Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Bus Driver Wisdom

I am so broke! Thinking of donating plasma, but have too much planned today. Just finished shopping for essentials at Walgreen’s: detergent, starch, lint roller, black shoe laces, CD-Rs (a geek’s got to have some fun; anyway, I need them for backup purposes). Black shoe laces, because I bought brown shoe laces for my black shoes when I was drunk. Spent so much that I should’ve donated today. Well, as long as I’ve got enough for the coffee shop; plasma will wait a day.

Going over the receipt I can’t imagine where it all went. Last year at this time I was concerned about $3.00 per gallon gas for my Eclipse, now I’m worried whether postage stamps are taxable (Walgreen’s was out). Laces are tax-free, why not stamps?

I ask the bus driver, “Are postage stamps taxable?”

He replies, “Ummm…I’m not sure. Let’s see, they’re 34 cents, err, or 39 cents.”

“They’re 37 cents,” as I laugh at him, “What, your wife pays the bills?”

“No, I do the bills. Who does the bills at your house? Your wife?”

“Used to.”

“What happened?”

Pausing to think of an exchange ending quip, “Do you want the long version, or the longer version.”

“Long version.”

Dread. After a heavy sigh, I pull out my one month medallion and hand it too him. He examines both sides as I monitor his reaction: confusion. I find it hard to believe that a man of his age and obvious experience transporting license-less alcoholics, like moi, was unfamiliar with Bill W.’s friends. Obvious due to his double digit bus driver ID; new drivers are up to five digits now.

“What is this?”

“It’s an A.A. medallion.”

“One month sober. Congratulations!”


“This is the reason you’re no longer married? She wouldn’t put up with A.A.? Or was alcohol the cause of it?”

Grrr…I’m on my way to an A.A. meeting. This is some kind of prep? Is my Hired Power having a laugh at my expense? Or is there a purpose for this? “The latter.”

And so it goes that my bus driver is as wise as he is old. In short, this sage has much value to add to my morning’s quest for serenity. Near the end of my ride, he adds that possibly my ex-wife and I will re-unite. Hopeful thought, but not likely. At least not…well, let’s not go there.

More appropriate, in our meeting we’re discussing Step Seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. If it wasn’t the alcohol that did it, it for sure was those damn defects of character that put an end to our marriage. There’s a reason this step is so far down the list; it means I’m going to have to wait for it, if it happens at all. Oh yah, the promises…I forgot.

The morning was tragic at The House. A house-mate had a minor stroke and was taken by the paramedics. He’s a diabetic due to alcoholism. This hits close to home for many of us. I’m still waiting for results which will tell me if I test positive for ALT (Alanine aminotransferase). This would suggest, in my case anyway, liver failure. Not saying any more. I’ll inform you all of the results.

Just hope he comes back home.

However, to put an end to this post, I ran into a friend of Bill W. at my coffee shop, Debby R. I barely recognized her. I’d only met her once before on my way to Ramsey County Human Services. We both had business there. I didn’t recognize her, she recognized me! “Remember me?” One look into her eyes and I did. It all came back to me. She spoke of a boyfriend that graduated from The House that I live and often visited for lunch. I asked about him and she replied, “He’s sitting right next to you…and he’s not my boyfriend.” She's a very beautiful young lady. Thoughts of 13th step fill my head…stop it!

She told me of her six month sober celebration next week. I told her I’d be there. That made my day.

However, I must leave now since I still have out-patient tonight.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Italian Restaurant

Entertaining thoughts that I’d be better off not, yet I imagined doing so many things last night walking in the cold. Past an Italian restaurant and saw a date and I dressed in casual evening cloths, being told the evening specials by the waiter decked out in jacketless black tie apparel. I order a bottle of Black Opal Cabernet Sauvignon and two glasses. The room is dimly lit with yellowish candle light making blue eyes appear green; somehow she knows this is turning me on…I can tell from her smile, I’m in trouble.

After approving the Bordeaux, the wine is poured, we clink glasses and indulge. That first flush of bitter-sweet tinge saturates our tongue with the monition of the up coming altered state. A wonderful beginning to a romantic evening.

All of these thoughts raced through my mind in the few seconds I was standing outside the restaurant staring at a couple enjoying their wine before realizing they’re staring back at me. Now the feeling that they can read on my face the realization that I will never experience an enjoyable evening like that again. How do I do this from now on? How can I show a woman a romantic evening without liquor?

This is something I’ve never heard discussed at A.A. meetings. All they say is, ‘No relationships for the first year.’ Yah, right.

Without Wax,

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Chistmas

I just want to get through today without drinking. Today is the day I worried about the most. I've got another post that I want to put up, but not sure if I'll get to finish it before the Internet café closes. Can you believe it? They're open 'till noon on Christmas! Bless them.

I've got money in my pocket, and although liquor stores are closed on Sundays in Minnesota, there's always Hudson, WI. However, I feel good about my 35 days sober. Coffee's strong, my server's beautiful, and people here are quite joyous...and another beautiful woman just walked into the café...nice body!

I should explain: I'm currently in a half-way house. I've got movies rented for the night. I' m with several other sober men. We've got board games. And we're all concerned about using, ourselves as well as each other. So, I'm in a good place...more later...

Without Wax,

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Welcome to Sincerely Sober

Today I celebrate thirty days sober. To commemorate this moment, I thought of starting this Weblog. I want to document my recovery from alcohol addiction. I welcome feedback from anyone, pro or con, humorous or serious, supportive or critical.

I'll be updating this blog all week with details of my profile. My usage history will take months, maybe years; I'll start with the most recent, but not today.

In the spirit of Alcoholics Anonymous, this site will uphold the twelfth tradition:
"Tradition Twelve - Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities."

No people nor places where A.A. members meet will be named; they'll have aliases.

Thank you for sharing,

Without Wax,

Friday, December 16, 2005

New Second Sponsor

Got a new sponsor last night, by accident. It's like I tripped and fell over him. While I was at The Mar League Meeting, they made the obligatory statement, "If you are in need of a temporary sponsor, please feel free to ask someone here you feel comfortable with. If anyone would like to be a temporary sponsor, please raise your hand." A whole group of men across from my aisle raised their hands. Since I hadn't heard anyone speak yet, I didn't know who I might ask, so I desperately tried in vane to remember their faces.

At the break, I was speaking with an attractive young lady (another one of my vises) I remembered from my last sobriety attempt when Tom S. approached me, hand outstretched, holding out a meeting card with his name and number on it. He was among the sponsors who'd raised their hands, so I assumed he was presenting himself as one. Grabbing his card I asked if he was a sponsor and immediately his smile turned to shock. He looked around at the group I was apart of and said something to the effect, "Um, well, no, well yes, err, maybe, well...see I was wondering if you needed a ride after the meeting?" You know, they say when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me; could not have been more true in this case. Women in the group flashing stares of, "What? You're going to turn down a sponsee?" He said we'll talk about it on the way home.

And we did. In the short drive home, he explained how he works as a sponsor, that I should call him everyday, and to leave a message on voice mail if he's not available, and leave it at that for the day. Short due to the nature of the ride: I could've bused it back, but would've had to leave the meeting early in order to make my curfew imposed by The House.

He said he was a very spiritual man. I admitted this was the part of the program I was having the most difficulty with. I told him about attitudes at The House, especially during Morning Meditation (which had become anything but) when this one man speaks of faith and challenges everyone's disregarding their chosen faith, usually ending in arguments with residents. So, he recommended I pray for him. That night I sent up the useless prayer and the next morning it worked! I didn't even pray that he'd stop, just for himself. Hmmm. . .odder things have happened.

When I called him that night; he said my phone call made his day. Twelfth step and all. It made me pause and smile.

Without Wax,

Relapse Happens

Had another House member relapse last night. He came home drunk and was asked to leave. This prompted me to ask, for more selfish reasons than concern for him, would he be allowed back? I was relieved to learn he would, then ashamed about my motivation for asking. Evidentially, my brain is still actively planning my next relapse.

I too had the urge to drink a few nights ago. Told my Treatment counselor, Hank C., "Well, I might as well start drinking," and walked out the door. On the freezing walk to the bus stop I kept telling myself to get a bottle, then not to give him the satisfaction. By the time I made it home, I'd realized I missed several opportunities along the bus route to buy a bottle. By the time I walked in the door, I'd all but forgotten about the idea...that is until this morning. I hope he comes back. We lost yet another one to heroin relapse earlier this week; He had but a week left.

Without Wax,

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My First Weblog Post

Nothing like waking to a cup of Joe...Satriani that is. I'm debating whether to ether research this blog or donate plasma today. If I donate today, that'll be $35.00 in my wallet to suppliment the $11.00 barely making it a functional wallet. And I might be able to donate three times this week. I wont know this until I arrive; or I could call. But, if I go to the library and research blogs, I'd have that much more time to think about it. Plus, I've got a tighter schedule today, due to dishes chore, than I do the rest of the week. Noon dishes means I wont be able to leave until after 1:00 p.m.; If plasma donation runs late, I'll be late for Treatment at 6:00 p.m. tonight.

I'm debating whether to use my name in the A.A. style, Firstname Last-initial, or not. Even going so far as to name the site that. I may not even continue A.A., opting instead for something like Rational Recovery. I like WithoutWax.org. It's much more anonymous, certain people already know it's me, and is probably more available.

I have to tell Mark J. about Saturday after moving my stuff from Kelly M.'s garage. She introduced me to Lonnie, her new lover...and my ex-machanic. Her interest seems purely machanical; he fixed her garage door opener, something this loverwas asked to do, but never completed due to drink. Not a wise choice, but one I can live with.

So I'm all happy now because I got my MP3 player out of storage! I go for a walk that fridged night in search of phone card to recharge my pre-paid cell, hit play-random, low and behold Phil Collins' Easy Lover is the first song that plays...there is a Hired Power after all.