When you check in, or are check in you will be told thirty days, but it’s pretty much the standard twenty-eight days. The two day buffer is in case of bad weather. What they don’t tell you is just how away you are.
To say you are in the sticks would be a grand exaggeration.
Crickets chirping? Check.
So many trees and acres that running away is impossible? Check.
Instructors with large cowboy hats that move side to side when they walk? Check.
Lack of indoor plumbing? Check.
This place is for the addiction, but not the kind you associate with rehabilitation. No, this isn’t for alcohol, heroin, cocaine, pain pills, or opium. This program is to help people move out of New York City. For those unable to see a world outside, yet yearn for another way. Our here? This is where they come to be re-programmed the way pimps train hookers, only this time the idea is to take you off the corner, and not vice versa.
The first week you will spend most of your time outside where there is very little sound and at night, only darkness. For many, this is their first taste of what it is like surrounded by the night and fearful of the darkness. Here, there are no lights to run to, only deep breaths full of fresh air.
During the second week patience is the main topic. The understanding that a slice of pizza is not right around the corner, and the street vendors, they only exist in dreams. The twenty-four seven service you are accustomed to is no longer available. Much of the second week is spent waiting in line.
It’s during this phase you begin to shake from the withdrawal.
Feelings discussed? Check.
After two weeks group discussions begin. No profanity is allowed. Open talks about reliance on readily available taxis and mass transit lead to more intimate meetings focused on casual sex and ease of scoring drugs. This is not necessarily the most productive week, but it’s good for everyone to talk about these items.
The fourth week is used for transition. How to look for an apartment in places with low vacancy, day care vocabularies, and how to carry on long discussions regarding the weather are all covered topics during this time.
Looks like rain? Check.
Do you remember how many times you shoveled the driveway last year? Check.
Hunting jackets worn as everyday coats for warmth? Check.
Graduation for this program is a somber time. Not because the classes and learning are coming to an end, but because the success rate is so low. The fact is it’s easier to take the heroin out of the addict than take the city from an addict.
David S. Grant is the author of BLOOD: The New Red. For more information go to http://www.silverthought.com/blood/ Follow David on Twitter: @david_s_grant