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This past Friday, Bob the Builder (I scoured my previous blogs and apparently have not written about this particular person.  He’s a welder — or was.) was supposed to stay at my place.  Quick history: we went on a date.  We became friends.  I realized very quickly that to be more than friends would be a mistake as he has a serious alcohol problem and is fairly unstable.  On December 13th he was arrested and charged with a DUI.  His landlord/house mate decided that’s completely unacceptable and kicked him out.  He lived in his vehicle for about a week, realized that it’s really too cold to be sleeping outside, and then started couch surfing.  His court date was yesterday (01/28/15) so he didn’t want to rent a new place when going to jail was a likely possibility.  Over that month of homelessness his psychological state took a turn for the worse.  He stayed at my place a couple of times… he was in a bad, bad way.

So, Friday, Bob the Builder called me and I could immediately tell he was sloshed.  I couldn’t really tell where he was.  He was asking about staying at my place, which was fine.  I spoke with Marshall.  We agreed that he could stay for a week for $175 (which would be much cheaper than Motel 6) so long as he didn’t show up drunk. If he wanted to drink while at the apt, that’s fine.  I knew that banning all alcohol would be unrealistic.  He never showed up.  I didn’t really want him driving.  I had hoped that he’d passed out in his vehicle.  But the next day I didn’t hear from him either.  Saturday evening I text his mom (I’m a sleuth and found her number).  She lives 1800 miles away.  She hadn’t heard from him.  On Sunday, neither of us had heard a peep.  She was becoming worried because Bob the Builder always calls her on the weekends.  I was worried because he normally called everyday.

On Monday I FB messaged a coworker of his.  He didn’t see him or hear anything about him on Monday.  On Tuesday I messaged the guy/friend of his that sold him the vehicle because I knew they were buddies.  Still, no word from Bob the Builder. Not a single person had seen or heard from him since Friday afternoon.  I decided (after much deliberation) to file a missing person’s report.

I had the state police number on my phone.  Just before hitting the call button Bob the Builder’s mom text me: “Hi, it’s me again.  I heard from Bob the Builder.  He is in the hospital and is going to some place called Rehab Center.  Gave him your number.  He will be calling you.  No matter what he tells you, I appreciate your contacting me.  Thanks, you are a good friend.”

After some dialogue I got the hospital’s number.  I called Bob the Builder.  As soon as I heard his voice I started crying.  You know, that I’m-Having-Trouble-Talking-Right-Now-Because-Emotions crying?  We talked for a long time… then I went to visit him and couldn’t stop touching him and looking at him and making sure he was really there.

He tried to kill himself three times.  Cops tackled him to the ground and took him to the hospital on an Order of Protection from Self-Harm during his last attempt (walking down the middle of the highway looking for a semi to jump in front of).  He detoxed, got on meds, and finally called his mom.  He’s going to a 28-day inpatient rehab center and will then enter a sober house.

The relief… I can’t even explain.