attended, and the pawn shop where the gear may appear.  Nothing.  Pawn shops have a lot of stuff.

Finally, after we reluctantly knocked on every door on all three floors of the brick ghetto, we found where he lived, Apartment O.  It looked like the letter on the door was formed with a large-caliber handgun, perfectly circling the peephole. I vowed to come back and camp on his doorstep.  The thought of Kevlar and sawed-off shotgun was quickly dismissed since I own neither.

I called his Parole Officer and employer.  Non-disclosure prevailed.

Finally, I felt desperation and did a “burn-the-point” cruise in my sports car and included the ghetto as my final destination.  There were punks in Subaru’s that wanted to race me on the way, but I was focused on gear recovery and wouldn’t be distracted.

I entered the ghetto with only a car fob and running shoes to protect myself. If anything went down I would accidentally hit the trunk instead of the panic button, this would allow the locals to grab my jack and remove the stereo, and all four custom wheels.  The escape may be on foot.   I moved quietly into the 100-year-old brick building and bounded up three sets of stairs and down a long, dark hallway.  I arrived at Apt. O.  Or, is that apartment Ohhh…Nooo?

I knocked on the door and someone said with hesitancy, “Who is it?”

I said “Me!”   He said, “Me who?” Then the peephole went dark.  “Let me tie my shoes.”  What?   Tie his shoes?  He wears cowboy boots!  Does that really mean lock and load?  Hit the fire escape?  Jump three stories into the ripe dumpster like a poor man’s pool?  As I listened for the sound of pump-action, I moved three feet to the left of the door like a bad Dirty Harry movie.  He slowly opened the old creaking wooden door, saw me, and with a big smile said, “Your expensive guitar and amp are right here, safe and dusty.  I haven’t even played them!”

Cold sweat replaced with warm smile.

He explained that he was about to leave for AA (on his bicycle) and said if I had been there two minutes later, I would have missed him.  He graciously carried the 60 LB amp and electric guitar stuff to my sports car (wheels still attached) and we exchanged goodbyes.

My faith in humanity remained intact, and as I went thru the gears, heading east on the Interstate,   I truly celebrated…recovery.


About MontanaBlueSky

I'm a commercial artist, artist, musician, bicyclist, father, husband, and more importantly, a Christ follower. Currently living in Montana after transplanting from Minnesota.
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3 Responses to Celebrate…Recovery

  1. Austin says:

    A friend of mine just spend two weeks in Montana. I looked at the photos she took there and was mesmerized by the beauty. Sounds like you’re working to make it an even more amazing place…

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