OK, so a few months have passed since I last mentioned Drunk Unk, aka Skitz.
I got to feeling a little guilty about having dissed him for so long, so I decided to give him a call on his birthday.
Somehow, this lunk had managed to get himself a cell phone and had called one of The Brothers. Brother No. 2 asked him, “Have you been drinking?”
Skitz replied, “Well, a little .…”
Brother No. 2 said, “I told you not to call me when you’ve been drinking.”
Skitz tried to make up some excuse and Brother No. 2 wasn’t having any of it.
“Call me when you’re sober. Then I will talk to you.”
That was the end of the conversation.
Brother No. 2 mentioned to me that he had spoken to him, so I got the phone number from him and waited until Skitz’s birthday rolled around.
I called him up and he was working.
We had a lengthy chat, he behaved as though we had just spoken the day before. I guess years of abusing alcohol helps to shorten memory spans.
But never mind.
Now that I had phoned him, he had my number on his cell phone.
He made use of it, too.
Not to the extent he would have at one time, where he thought nothing of calling at 4 a.m. and asking, “Heeeeey bebe ... whas goin’ on?”
Like I was sitting in a chair reading a book and not dug in under the covers sawing logs.
I would explain that I would have to be up in couple of hours to go to work and he would start cussin’, saying how I didn’t need to go to work ... ’cause you know ... he didn’t work.
Anyway, as we neared the end of our conversation, I asked him how he was getting along.
I wasn’t surprised at all with his answer.
You know that cat’s got nine lives, right?
He explained how he’d lost all of his furniture when he took a job out of town for 10 days and the guy who was putting him up got rid of everything because, as he said, “I didn’t think you was comin’ back, dude!”
So, no furniture, and no real place to call home.
He’d been allowed to sort of camp out in the trailer he was refurbishing for a friend of his. He was down to a foam mat, a blanket, and a pillow.
Most of his belongings were now in the requisite gear of the homeless: plastic garbage bags.
He wasn’t sure where he would be living next, he was hoping — more or less — that someone else would take pity on him and put him up somewhere.
I asked him if he was still drinking.
“Well ... only beer now. I cain’t afford liquor.”
No, can’t afford liquor, but had four months worth of food stamps saved up.
I told him he needed to just give it up all together and get straight and cleaned up.
“Uh ... you gonna lecture me when we talk?”
“Yes, I am.”
I’m glad he still thought it was funny that he didn’t refer to himself as an “alcoholic,” ’cause really, he says, “I’m just a drunk.”
He has called me a couple of times over the last few weeks and we’ve chatted.
One call was fairly typical. He was at a friend’s house, had been drinking and passed the phone to his friend to talk to me.
I just love that. Not.
I heard from him a bit over a week ago and he was out in the swamps with another friend. I didn’t really want to know what they were doing out in the swamps, but I know for sure alcohol was involved because he kept calling me “bebe.”
I called him the other night to check on him and was told via a computer-generated operator that his number is “temporarily out of service.”
Poke salad Annie.
Gator got your granny.
Most likely got ol’ Skitz, too.
You see a gator come wobblin’ up on your lawn, you know he’s had a bite outta old Drunk Unk.
And he might have a bellyful of food stamps, too!