Ryan Donnelly's Blog

“We’ll See”


I walked into the cafeteria, stood on line and found myself standing next to Lawrence.  This dude was giant and  had the personality to match. He had a deep, baritone voice and was very well spoken.  Lawrence became a really good friend of mine.  He bluntly asked me why I looked like shit.  I just laughed and told him I was struggling today, and that I hadn’t slept a wink since I got here.  He obviously knew the feeling, nodded, and then proceeded to give me a “pep-talk.” 

 He said, “Ryan, you’re a goodlooking kid, you have a choice.  Imagine for me right now, one of those ‘WANTED’ posters put out for fugitives. The way I see it you can either be a “wanted boy” or a “poster boy”, it’s really that easy and it’s completely your choice.”  His statement made me laugh but at the same time he put shit into perspective for me. This whole “my choice” thing started to weave a common thread in all of my conversations, and it would continue to. Oh, and for the rest of my stay in rehab, at least to Lawrence, I was known as “Poster Boy.” Hey, it was a hell of a lot  better than a lot of other names I had been called then.

 I sat down at the table and everyone was bullshitting.  I just kept to myself and ate my breakfast.  Among the small talk at the table, I mentioned to one of the guys that I was feeling rundown because I couldn’t sleep.  Then, completely out of nowhere, Roy spoke up. “Hey Ryan, you workout?” I chuckled and responded to Roy, “Of course I do, you couldn’t tell? I chuckled sarcastically.  Roy smiled and without asking me if I wanted to or not said, “”Good, you workout with me now.”  I looked around the table and the guys all put their heads down and smiled.  Like some sort of big prank was being played on me. Like I was on the outside of an inside joke.  Frank laughed out loud and said , “Yo son, good luck.”  All the guys at the table started to crack up. 

 It was pretty apparant that all of these guys had at one time or another, worked out with Roy, and obviously by the reaction, none of them had what it took to keep up with Roy. Maybe he was an animal in the wieght room?  It was pretty obvious by his build that he knew what he was doing.  He was  6 foot 4 inches,  lean and long but shredded.  Now Roy wasn’t some spring chicken, he was about 50 years old. Roy also had a 4 inch high flat top that made me laugh and think “Fresh Prince.”  

Roy had an interesting style, and that’s putting it mildly.  He always rocked BDU pants, combat boots and t-shirts with rolled up sleeves. He had a very hard exterior,  and when you looked into his eyes  you could see how many years of hell he had been through. His body was well kept, but it his face, his face was tired.

All of the guys at the table began talking about what an animal Roy was in the gym.  Roy,  unfazed by all of the ass kissing going on, piped up and said, “after we work and after your meetings tonight, meet me in the gym at 7pm and I  promise you, you will get a good nights sleep tonight.” 

 Frank jumped in to the convo, “Yo, Roy is a fucking monster down there bro.”  To which I replied, “we’ll see.”  I then looked at Roy and he smiled, we were making progress. 

 I got up from the table and started walking away only to hear all of the guys start cracking up.   I immediatly regretted the twirp remark I just made, but it made me smile, and I knew that Roy was going to take what I said as a challenge. For the first time since coming into this place, I was looking forward to an exciting night. I knew it was going to be a great workout. Maybe Roy didn’t hate me after all?

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