I want to apologize to everyone for not posting in almost a week. Last week was a very bad week for me. I spent most of the week dealing with a stomach bug. It was pretty bad -- but I did get to spend some of that time watching a lot of Freaks and Geeks, so I guess it wasn't all bad.
I don't usually post about personal things, but there's this one thing that's got me so stressed right now, I can barely think of anything else. So, I figured I'd try and write about it -- get it out a little.
In order to explain this, I have to give a bit of background history. This means going back 15 years.
In the summer of 1990, when I was 19, I took a job basically doing telemarketing work (setting up appointments with people for our "salespeople" to do a pitch). It was shitty work -- in fact, while everything was perfectly legal, I knew it was all just barely so. But I was making good money and good friends and I was having a lot of fun. I went out drinking and to concerts with my coworkers and boss (one time we even went to see Danzig, after which I ended up on the tour bus and going to breakfast at Perkins with the band -- and no, I didn't fuck them, get your head out of the gutter).
About 6 months later, the parent company decided to close that office and move us to Massachusetts. Not everyone went, but a small group of my closest friends did go. We moved to a small town on the border of New Hampshire and all lived together in a small one bedroom apartment across the street from the office.
At first, it was pretty hard. We were just starting the office, so we had no money. But I didn't care -- I was happy. You have to understand, these people I was living and working with had become my family. Most of my life has been spent seeking a place to "belong" -- a place I felt was "home," where I belonged and was valued and needed and, most important, wanted. I had only really had this feeling one other time in my life, and believe me, that (in retrospect) was a much worse group of people (very long story). To this day, I have yet to find that sort of closeness again. Perhaps it's something that just never really happens, at least, not in healthy relationships. Perhaps it's just something I haven't been able to find. But I felt all of that with this group of people. I loved them, and they loved me (or so I believed).
Well, as I said, it was a hard time at the beginning. And one night, about 3 weeks after moving up there and after not having eaten in several days, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner. Of course, with no money, that meant planning to do a "dine and dash." Well, we did that, but it didn't work out as planned. Instead, we ended up spending the night in jail in a small New Hampshire town.
When the day came for us to appear in court, only 2 of the 4 of us originally arrested were in town. So, the 2 of us showed up, and the judge postponed the court date for a time when all 4 of us would be there. But during that court date, the judge made mention of the possibility of paying back the restaurant and seeing if they'd drop the charges.
A week later, my boss told me that's exactly what happened. And I believed him. Now, you may be wondering why the hell I'd believe him, and not, at the very least, check up on that. But, you have to understand, this guy was my best friend, I loved him dearly. And, keep in mind, I was young and naive -- after all, this is the same guy who talked me into buying a car in my name, promising me that the company would make all the payments, only to have to do a "voluntary reposession" of that car 4 months later (not one payment was made) and then help a P.I. find said boss when he disappeared with the car. But I didn't know all this then. I still thought this was a great guy. And yeah, in retrospect, I should have checked up on all this after the whole car thing, but by that time I had moved back to New York and forgotten all about it.
Over the next several years, I completely forgot about the entire incident in New Hampshire. About 7 years after all this happened, I discovered that there was a possibility my name was not cleared. I found out when talking to one of the men I had been arrested with (not the boss-guy, a different one who I had stayed friends with over the years). He had moved to Nevada and tried to transfer his license. That's when he discovered that there was still an open warrant out for him in New Hampshire.
At the time, I was a (very) poor college student, I couldn't afford to go to New Hampshire and try to fix any of this. Besides, I had never had any problems. And I did one of those internet "background checks" on myself and it came back with a clean record. I thought that maybe when M had taken care of his thing, it took care of it all. Or maybe, because it was because M hadn't shown up at the first court date, that was what was causing his problems. Since I had shown up, I was OK. Yeah, stupid, naive, but I really wanted to believe that.
But, I suppose a part of me always thought that this was possibly all still hanging over my head. But I didn't know for sure until last summer. Last summer, I tried to transfer my license to Oregon and discovered that I was having the same problems M did in Nevada. I had a friend of mine call the Salem, NH police department and, sure enough, there is a bench warrant for me. It's so old, it's not even on the computer -- they had to go to the basement and check the card files, but sure enough, it was there. My friend was told that I would have to return to NH to take care of it -- which I couldn't afford to do. The clerk told my friend that perhaps I could talk to an attorney here and see if it could be worked out.
So, I did that. I talked to a friend of mine here who is an attorney (although, does not usually handle these sorts of cases). He wasn't able to find out anything, and was unable to talk to the prosecuter (who simply told him that he refused to talk to anyone about the matter until I showed up in NH).
Well, my NY state driver's license was about to expire, and I knew I had to do something. So, I called the NH Department of Transportation (which turns out to be quite difficult in itself -- as it's just one woman answering 2 lines -- what kind of backwards state is this?!). I got the "docket number" and the number for the Salem District Court. Sure enough, there it is. And the only way to take care of this is to turn myself into the Salem police and go to court and pay the fine (minimum $530) and hope that they won't give me any jail time.
She suggested writing to the prosecuter and try to work out a deal where I agree to turn myself in, plead guilty, and pay the fine in return for setting a court date on the same day and not being sentenced to any jail time.
I have done that, and I am waiting for a response. This is not something that's going to be easy, in anyway. I will have to come up with plane fare, and then figure out how to get to Salem (I'll have to fly to Manchester or Boston -- and I can't rent a car, as my driver's license is now expired, so I guess I'll have to take a bus). Then I'll have to come up with the fine -- which is, as I said, a minimum of $530 (the prosecuter could decide to fine me more). I will also have to take time off of work to do all this.
I really want to take care of all this -- but I'm freaking right the fuck out about all of it.