A Fabulous Evening.
Yesterday afternoon I went to New York City with BB and met up with my former sponsor, Mickey, from St. Louis. We also met with another friend from the program there, and went to a meeting and then dinner. I miss Mickey. He has been a huge, seminal figure in my sobriety and my life. He’s a happy, friendly, kind, and engaging man who cares a lot about everyone and works hard on a strong program of sobriety. He took me through the steps and taught me how to sit with my difficult emotions, experience and process them.
Going to see Mickey is like going to see a father. Except one I picked, one who was deeply invested in my welfare, and taught me important lessons about how to get along in the world that my own father never could – because he doesn’t know. My own father has now slipped into a bizarre racist indignity that seems to have co-opted several of his old quirks and possible illnesses. He has become unpleasant. I love the old bastard, but he makes it difficult.
Yesterday in New York we went to a step meeting and the speaker didn’t show up. In a panic the meeting chair asked if anyone could talk for 15-20 minutes on step 12 and of course I volunteered because I love to hear myself talk. I told a short version of my story and talked about carrying the message to others. About how fortuitous it was to have two friends in the program there: one who helped me and one who I was fortunate enough to help. Between the three of us, we now have about 37 years of sobriety.
It was a closed meeting and so BB waited for us at a coffee shop, and then we went to a cute little restaurant on 33rd street near the Empire State Building and I had a chicken pot pie and green beans. We talked about current politics, which was basically the first time I’d ever talked politics with Mickey, and I was greatly relieved to discover we’re basically on the same page.
BB is reading a book called Just Mercy, a powerful story of a young black lawyer who started a law firm that represents those poor individuals most abused by our justice system – not necessarily innocently convicted, but unjustly treated all the same. Mickey is about to finish his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Mickey is about 57 (But looks 40). And he’s beaming with pride to be finally finishing a degree after – his words – a “forty year break”. Mickey wants to serve addicts and alcoholics lost in the penal system, and he will be a great advocate for them.
So it’s was a lovely evening after a Christmas with BB’s family in the Blue Ridge Mountains that was really nice. Though I ate too much, I weigh too much, and I need to get back to my working hard at fitness. I’ve sloughed. I need to whatever the opposite of that is, assuming I used the word correctly which I don’t think I did.
So: back to life. Forward motion. Love. I have it all, my friends.