A note from the editor.
Allen Katherman is a guest writer to mantanium.com this summer. He is a Poker personality, fashion enthusiast, nuclear engineer and a great friend. Be sure to follow him on instagram and check back for more.
AWOL and the Warrior Princess. Part 6
By Allen Katherman
The week after I kicked Richie out of the apartment, Xavi and I threw a BBQ with a lot of our close personal and industry friends. We barbecued at the apartment pool at La Mirage, and afterwards everybody came over for an after-party.
After grilling and drinking all day everybody was a tad bit drunk. That’s when our industry friends brought out their friends “Molly” and “Lyndsay.” As a service person, and somebody who had never done drugs, this was all new to me. Sure, I’d been around people smoking weed and who were already high but I had never experienced people doing lines or popping pills. This was new to me and I wasn’t quite sure what to think.
Pretty quickly, what had originally started as a regular old barbecue devolved into a rave.
Drinks were being spilled everywhere on the floor. People were tipping over the hookah causing the coals to burn the carpet. There were people coke’d and Molly’d out. What was even worse was that Xavi also partook in the activities and was coked out himself. I remember feeling gross disgust towards partying and all the people that were involved. And now that Xavi began to use, I felt disgust towards him as well.
It wasn’t long after all the “activities” began that I barricaded myself into my room and went to sleep. The next morning, as I was getting ready for work, I noticed that Xavi wasn’t even close to getting up – let alone even remotely sober. I tried waking him up for work and finally gave up so that I could make it on time. After noon, when he still hadn’t showed up to work, his bosses began to question me about his whereabouts. I wasn’t quite sure what to say.
When I got home that evening, Xavi was at the apartment finally awake and sober. I asked why he didn’t show up for work and if he understood the ramifications of what he did. All he could tell me was that he “didn’t care.” His girlfriend, Hannah, told him that she didn’t want him to leave and instead of being responsible and remembering that he’s under a government contract, he simply didn’t go.
I was pretty upset with him and no matter what I told him, he sealed his own fate by not going back into work. The next 30 days were as annoying as it could with Xavi; he was always getting drunk and either rolling or doing coke. Xavi’s decision to go AWOL, the shallow people that were using us and my growing distaste for the industry life lead me to move out and over to Rancho San Diego, 30 minutes away from everybody and everything I knew.
I was sick and tired of the people I had been around and even more disappointed in the behavior of my supposed best friends. But I realized that I had nobody to blame – it was their lack of personal responsibility and the industry world that managed to turn us against each other and ourselves.
Shortly after Xavi left, Richie decided to go AWOL too. Because of their stupid decisions, both of them were eventually kicked out of the Navy and forced to pay back every penny of their re-enlistment money – a whopping $150K!
I blocked Xavi, Richie and everybody I knew from the industry from my phone and social media. The mere thought of going anywhere downtown brought a disgusting taste to my mouth. I decided to hold a personal boycott against ever going out. I started drinking a lot less and stayed quiet at home during the weekends. What once used to be Sidebar Wednesdays, Ivy Thursdays, Stingaree Fridays, Hardrock Saturdays and Intervention Sundays, became either workout or stay at home days for Allen. I would very OCCASIONALLY make an appearance downtown if it was for a close personal friend’s birthday or other significant event, but even then, I abstained from drinking and usually left by midnight.
During my self-imposed exile from the San Diego nightlife, I got bored. I began to reconnect with old and potential flings that I had been holding out on for “rainy days.” I wasn’t in my old “*7” mindset, but instead I actually tried to get to know the person that I was talking to and enjoy their company rather than just trying to take them home. I’m not saying that *7’s didn’t happen, but for once I was actually aiming for more.
After a couple of short flings, I met up for a drink with a girl named Zena (alias name because she wouldn’t allow me to use her real name…smh). She and I had been talking on and off for the greater part of a year. She had been a best friend of Xavi’s girlfriend, Hannah, and like me with Xavi, they had had a falling out.
We met at Basic for pizza and drinks and we immediately hit it off. Up until this point, we only would comment on each other’s Facebook statuses or like each other’s pictures, but this time we spent the night talking and getting to know each other. And when they announced last call, instead of dropping her off at home, she came over and we enjoyed the rest of the night.
The next couple days were spent texting and getting to know each other. Like me, she was a parent. She was going through college while working as a waitress at one of the Karina’s Mexican restaurants in town. Physically, she was everything that I couldn’t resist: she was Latina, had an exotic appeal to her eyes, and her body was curvy and amazing. We hung out again a few days later and it was then that I realized this was going to be more than just a temporary situation.
The more I got to know her, the more everything made sense. I felt like this was meant to be. We hung out together, had deep and intellectual conversations, and, one of the most important things, had an amazing sex life.
After a couple months of dating, we introduced our kids to each other. Then every other weekend, we would all hangout as a family. My exile from the industry scene brought Zena into my life – a relationship I didn’t expect to happen. The beginning of our relationship was as good as it got and the all signs were pointing up.
My job was also going well and I decided to re-enlist, except this time it was for $90K. My newfound relationship with Zena was going well as it seemed that we were building a bunch of great memories with our kids and families. Things were on the rise and you might be saying to yourself, “what could go wrong at this point?”
But life has a way of turning déjà vu into reality….
As always, to be continued…