Thursday, March 31, 2005

Late last night Pat O'Brien knocked on my door.

"I had a horrible dream," he said. "Can I come in and rap about it?"

Before I could say no, he entered the room and sat at the foot of my bed.

"Thanks," he said.

He wore a purple monogrammed robe and Planet Hollywood slippers.

"It was awful, bro," he said, trembling.

"What was the dream about?" I asked, trying to get it over with as soon as possible.

"I dreamt I was an Eskimo..." he said.

I waited for him to continue, but instead he said nothing and just sat there all jittery and freaked out.

"And then what happened?" I asked.

"What do you mean?" he replied.

"You were an Eskimo and what happened next?"

"Nothing. I was just an Eskimo."


"Scariest fucking dream of my life," he said.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I'm not a drug counselor or anything, but I don't think Pat O'Brien is making much progress in group. He's been resistant to opening up and taking ownership of his addiction. Instead he keeps blaming it on the Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards break-up.

"They were so beautiful together," he said. "What person wouldn't resort to coke, and crystal meth, and Oxycontin, and H-Bombs, and horse tranquilizers, and Robitussin after seeing something that beautiful die?"

Sheryl Anne is losing patience with him. She bites her lip and lets out a small sigh every time he makes another excuse. She's easily the sexiest drug counselor I've ever had.

I'm not falling in love with her. I'm not falling in love with her. I'm not falling in love with her. I'm not falling in love with her. I'm not falling in love with her. Wait, am I falling in love with her? No, I'm not falling in love with her. I'm not falling in love with her. I'm not falling in love with her. I'm not falling in love with her.

At the end of group, Pat O'Brien asked everyone to "huddle up" for a group hug. "Tony," "Debbie," and "Warren" managed to pass off like they didn't hear him, but "Flo" and I were cornered and couldn't say no.

The hug was hours ago and I've showered three times since, but I still smell like Brut and monkey assistant.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I would have updated sooner, but I lent Pat O'Brien my laptop. He said he had to answer some fan mail. I didn't believe him because, well, I'm not convinced he has fans, but I let him use it anyway. One of my goals is to be more generous, so here I was, being more generous.

Being more generous is overrated. He had the computer for, like, three hours. When I told him I needed to use it, he said, "Hold on a sec, did you know Terri Schiavo had a blog?"

I had not, but sure enough, there on the computer screen was a blog claiming to be Terri Schiavo's.

"I think it's really inspiring," Pat O'Brien said.

"I don't think it's real," I said. Fake blogs aren't really my thing, and this one in particular was in pretty bad taste.

"But look," Pat O'Brien said, "it's gotta be her. There aren't any words, just sounds written out -- the same kinds of sounds Terri Schiavo makes."

"Yeah, but I don't think --"

"Don't you GET it, bro!?! This PROVES she's not a veg-head! She can TYPE SOUNDS!"

"I really don't think that it's her --"

"Somebody has got to do something, bro! They've got to save her! This is her last cry for help! SHE MUST BE RE-TUBED!"

And then Pat O'Brien buried his face in his hands and cried.

Usually I just leave him be when he buries his face in his hands and cries, but my computer was still in his lap. So I had to wait it out.

He cried for seven and a half minutes.

When I finally got my computer back there were dozens of windows open and several new bookmarks to porn sites.

None of them were really my scene.
We won our first Rehab Clinic League volleyball game last night. The other team was tough. Tom Sizemore was their captain. He's kind of intense. He wore three headbands and stared at me like I had just made out with his mother.

Before the game started I reached under the net and extended my hand to wish him good luck.

"Bring it on, bitch," he replied.

I was pleasantly surprised by the play of our team. "Tony" proved to be quite agile in his bunny suit, and "Warren's" height (he's 6'11") provided great defense, as well as a couple of awesome spikes that landed right in Tom Sizemore's face.

"Fuck-ing bitch!" he'd yell every time he got plunked by the ball.

Pat O'Brien wasn't bad, either. He had trouble staying in his designated area and called "I got it!" when he didn't really have it way too many times, but he held is own. He insisted on playing bare-chested ("Gotta give the lady addicts a little eye candy," he said), so it wasn't a lot of fun bumping against him when going after a ball. But fortunately his presence seemed to annoy Tom Sizemore more than it does even me, and it clearly threw Heidi Fleiss's ex-boyfriend off his game.

"That bitch O'Brien is a little bitch cake," I heard him mutter.

But Whitney Houston was by far our most valuable player. Her sweat-soaked serves were no match for the other team, as she sent spraying ball after spraying ball over the net. Her serves were near impossible to defend because the ball was so wet with her sweat that it slipped off their hands before they could muster a return.

"Sweaty bitch! Sweaty bitch! Sweaty bitch!" Tom Sizemore yelled at the end of the game.

Then he buried his face in his hands and wet himself.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Family visit time went okay. It was nice to see my mother. She brought me a chocolate Easter bunny and the latest issue of Kickboxing Illustrated. When I mentioned that Pat O'Brien had entered the program she got all excited.

"Ooo, I loved his work with Jimmy Cagney!"

Bobby Brown and the rest of Whitney Houston's entourage showed up. I told Bobby I was a big fan of "Candy Girl." He thanked me, then asked if I was a "homo."

I walked away slowly.

The only person to show up for Pat O'Brien was his personal assistant, a well-dressed African-American man named Alan. He looked obligated to be there. I wouldn't want his job for anything.

"Hey 'Flo'," Pat O'Brien yelled across the room. "Lookey here," he said, pointing to Alan, "I have a monkey assistant, too."

Silence followed. Tense, uncomfortable silence, puctuated only by the sound of "Flo's" respirator.
In preparation for family visit time, we painted Easter eggs yesterday morning. It was pleasant. Hadn't done that sort of thing since I was a child. Made me remember happier times when I wasn't addicted to pain killers and stuck in rehab with Pat O'Brien. Whitney Houston seemed to enjoy it, too.

"My Easter egg is gonna be better than Night Court!" she bragged.

"Tony" wore a bunny suit while he decorated his eggs. It was festive, but since he usually wears a bunny suit, not especially surprising.

"Debbie" was by far the most invested in the project. Her eggs were carefully decorated and each had a different inspirational phrase on it, like "You are a gift" and "You can do it - I know you can!"

When I asked her who the eggs were for, she responded cheerfully, "Me!"

Pat O'Brien chose not to decorate his eggs. "I'm saving mine," he told me. His tone was serious and focused.

"Saving them for what?" I asked.

"Mark McGrath's face," he answered.

Friday, March 25, 2005

This morning Pat O'Brien barged into my room and caught me dancing alone to my iPod.

"What you listening to?" he asked.

"Irene Cara," I told him.

"Cool," he said. "I've banged her."

He stood at the doorway and waited for me to say something, but I was determined not to show any kind of reaction.

"No, I didn't," Pat O'Brien said. "That was a lie."

Then he buried his face in his hands and cried.
The Terri Schiavo case came up in group yesterday. It was interesting to hear everybody's take on the issue. Many people sided with her husband, but at the same time empathized with her parents.

"Tony" thought the government had no business getting into it. "Republicans are just using her for political gain," he said. "It's despicable."

"Debbie" worried what the dispute said about the sanctity of life, and was glad President Bush was defending Schiavo.

Whitney Houston said that her and Bobby's new reality show was going to be "better than Night Court."

Pat O'Brien asked, "Is it just me or are tracheotomy scars kind of a turn on?" Then he winked at "Flo," who, understandably, chose not to weigh in on the discussion.

Obviously, the topic hits close to home for her, thus she couldn't find the right words to express how she feels. Plus her computer voice box thingy was acting buggy. It kept repeating the same phrase over and over again in Japanese. "Warren," who used to mule opium out of Tokyo, told us that it was saying "The mayonnaise has gone bad. The mayonnaise has gone bad. The mayonnaise has gone bad..."

So out of respect for "Flo," none of us complained when her monkey assistant dry humped our legs.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Whitney Houston seems to be settling in fine. She brings a lot of energy to the center. She's forever singing and laughing and whooping it up. I've yet to see her not glistening with sweat. At breakfast she sweat. During group she sweat. While playing Boggle she sweat. She's like a sweating machine.

There are stains all over the furniture.

In the kitchen, Pat O'Brien pulled me aside and asked what I thought of Whitney. I told him she seemed nice, but sweaty, and then I waited for him to make some kind of crass comment about how he'd like to sleep with her.

"Yeah, she's good people," he said.

I was surprised. He sounded sincere and normal for the first time since he had arrived.

"I'd hit that, but we share an indentured servant in the Hamptons," he said. "It's not wise to bone your business partner."

"I suppose not," I said, wanting to run away from him.

"He's the best indentured servant I've ever had," Pat O'Brien said, "even for a gay Filipino. I forget his name. Makes a great gimlet, though."
There was a mandatory barbecue out on the main lawn last night. As mandatory rehab center barbecues go it wasn't too bad.

Sheryl Anne was there. She looked fantastic. I asked her if she'd like me to get her another plate of ribs. She declined with a smile. God, she's great.

After dinner we hung around the common room and sang songs. Pat O'Brien had his mandolin. He actually wasn't that bad. He sang "Eve of Destruction" and "To Sir, With Love." I just wish he hadn't taken his shirt off. Nobody wanted to see that.

"85 push-ups a day, my peeps," Pat O'Brien boasted.

As he began to play the opening chords of "Year of the Cat" the doors swung open and in walked a sweaty, skinny African-American woman trailed by a wagon full of fancy suitcases.

"Hey, babies: Whitney's in da house!" she proclaimed.

Many of the residents appeared happy to see her. I guess they all go way back together. Pat O'Brien seemed to know her, too. He greeted her with a big hug and a low five.

"Crack is wack!" Pat O'Brien shouted.

"Crack is wack!" Whitney replied with glee.

"Crack is wack!" they both yelled in unison.

And then they laughed and laughed and laughed.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

At lunch today Pat O'Brien leaned over and asked me, "What's the deal with the fox in the wheelchair?" He meant "Flo."

I told him that she was a heroin addict.

"She's got it going on!" he told me.

I didn't answer. But he did have a point. Despite having Lou Gehrig's disease, and being a heroin addict, and having a really annoying monkey assistant, I think "Flo" is indeed a remarkable person.

"You mind if I try to get some of that?" Pat O'Brien asked me.

"No," I said.

"Excellent," he said. "She is so fucking HOT."

And then Pat O'Brien buried his face in his hands and cried.
We watched American Idol for our allotted TV time last night. I thought most of the performances were uninspired. Pat O'Brien is a big Vonzell fan. He got all revved up when she sang.

"Black chicks dig me," he explained. Then he winked at "Debbie."

"Debbie" isn't black. She just has this condition that's darkened her skin. It's an after effect of her withdrawal. The doctor's are puzzled by it.

"Yeah, me and Patti LaBelle had a thing for a while," Pat O'Brien announced.

We all made like we didn't hear him.

Woke up this morning to find they had screwed up the phone numbers for certain Idol contestants. This means I accidentally voted for Scott Savol seventeen times. Damn.

I could really use some Demerol right now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Made some progress in group today. Realized that I'm a better person than I think I am and that I count for something. Can't remember the last time I've had a positive thought about myself. Sheryl Anne is the best counselor I've ever had by far. She's great. It's like she's known me my whole life.

I will not fall in love with her. I will not fall in love with her. I will not fall in love with her. I will not fall in love with her. I will not fall in love with her. I will not fall in love with her. I will not fall in love her. I will not fall in love with her.

There. That should do it.

Pat O'Brien didn't seem that invested in my discovery. He kept wanting to talk about the time he went ballooning with Les Moonves instead. I don't see what that had to do with me learning to like myself again. Jerk.
Played checkers with Pat O'Brien this morning. He's an intense competitor. Beat me four times in a row. I'm pretty good at checkers. It's rare that I get beaten. So I asked him what his secret was.

"I pretend you are Mark McGrath," he said.

"Oh," I said.

"You ever play in any competitive checkers tournaments?" I asked.

No answer.

"You prefer checkers over chess?" I asked him.

No answer. Instead he just sat there staring at me like he wanted to kick box.

"You still pretending I'm Mark McGrath?"

"Yes," he answered.

Then Pat O'Brien buried his face in his hands and cried.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Tuna casserole for dinner. It was all right. Pat O'Brien sat next to me. The guy talks your ear off. He told many stories about hanging out with Wesley Snipes. Not sure if I believe them all .

I didn't like the way Pat O'Brien looked at me after he told about the time he partied at Skybar with "Wes." It's like he was waiting for me to tell him how impressed I was. He must think he has something to prove. It's kind of sad. But because I've been trying to be better about being a more supportive person, I gave him a half-assed "Wow." That seemed to be enough for him.

I looked to see if Sheryl Anne had noticed the nice thing I had done, but she was too busy helping "Flo" reign in her monkey assistant to notice.

Damn monkey assistant.
Pat O'Brien has the room next to mine. I went over and welcomed him. He was unpacking. He put a picture of Mary Hart next to his bed.

I remember Pat O'Brien from when he worked the CBS Sports desk during the NCAA Basketball Tournament. That was close to 15 years ago. I asked him who he liked in this year's tourney.

"Wake Forest!" he said emphatically while grooming his moustache.

Because I've been working on not giving in to destructive temptation, I tried hard not to tell Pat O'Brien that Wake Forest had lost over the weekend. But after a couple of seconds I broke down and gave him the bad news.

Then Pat O'Brien buried his face in his hands and cried.
A new resident arrived today. He showed up during group time when "Tony" was talking about the poodle he had when he was a boy. Again.

Sheryl Anne started to introduce the new guy, but before she could, he did it himself.

"Hey, folks! I'm Pat O'Brien."

"Hi, Pat O'Brien," a few of us answered back.

"We encourage residents to avoid using last names," Sheryl Anne told him.

"Hey, folks!" Pat O'Brien said. "Coming up next: Find out what famous entertainment show host has checked himself out of the limelight and into rehab."

We all sat there quietly for a moment while Pat O'Brien smiled at us.

"Well, I wonder who it could be?" "Debbie" asked.

"I think it's him," "Tony" said, pointing to Pat O'Brien.

"Oh," Debbie answered.

We were quiet again.

"Hey, folks!" Pat O'Brien said. "Coming up after the break: See which Hollywood 'Insider' now find himself inside a drug rehabilitation center."

"Yep, it's definitely him," "Tony" said. "I've seen him on television before.

"Oh, I think I have, too," "Debbie" said.

And then Pat O'Brien buried his face in his hands and cried.