You spotted me in the AA meeting from afar, you with your brainy glasses and that Irish je ne sais quoi air about you. I had 30 days sober, and you had two weeks under your belt. They always say to never pair up like this in AA in early sobriety. How many of us who don’t heed this advice think that we’re the exception? We all think we’re special and that we’ll be the exception to the rule.
I was well-behaved at first. I greeted you, and then quickly exited the meeting. But then later that day I saw you at Starbucks. You were intently reading The Big Book. I was reading something else, and will always read something else other than the damned Big Book. We politely smile at each other, but then after a while you invite me to join you at your table. As we leave Starbucks one of the gals from AA walks in and sees us together. She gives us that knowing judgmental look, and I don’t give a shit. To this day, even with everything that happened, I would do it all over again. I would do it again because the soul does not find a kindred spirit in every lifetime.
Talking to you felt like I had a front row seat to your spirit. There is so much about you that I connected with that I have trouble writing about it because my brain can hardly handle the beauty of your kindred spirit.
Remember the time I was so jacked up by my boss at work that you asked me out to a cafe before a meeting? You gave me the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It was just the book I needed, but more than that, you wrote me something lovely in Gaelic in the front of the book. Unfortunately, I no longer recall the translation of what you wrote, but I treasure that you wrote me something in Gaelic, could have been your grocery list, and I would have treasured it as well.
You asked me to the New Year’s Eve AA dance, and it broke my heart to tell you no. It was a dream come true to be asked by you, but I knew it was too soon for us. I wanted nothing more than to accompany you to the dance. Your face fell when I told you I could not accept, and my heart just heaved with sadness. I knew it would be the only time you would ask me out, somehow I just knew.
A couple of weeks later you disappeared, and I knew you were drinking again. I actually felt it a few days prior to your disappearance. I could feel the shifts in you when you were headed towards the demons instead of away from them. It always irritated you that I had that knack. Trust me, I wish I didn’t have it because I always knew when you were going to pick up a drink. My soul would tense up, and pinch me with a warning. I would berate it to shut up, but it was right every single time.
Thank you for introducing me to Christy Moore, the Gaelic language, and for your thorough explanation as to why you and your family do not like Margaret Thatcher. This uninformed American never knew. Right now, I’m listening to “The Irish Rovers” hoping you are well, but my soul is pinching me back so I’ll make it a wish and a prayer instead.