before they left san fran for the napa valley on sunday morning katie had called her husband to touch base and murmur sweet things into the phone which probably made her feel a whole lot better than she was trying to make him feel all things considered – she knew he was getting ready for church when she called and she asked him to have a good talk with the Lord and pray bigger and harder than he ever had before – they had arrived at a point in time where the drug cache was very nearly rock bottom, and katie was carefully rationing the meagre stash out to dodie – enough to prevent her from going on a full blown one way trip into the screamie-meemies but far from what she was accustomed to taking because among dodie’s known dealers there seemed to be more demand than there was supply --- the night had been tortuous for dodie, filled with her demons, and exhausting for katie, filled with dodie’s needs and wants --- this had been going on week now, each night a little worse than the one before, each a nightmare all its own
katie had walked on the embarcardero early that morning while dodie was finally quiet and resting for a short while --- she sucked in the cool damp air - she tasted the salt as the wind currents shifted and swirled in the bay, and something bitter as some of her own demons threatened to rear their ugly heads – she could see alcatraz and at a little distance the red golden gate bridge rising from the fog, looking like it was part of an unfinished fairy tale – she knew she needed to get their show on the road, and reluctantly she began heading back toward powell street and the chaos that would make up the next and last 24 hours that she knew were still her duty ---
traffic on the bridge was a fright mare – they drove like crazy people here compared to the traffic patterns back home with which she was familiar - katie was happy to put paid to it and finally be napa valley bound ---
they stopped in napa itself to get some snacks and more booze for dodie to have at the motel overnight – there was simply no other way about it – dodie was first out of the car and moved toward the store as if she’d been commissioned under threat to get her tail in there as fast as possible – like a race against the fiends who were in charge of all things dodie --- katie was much slower getting out of the car – she lumbered out of the impala with age and exhaustion oppressing her big time, but suddenly she was energized!!! beyond measure as she looked down --- there at her feet, screaming! white and pristine, was a vicodin - spotless and gleaming in the sun, all by its own self there in its sunday perfection - jeez!!! --- go figure!!! --- her eyes welled over and she sank to her knees with gratitude – her husband must have been kneeling on rice and entreating his Higher Power all morning for this outcome --- she quickly scanned the immediate environs for more, but something told her not to push it – she said a silent prayer of thanksgiving and moved on to catch up with dodie – when she showed it to her, dodie swore that katie must have had this put aside all the while --- not the case, but no point in arguing ---
they checked into a motel in st. helena at suppertime, ordered a pizza and began the work of keeping dodie’s bottomless glass full - along with little bits and pieces of phenobarb and vicodin to keep her mellow, katie knew they’d make the overnight ---
the two cousins sat out on the patio and as it grew later, katie began to speak of her own personal experiences - the depths she had plumbed in her own life, the epiphanies and insights she’d come to accept and deal with, and the growth she’d experienced in her recuperative times – usually she was reticent and self-deprecating but for some reason she felt her age, experiences and wisdom combining into a force that she hoped would penetrate dodie’s fog and at least set the tone for this rehab episode --- she was trying to help dodie see that this was the fight of her life without scaring her to death --- she commended her for coming to this point on her journey, while at the same time she tried to help her see that it was now all up to her --- the supports were going to be there, the groups and the counselors, her fellow clients with similar problems, and the educational material – she would get good and adequate nutrition, an exercise program, and any number of psychological programs --- but the bottom line was that she had to do this by herself and for herself, she had to facilitate and allow the healing to come from deep within her, she had to true up to things she may not want to know or see --- she needed to plumb her own depths, gain her own epiphanies and insights to accept and deal with, and get to a recuperative place and time where she could savour her own personal changes and wisdom and allow herself to grow through it --- to heal!!!
the morning would bring the first day of the rest of her life --- and a new meaning for her of the words, “heal thyself!!!”