Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Call in the Dark

George called me this morning. It was the first time I have heard from him in weeks. I miss George deeply, very deeply, but just can't deal with his drinking ways. George and I would be best friends if he were just sober all the time. I have tried to get him to come to AA with me, but he refuses. He says AA is a religious cult for the brainwashed. I worry about George's health.

George asked me to come to a cookout this weekend at the lake.

"We are having lots of beer and burgers," he told me. "I would like for my brotha to be there. Bring that woman of yours as well."

I told George I would think about it. We talked for a while longer about what was going on with the gang.

"That homeless woman is still hanging out down at the Piggly Wiggly," George said. "They won't let her panhandle though."

It made me think of Clara, the homeless woman, and how different her life could be if she just chose a different path. Clara is one of the unlucky ones without a family to take care of her. George has his mother to pay the bills and feed, house, and clothe him so he can drink with abandon. Clara has no one and must fend for herself.

"I saw Ferret yesterday," I told George, changing the subject.

"That nigga is crazy!" George said as he laughed. "He is still sleeping by the river and drinking beer all day."

"Yeah, I know."

I asked George if he thought his cousin, Monte, would let Ferret move back in. George said only under the conditions that Ferret take his crazy meds and quit drinking. That is not likely to happen.

"Am I going to see you at the lake Saturday?" George then asked.

"I'll think about it," I replied, knowing I could never go.

I love burgers and beer and the temptation would just be too great. I don't trust myself. I got off the phone with George and thought of my friend for the longest time. George and I used to have the best times together. We were the odd couple. An older middle-aged African American alcoholic had befriended this young, schizophrenic malcontent. Each day would find us on a new adventure with the gang accompanied by our standard props of beer and cigars. Sadly, I had to shut the door on that part of my life and can only live it in my memories. Strangely, I feel I am missing out on a good time by being a teetotaler. Hah! There goes that stinkin' thinkin' again!


Leann said...

Andrew, it's good that you know yourself so well and your limitations. Hang in there!

Perhaps you can have a bbq with those around you who support your lifestyle, that way you can get those burgers you love. :-)


LM said...

Great idea, Leann! You and Rosa could invite your friends from AA and grill tons of yummy burgers, Andrew. You're a great cook...start planning the menu now.

You are a wonderful person with so much to offer. You are in my prayers.


Anonymous Boxer said...

One door closes, another one opens.

Barb said...

What a wonderful friend to pray for daily for a transformational intervention of friendship to come George's way, so that the friendship you love so much can be a part of your "healthy living".

The AA BBQ sounds like big fun! Start the trend!


Josie Two Shoes said...

Definitely Stinkin Thinkin going on there, Andrew! :-) I know how hard it is to let go of our past relationships, we truly care for our friends, no matter what their problems. But you have come to the awareness that it is nearly impossible to hang out with the old crowd and not be sucked into to the drinking. If you put me in the middle of a chocolate store, I am going to eat it until I get sick, nothing will stop me!! :-)

So there comes a time when we must make the choice that you have made, to continue to care, but to keep a little distance. YOu have offered your friends a path to a better life, they have chosen not to follow - yet. Maybe someday.

In the mean time, you must do what is best for Andrew - you have a whole new group of friends here, and at AA, and you have Rosa and your family. As you reach out more, take classes, etc. more new friends will come into your life!

Just as Anonymous Boxer says - one door closes, another opens. Step into the new chapter of your life!

I am proud of you for resisting the temptation to attend George's party. Hard as it may be, it is the wiser choice. Way to Go!!

Nikita1 said...

Well said..Josie...Hi Andrew...please don't go and as all other say here, start planning that BBQ at home, have those AA friends there, they will appreciate it..and well done to you knowing that you wouldn't go...excellent thinking....be positive and stay positive...you are concerned about his health...so are we all about yours, because alcohol damages your liver!! So, please, think about your own health too....you've got only ONE life!! live it to the full, you aren't perhaps interested in photography, you can photograph so many tiny creatures..have a look at that naughty/silly spider on my blog..he played dead...it's great fun..to capture those little mini-beasts....:)


Well, at least George asked you to Bring Rosa..perhaps with Rosa at your side, she can be your shield from the beer...
it's so hard to be around those temptations when you know you yourself can't handle just one. I alienated myself from all my drinking friends back when I first got pregnant..was much easier..they were angels to invite me along to their parties..but what good was I? The moody single prego chick that would be everyones driver home..
yeah, I understand why you'd want to stay away..but, you never know you may just surprise yourself if you do go...at least it'd be a story for later..
granted, you're not lacking with them.
You seem posting tone better from what I gather. :)
Hang in there, go have a cigarello and enjoy the nice weather!!

CarmenSinCity said...

Stay away from the picnic. You know that already though. I'm going to a wedding in two weeks with my family in upstate and new york and everyone will be drinking. It will be a true test of my willpower, willingness to pray to a higher power, turning my will over and finding NA or AA meetings in a strange and faraway land. Okay, I'll look at it as an adventure instead of sober torture!

justLacey said...

Perhaps when you get your drinking under control, you will be able to attend outings like the one George invited you too. I know lots of people that have quit drinking and still manage to have a good time. Me for one. I was never an alcoholic, but I used to drink sometimes when I went out. I just don't like that out of control feeling alcohol gives you. I have also noticed that people that drink a lot at parties act stupid. Just an observation, I don't miss it. Perhaps one day you won't either. I used to smoke when I was younger in my teens and early 20's. Never thought I would get hooked on cigarettes, but I did. When I turned 23 and got married, I decided to give it up. The first year was the hardest, but after that point I found it disgusting and more so now. Still every once in a while I miss it. Not enough to go back to it though.

Cheryl said...

You know that old "the grass is always greener" saying? It's really not.

Ellie said...

Sorry that your friend doesn't want to accompany you to your AA meetings. Why can't people we love just be sober? It would be so much easier without this drinking stuff. It's good to hear that you are still working on recovery, and you have so many supporters around you!

savannah said...

you're strong, sugar...i wish you well! *hugs*

Portia said...

i sorta know how you feel. even with a wonderful family by my side, sometimes it feels like i'm the only twentysomething woman in the world that doesn't get to party. but i can't have both and i want my family more, so there you go.

EE said...

I have learned that I don't have to give up my "drinking" friends. I just know that if I want to get together with them, I need to meet them for breakfast or lunch. It's safer that way.