At my local coffee-mart there is a strip of cellophane tape adhered to the mid of a Plexiglas panel built into the barrier where the line forms. Only at a certain angle can this satin finish tape be seen. When I first caught a glimpse of it I recognized others had stood there and responded to the sight of this strip by prying bits of the edge with fingernails; I was drawn to do the same. I could not pull much up, but each time I stand there I work diligently for the moments it takes to make it to the head of the line and be on my way. Unseen others pull fragments while I’m away. Over time we will accomplish this task, unbidden, unknown to each other except through this common goal, spontaneous willingness to do what can be done.
Build a boat in your mind and push off.
I called and rambled at my sponsor.
After a significant time had passed,
she stopped me and asked with a tone in her voice,
“and why are you calling me?”
Startled, I replied, “for your advice!”
“Are you sure that’s why you called?
Because I can give you my advice,
but I have given advice to you before
and received only a severe case of the ‘Yeah, Buts’ in return.”
I was about to say ‘yeah, but you don’t understand’
when she cleared her throat to quiet me
and continued what she was saying.
“Seems to me you really want more than a sober ear,
you want magic.
You want me to take your crazy, dramatic thinking,
put it in a hat and pull it out formed, as all your dreams,
and then you want credit for making it happen.
But, Kitten, I have news for you,
I’m not Mr. Roark and this is not Fantasy Island.
This is sobriety and you can’t just have your way.”
This is when I realized I was on a dry drunk.
I don’t know what the first signs are,
but I do know when your sponsor asks,
“and you’re calling me, why?” the jig is up.
You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault