I got to drive George's new metallic tan Buick at lunchtime today. We drove way outside the city limits as we talked. He came by to pay me back some money he owed me. I have never seen someone so proud of a used car. George drove a string of pieces of shit that were constantly breaking down for years and deserved this. This car is very nice and almost new – it even has a new car smell.
One of the conditions for George's mother buying him this car was that he was not to drink and drive in it. George said he has struggled deeply with this.
"It's my favorite time to drink," George told me of driving.
"Call me and I will drive you around," I said. "I have nothing but time on my hands and would enjoy the company."
I worry about George and I worry about our friendship. A rift has formed between us in my newfound sobriety. We were much like Rosa and I spending most of our free time together. George was my drinking buddy and we would talk for hours and shoot the shit over a case of beer.
"How about tonight?" George then asked. "I will buy us a bag of McDonald's cheeseburgers and we will drive around over a case of beer."
I smiled - glad George took me up on the offer. My A.A. friends would be howling in protest though that I will be hanging out with an old alcoholic friend who is still using. I trust myself though and I will be driving after all.
"I have A.A. at seven so pick me up at the meeting hall at 8pm," I replied. "I wish you would go with me. I still can't get Ferret to go."
"A.A. screws up my drinking," George said. "That time I went with you made me feel like a drunk and I ain't a drunk."
A.A. will mess up your drinking for sure. If I even think of drinking, the faces of my A.A. friends pop to mind.
I drove me and George back to my house and he left to continue with his fly-by-night taxi service. It worries me that an alcoholic man's livelihood is dependent upon driving around everyday all day. The temptation to drink for George is just too great. Maybe I can help my friend in some small way. There will be those that will say I am enabling him. I am only doing what I would want a friend to do for me when I was still using and drinking heavily.