Twenty-two years ago tonight I sat in a office at Saguaro Vista Ranch getting checked in, so pissed off I couldn’t see straight. Or was I just that high? Ask Scott–he would know better than I. “I was so scared,” he told me years later, “on the drive down–I couldn’t tell if you were unconscious or dying.” He would shake me periodically to see if I breathed, though this, like much of that fateful drive from Flagstaff to Tucson, I don’t remember. Scott had never seen a junky fully in action–or inaction–until then, or he would have understood that I was as high as I could get before overdosing–every junky’s goal. The high I mean, not the overdose–and what else would you expect? Tell any junky this may be your last night using ever and see what happens. Scott did not tell me that–neither of us knew quite what we were in for–but somewhere deep under years of addiction I must have suspected that a junky en route to a treatment center might well be faced with not using again.
I didn’t. I haven’t. Twenty-one years, 364 days of not using has brought me here, to a horse ranch on the Colorado Plateau near a river and redrock and ponderosa pines. Thank you, Scott, now and forever, for so bravely driving me toward the first leg of this journey. I thank the gods and you and my father and sons for your support along this path. For my life.