The next day in the Objectives course room, Richard and I are instructed to run TR3 and TR4. These TR’s of course being the infamous, “Do Birds Fly” drill with and without handling originations.
“How about you answer and I’ll ask?” Richard suggests.
“This sucks,” I reply.
We both laugh, but inevitably move into doing the drill, as it is mandated of us in order to move further along in our programs.
“Do birds fly?” He asks.
“You know what? They do fly Richard,” I respond.
“Thank you. Do birds fly?” He repeats.
I sit in silence. Another way to flunk the drill is by not responding. It is called a comm. lag (lag in communication). However, you will not be flunked if your twin continues to ask the question until you respond.
“I repeat the question, do birds fly?” He asks.
Again, I sit in silence.
“I repeat the question, do birds fly?” He repeats. This time he draws out each word of the question.
I refuse to respond. He shifts in his seat. I stick out my tongue at him. We both giggle.
“I repeat the question, do birds fly? He asks.
“Why yes, yes they do,” I answer.
“Shall we handle some originations twin?” Richard asks, in a faked British accent.
“Why yes, yes we shall,” I reply, using the same accent. We continue the use of this accent for the next originations.
“Great. My dear madam. Do birds fly?” He asks.
“Why kind sir, I believe that they have wings. If wings are meant for flying, as I presume they are,” I say while pretending to sip on a cup of tea, “Then yes. Birds do indeed fly.”
“Thank you. Do birds fly?” He asks.
“I don’t bloody want to run this drill. In fact, I find it is a complete waste of time. Would you care for a biscuit?” I ask. I motion, as if I am offering him a tray with biscuits.
“Bloody oh. I understand that you don’t want to run this ridiculously drab drill, but we have to complete the exercise before we can enjoy these delightful biscuits. I repeat the question, do birds fly?” He asks.
This causes both of us to burst into laughter. Makayla does not appear to be amused by our antics. I don’t realize it at the time, but she must be extremely stressed out. The Objectives course room is full of wild and crazy drug addicts who have regressed back to their teenage years. Myself included. Most of us are laughing at things we would have laughed at back in high school and behaving as though we would have acted in junior high. If I were in her shoes, I’d probably bang my head into the wall, three times a day.
Brooklyn comes over to us. “Hey guys how are you feeling about the drills?”
“I feel that we have them,” Richard says.
“Oh gawd yes. Please pass us on theses TR’s!” I exclaim.
“Alright you two. We need to do the bullbaiting outside. Are you up for the challenge?” Brooklyn asks.
We concur and move our chairs outside. It’s sunny, as usual and it feels good.
“Hey look Richard,” I instruct. “There’s a flock of birds over there and guess what? They are fucking flying!”
All of us laugh, including Brooklyn. I like Brooklyn. She seems chill and laid back.
“Okay guys. Get your giggles out now. You will need to sit in your chair, maintain your confront and have complete control over your desire to laugh for 60 seconds of a bullbait TR0 to pass,” she informs us.
“Okay. You ready twin? We got this,” I say in an overly enthusiastic voice.
Our chairs are positioned three feet apart and I assume the position. Back straight, feet flat on the ground, hands palm down on our thighs and eyes straight ahead.
“TR0 Bullbait, start,” Brooklyn says.
Richard hasn’t said much, but I can already feel the corner of my lips curling and that desire to burst into laughter is bubbling to the surface.
“I can see you like to use heroin Liz,” he says, while checking out my arms.
I can’t hold it in. I burst into laughter.
“Flunk!” Brooklyn exclaims.
“Liz! I wasn’t trying to make you laugh,” Richard says.
“I know, but everything is funny. It’s your face when you say things. Plus, I don’t have track marks and you scanning my arms made me laugh,” I reply.
“Your turn,” I suggest. We all agree.
“Okay. TR0 Bullbait, start,” Brooklyn instructs.
“I hear you like to drink cough syrup. Sipping on some sizzurp,”I rap, as I pretend throw up gang signs in his face.
It’s a rap song by Three 6 Mafia. Richard and Brooklyn laugh.
“Flunk!” Brooklyn exclaims.
After we gain our composure, Brooklyn starts the TR again.
“So tell me Richard, do you prefer NyQuil or children’s Robitussin? I hear the non drowsy formula mixes great with Benadryl,” I taunt.
Richard bursts into laughter.
“Flunk!” Brooklyn exclaims.
“This is fun, but what do you say we really try to pass this?” I suggest. I wink at Richard.
“Agreed,” he replies.
“Okay. You guys ready? TR0 Bullbait, start,” Brooklyn commands.
“I am going to make you laugh. I can see it. Awe, you’re going to smile,” I say.
I am trying hard not to make him laugh, but Brooklyn insists I need to switch it up and keep going. If the twin doing the bullbaiting has a comm. lag or isn’t trying, that can earn you a flunk too.
I begin spitting out random things in Richard’s direction and before we know it, a minute has passed and Richard has completed his TR0 Bullbait. Now it is my turn again.
“Are you ready this time Liz?” Brooklyn asks.
“Yes. I think so. I can’t help it. Everything makes me laugh. Richard, I need you to get me angry. Don’t make me laugh,” I demand.
“TR0 Bullbait, start,” Brooklyn instructs.
“So, I hear you like to do heroin. Needles are really your thing. Well Liz, how are you going to feel when your kids find you dead on the bathroom floor you fucking junkie,” Richard says.
I burst into laughter. I don’t know why. There was nothing funny about the situation he has proposed. However, I cannot control my laughter. In fact, I am laughing so hard that there are tears in my eyes.
“Flunk!” Brooklyn exclaims. “Liz, what on earth?”
“What? Liz! I wasn’t trying to make you laugh,” Richard says. “Oh my gawd, why are you laughing?”
Brooklyn and him both focus their attention on me, as I begin to explain.
“I don’t know why it’s funny. All I heard was my kids were going to find me dead on the bathroom floor and I lost it. I only have one kid Richard. A daughter. Then you called me a fucking junkie and I couldn’t control it,” I say, still laughing.
“Maybe it’s nervous laughter? I know that what you said isn’t funny at all, but I can’t stop,” I reiterate, tears still in my eyes.
After I gain composure, we run the drill a few more times and finally, I pass. Brooklyn passes (attests) us on TR0-TR4 and I am ecstatic to be done with those forever (or so I thought at the time).
We still have to do our TRs eyes closed and eyes opened in 15 minute increments all the way up to two hours. We get through 30 minutes eyes open and eyes closed before lunch. Makayla is awesome today, as she informed us we didn’t have to the 15 minutes and she would mark them off because they seemed trivial in the grand scheme of things. I’m starting to like her now. When we come back we will do our 45 minute sessions of each.
“Hey Keisha. How was objectives?” I ask, as we load onto the van.
“Oh my gawd. It was mind numbing. I wish we could get off this one. I can’t cog anymore. There is nothing left to cog!” She replies.
Cog means cognition. It’s the, “I realize” statement they are looking for before passing you onto the next objective.
“I’m sorry buddy,” I reply.
“How are things going with you and Richard?” She asks.
“We got through TR0-TR4. The bullbaiting was hard,” I answer. I explain what happened and she can’t believe I laughed at what he said either.
“I don’t know. I think it was more nervous laughter. When I really dissect what he said, I should have cried,” I admit. “I think that is what he was going for. Of course, if I had cried, that would have been a flunk too.”
After we scarf down our delicious cheeseburgers, we join several other students on the benches. I miss some of the students who have graduated, including Taylor. She was always the most fun to have cigarette breaks with. I miss her special objectives.
Donny D has also graduated. I scan the table around me. It’s crazy how in the beginning of my program, graduations were a well wishing of an acquaintance you met in rehab, but now they are becoming more difficult. You really start to get to know the people in the program who are in similar spots to where you are at. I can already feel myself becoming emotional when I watch some of my good friends graduate and leave the program before me. Keisha, Brian, and even Bolts, the asshole that he is, will all be difficult graduations for me to get through without weeping.
“Dude when are you guys going to make it through your 2 hour TR?” I ask Brian.
“I don’t know Liz. This mother fucker won’t act right,” he says while pointing at Bolts.
The two of them exchange playful banter back and forth about who’s fault it is that they can’t get through the drill, but we all know it’s Bolts. I love Bolts to death (most of the time), but he is a gigantic ass and he doesn’t take anything seriously. I feel a little bad for Brian, but they appear to at least have fun together.
Noah, on the other hand, is stuck with Juice. Everyone feels bad for him. Juice walks around in a huff most days and has isolated himself from our group. He really puts Noah through hell in the Objectives course room. He puts Makayla through hell, as well.
After roll call, we hop back onto the van for round two of today. It’s Wednesday, so it is our final session today. Thank God! Richard and I make it through our 45 minutes eyes open and eyes closed and are done for the day. When I get back to the center, I make my way to my room to check on Hayden.
“Hey girl hey,” I call out.
“Hey girl hey,” she replies. Hayden looks upset.
‘What’s wrong girl?” I ask.
“The boys are supposed to be getting pills in and I am anxious about the package,” she admits.
“I know. Derek told me,” I admit. Tarantula is supposed to be getting like 200 of them in a shampoo bottle or some shit, right?”
Tarantula is the nickname we have given for this guy named Jack Tartula. He is from northern California. His jaw is permanently tweaked the fuck out from all the meth he has done. He is tall, athletic, covered in tattoos and sexy as hell.
“Yeah, that’s what I heard,” she replies.
“Are you going to take some?” I ask.
“I don’t know. I mean fuck. Yes. Are you?” She asks.
“Hell yeah I am. I’m going to pop them, snort them and chew them fucking up. Derek will probably hook you up with a few more cause he is all in love with you. I’ll hook them up with Walmart trade and score a few. Besides they know that we know about them. They are going to give us some. I don’t think I can refuse. Besides, it’s not heroin, right?” I ask.
Here we go again. How many times is this urge going to creep up within me? Why can’t I let this go? When I decide that I am really done, I mean it and then something like this comes along and it is too good to pass up. It’s mail time and Hayden and I wait together, hoping that Tarantula got his package…..
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**If you are a former student of Narconon that didn’t go through the program with me, or a family member of one of my Narconon friends and have discovered this series though my friends sharing it on their pages and want to add me on my personal Facebook page so you don’t miss a post to the series, feel free! Shoot me a message, so I know who you are!**
**DISCLAIMER: This is my personal experience at a Narconon Rehabilitation Center. This is not an expose or journalistic documentation. It is not meant to bash the program in any way, or suggest that it is the only rehab facility that works for recovery. I have been clean and sober since 09-27-13 and attribute much of that success to this program. All of the names in this series have been changed to protect the identity of my friends and sober family’s privacy! Thank you for reading!**