The Jig is up

by Jack Yanisch

      I had a Gran Mal seizure as I said and because of that I was busted. When I came to, the medics and cops were standing over me saying "Mr. Yanisch can you get up?" I opened my eyes to see my underwear at my knees and patches on my chest. I had been up for the last three days and was such a mess by then I had gone into my room and taken all of my clothes off and collapsed into a pile. This had been going on for the last five years solid. They were dressing me to put me in the ambulance; the patches were to monitor my condition. I swung my legs over the edge of the bed and pulled my underwear up the rest of the way and put on some pants. The house I lived in was so small, actually the size of a two-stall garage, that they couldn't get the gurney through the house. So they got me up and I walked outside and lay down on the stretcher and they loaded me into the ambulance.
    As they were loading me I realized I was busted. Debbie was crying and some cop mentioned she should follow me to the hospital and that a squad car would be kind enough to give her a ride. That means the cops got to stay behind and search without a warrant because they had been invited into the house on a 911 call. I knew one of the cops from childhood and said "Schloup, get them fuckers out of there," and passed out. I remember nothing about the ride or the admitting process or even how long I was at the hospital. Sometime later, and I don't even know if it was the same day or the next, a nurse came in and said "you can go now." I said "are you sure? those were cops that brought me here" and she said, "yeah, you were here for the observation of a drug overdose." Debbie looked at me and said "what are going to do now, pal?" She always called me Pal and I called her the same thing. I knew the Jig was up. I said "we have to call my dad." Debbie said, "Oh no, this is going to kill him." I said "no, this is what's he's been waiting for." You see my dad had been sitting in AA meetings for 33 years at that time. Alcoholism is hereditary and three of his six kids had it. He knew like I do, that every addict or alcoholic does one of two things sooner or later. They either die or they hit a new bottom and ask for help. 
       My dad picked up the phone and I said "Dad, I OD'd today and I'm in the hospital, I'll be going to jail but right now they're letting me out and I have no way to leave here. Will you come and get us?" My dad said, "I'll be right there." My dad was not co-dependent. He had never stuck his nose into my using life. He had been praying for this day for quite some time, praying that the call would indicate that I was still alive instead of dead.
     My dad picked us up and brought us to his house, my old house. My mom met us at the door and I just brushed her aside. I was in no mood for small talk. I went back to my old bedroom and passed out again. The next time I woke up there were several guns pointed at me. I opened my eyes to see my mom and dad watching as the local cops arrested me. It was more a circus than COPS. If I had said, "BOO" half the cops would have dropped their guns. 
    We went to jail for a few days and then we were brought before a judge and a bunch of legalese gobbledegook was read. Only because we'd seen enough TV, we answered "not guilty" and the judge set a trial date for sometime down the road and we were let go. Both Debbie and I checked into different treatment centers. 
     About three weeks into my stay they loaded me into the van and drove me to Carver County Court House and we stood before the judge facing 35 years and $350,000 in fines for three counts of possession with intent of a schedule 2 narcotic. We were caught with 9 1/2 grams of cocaine. Ten grams would have been a 4th count and no discretion by the judge for sentencing. As it was, we plead guilty with a public defender by our side who asked for some type of special sentencing and the judge agreed. We were sentenced to 5 years in prison and fined a couple thousand dollars. With a swing of the gavel the judge stayed the sentence and put us on probation for those 5 years and told us not to come before him again for even a jaywalking ticket because then we would do the time. As we were walking away he called to us and we turned around and he said "hey guys" and he brushed  his nose like a baseball sign: "keep your nose clean, you understand." We said, 'Yes, Sir"