Sunlight shining through trees on a road =.
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The last time I was in the recoverin’ house out in Arlington, VA, I let things get in my way.

I left it after bein’ there 30 months. I had ups and downs with my roommates. But also I left to go stay with a lady friend.

I regretted that. After a while she had a new friend and she wanted me out of the house. I was paying her to stay there and the police told her she couldn’t remove me without getting 30-days eviction order.

That’s when she went to a judge and lied and say I put a hand on her, so she could get a stay-away order, which could have sent me back to prison for six months.

So after that I had to find a place to stay. I thought about it in my mind. I didn’t want to go to a shelter. So I networked with friends from the old recovering house. I asked them: Did they have any room for me to come back there?

They say yeah they have room.

Then a guy from another house say, “We have opening where I’m at.”

He say they have single rooms.

My eye popped open like a bowling ball. I say, “Damn, single room? How can I get that?”

He say he would put the word out for me. So I called my editor and say, “Hey I think I got a ace in the hole.” Meaning I think I got a place to go to.

She was excited.

I said, “I don’t know for sure if I have it, but you know me. I’m gonna put in some footwork,” meaning I gotta get to the house for Tuesday, the night they have meetings and also do interviews.

So I call the house and tell them I be there at 5 o’clock. I was so excited I got there at 3:30. I knew it was a good house by sittin’ back. They offered me coffee, talked to me. I knew they was real mens because I deal with a lot of real mens in life, comin’ from prison and also on the street.

For the interview they ask me, “If you see someone from the house in the liquor store or buyin’ beer at Harris Teeter, would you come back and tell us?”

I say, “I’d talk to the guy first.”

They say anybody that buying alcohol or drugs, they contagion to you and the others in the house.

After I sit in the meetin’ they told me to step out for 3 or 4 minutes. Then they call me back in and tell me I am accepted in the house.

They ask me how soon can I bring my stuff in. I got back with my editor and told her everything that went down. She asked me, “You sure you like that sober house better than the other one?”

I say, “Yeah they got single rooms.”

She say, good, that’s what you been lookin’ for.

So I moved in. And first chance, I went out with gift cards from customers to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought some blanket, pillows, shower shoes, stuff like that.

As days was passin’ by, I started likin’ it a lot, feeling real comfortable. It feel so good getting’ up, goin’ to work, comin’ home, knowin’ no one gonna be puttin’ me out.

Just imagine bein’ out all day on your feet, knowin’ you got a place to go to, kick back, get some good rest. It so good there, now look what happen next.

After sittin’ there with these guys for less than six months, it’s a big step I made. At the weekly meeting, after talkin’ about old business the old president announced now we will talk about “new business.”

He been havin’ trouble with another guy in the house. He say, “We put our hands on each other. The guy called the police.”

A lot of us was makin’ faces like shock to hear what goin’ on.

So the president say for my new business, I believe that me and the other guy I got in to it with should be evicted from the house. So we all stood up. We made a vote on it. The guys all voted that they agree with the president that the two of them should leave the house.

So they packed they stuff, call they people to come get them.

We give them 45 minutes to get they stuff out. Or most of it. That’s the rule.

The guy to do the treasure, say we gotta get another president. So everybody lookin’ around, like Wow, who gonna be the president?

One of the guys in the house, who was in the old house I was at, he say, “Hey, Gerald would make a good president.”

I said, “Man why you say that?”

He say, “You got a lotta experience. You got a lot to talk about.”

So he ask, “Who all like to see Gerald president?” Nine of the guys raise they hand up.

On Tuesday, March 14 at the 7:30 house meeting, they voted me to become the new president of the house.