At the milk plant I worked very hard and made a lot of overtime, but within myself I wasn't very happy. After work instead of going home I started to hang around bars and drank too much. Many times after work I didn't go home and didn't call Mrs. Vanboden who was waiting with the dinner for me. This happened more that once and the Vanbodens were nice enough to put up with me. One day I was very late and came home drunk. The Vanbodens told me that this couldn't go on and if it didn't change it would be better for me to look for another place to live. With my drunken head I said I'd leave right now. I went upstairs to my room, packed my suitcase and left. I went uptown and saw a sign in front of a building saying, rooms for rent. It was an old house converted into boarding rooms. The room I took was eight dollars a week rent, but I had to share the bathroom with other renters. My room was very small with a bed, small sink, and an electrical hot plate to warm up my coffee in the morning.
The next morning when my head was clear I realized that I made a big mistake to leave the Vanbodens home. I went back to their home and apologized for the way I had acted the night before. Mrs. Vanboden wanted me to come back, but I had decided to live on my own. I visited the Vanbodens whenever I was in their neighborhood. They were very good to me when I needed them, and I never have forgotten that.
I didn't stay too long in that one room apartment. In the morning it was too much of an inconvenience as I had to wait to use the bathroom or to take a shower. So I looked around in the neighborhood for a better place to live. I found a furnished efficiency apartment for sixteen dollars a week. The caretaker told me that I could have the apartment, but since I was a single man he didn't want women to stay with me. He was very religious; I could tell by the way he talked to me. I told him not to worry about this as I would take care of this. A young single man lived next door to me and we became very friendly with each other. I told him what the caretaker had said about not having any women in the room. He said not to pay any attention to him, he said he is just jealous that he can't get a girl anymore. He said he always had his girlfriends in his apartment.
This was the first time that I lived alone. I was always used to having people around. Since I left the Vanbodens my drinking habits got worse. It became so bad that when I got up early in the morning I would take a drink of whiskey. Living alone is a very lonesome life. Most of the time I would come home form work, and the only thing I had to look at when I came into my apartment were the bare walls. I didn't even feel like cooking for myself. I usually would flop on the bed and take a long nap. At night time I would get all dressed-up and go into town to one of my night club hang-outs where I knew I could take a girl out. I became very familiar with a lot of the girls who hung out around the night clubs. Sometimes I would go home with them and spend the night. All of this was costing me a lot of money, and my savings were slowly disappearing. Sometimes I was dating four different women a week. It wasn't because I was looking for one to get married to, it was just that I was looking for companionship. I had no family to go to, it was just me and my friends I had, and it you live alone somehow you look for affection. With affection comes love, and sex comes automatically if two mature people have feelings for each other. I know what I was doing my family had never taught us to live that way, but the friends I had influenced a lot of the way I was living. Even going to church on Sundays which had always been part of my life was gone because most weekends I had to sleep off the booze from the night before. Many days I would come home early in the mornings. One early morning, when the night club closed, it must have been around 3 o'clock when I was walking the streets and I had too much to drink, a nice looking young woman was standing on the street. She asked me if I was interested in having a good time with her. I said why not. I always liked to have a good time. So she took me to her apartment. When I was in her apartment she asked me for money so I could make love to her. I did and spent the early hours with her. I have been in many situations where I could have been beaten up or robbed, but I never thought about this, it didn't even cross my mind. I was still in a learning process on what life was all about.
One day my friends asked me to come to a stag party. I didn't even know what a stag party was. I soon found out when I walked into the restaurant as there were no women allowed. First there was a lot of drinking going on, and as the night progressed the owner of the restaurant told us he was going to give all of us a real treat. As it got very late he locked all the doors of the restaurant and started to show all kinds of pornographic movies. After the movies he had a man and two women doing all kinds of sexual moves to excite the men in the restaurant. All of this was strictly against the law. But the police man who patrolled the area was sitting with his uniform on inside the restaurant to watch all of this.
At that time, working, drinking, dating women, and having a good time was all I could think about. With many nights of no sleep at all, I never missed a day's work. This was something I had carried over during the days I worked in the coal mines, and many morning I would come home from a beer party. But my mother and father never had any excuses for staying home because I didn't have enough sleep. Thanks to my father and mother I carried this along; otherwise I might have lost my job many times.