The Complaint Department

Ev R0ck
3 min readDec 8, 2023

Yeah, I don’t want to sit around in my room all day anymore; it’s depressing. There isn’t much natural light in there, and it can’t be good to spend all day on my bed, especially since it’s the same place I sleep at night. It’s too bad that I need some kind of appointment or excuse just to go outside, considering the treatment program situation I’m still in, but it is what it is. I went out yesterday because I was sick and needed to go to urgent care for a COVID test. I do not have COVID, just a cold, which is clearing up, thankfully.

So, here I am, sitting at the desk in front of one of the public computers with nothing really to use the computer for except this, what you are seeing here. I wonder what I should get into today, if anything.

Well, there have been some rumors floating around here about me that are very damaging to my reputation and call into question my decency as a person. I decided to write an open letter to the community and distribute it last night around the facility. I will censor out my phone number, but I will paste it here:

“My name is Evan Penkethman. You might recognize me from the sixth floor. I’ve recently become aware that there might be individuals among you who hold negative opinions about me and how I carry myself. While I won’t delve into specifics due to the sensitivity of the matter, I want to emphasize that I’m an approachable person. If anyone wishes to discuss any concerns about my conduct that might tarnish my reputation, I encourage you to reach out to me directly.

For any complaints about me, my character, or my behavior, please feel free to contact me by calling 8********4 or emailing me at I am open to having a conversation about any issues that have arisen.

In my view, if you are unable to engage in this dialogue, which any responsible adult should be able to do, then it’s best to refrain from discussing me altogether.

Once again, the complaint department can be reached at: 8********4. Thank you, have a great day.”

I wonder if it was a good idea to do that; it felt like it. The things that are being said are causing immense strain on a friendship with someone here that I would have considered maintaining after I left here, which should hopefully be within the next few weeks. It’s very rare that I would meet someone in rehab and ever consider knowing them after it was over, given how badly that has gone in the past.

I think people just have no life; maybe that’s why they’d decide to talk negatively about other people. I don’t fully know why I care, but I was on a warpath last night. I just think that if someone has something to say about me, I’d be glad to talk about it with them; I’m the kind of person you could talk to. I get so tired of being here.

Whatever, I came in here alone, I’m leaving alone. I was thinking about that very idea and discussing it with a friend from my years in New Jersey who called yesterday. When I leave here, it’s definitely going to take some getting used to not being surrounded by people all the time, which I am actually looking forward to. There does need to be some sense of community that I can get from some part of life, though, because isolating is precisely the situation that addiction thrives in when there’s no one else to bounce any ideas off of. This idea strengthens the case for it being a good idea for me to return to AA, just to be part of a community.

I would like to find some kind of community related to writing as well, although I’ll admit that I have no idea what that looks like. One of the main problems with my last supportive housing arrangement in Brooklyn was the disastrous results; I got really lonely because I didn’t know anyone, and then I met people that knowing was really bad for me, like about as bad as is humanly possible for people to be.

So, I could meet people who are sober, working on themselves, trying to do the right thing in life, who are taught to care about others and be of service to them. That’s certainly a good type of crowd to meet.


you can buy me a coffee! and i’d very much appreciate it.