Today is my sobriety birthday. Through God’s grace, and one day at a time, I have been sober twenty-five years, a quarter of a century.
It has been an ordinary day filled with extraordinary events. I kissed the most beautiful woman in the world, read the Psalms, listened to Beethoven, walked by the sea, and had a fresh baguette with tuna and sweet corn for lunch.
I celebrated my birthday by going to an AA meeting at the Phoenix Centre in downtown Brighton. My seatmate, piercings at each orifice, tattoos on every square inch of his body, hair in a topnotch, studs on his jacket, and holes in his jeans, was as far from the white-bread suburban Mormonism of my youth as one can get, but we are brothers in this disease and were there to help each other stay sober. The chair was a young man from Tipperary, Ireland, whose story, with only slight transpositions in place, time, and upbringing, could have been mine.
I had some adventures getting to and coming from the meeting as well. On the way, the police were arresting a drunk who had become violent on a sidewalk; it took three policemen to wrestle the drunk to the ground where one held him down, the second twisted his arms behind his back, and the third applied the cuffs. Coming home on the bus, another drunk, disheveled and filthy, staggered on board and then to the upper deck. God is good to remind me what my options are if I choose to pick up that first beer which surely will take me off to the races and then down to the dumps. I am sure that one of those options will NOT be kissing the most beautiful woman in the world the next morning.
However, it appears that, so long as I stay sober for the balance of the day, I am rich in opportunities for this evening. Among many other lovely choices, I can get some free CLE (mergers and acquisitions) over the internet, go to hear a lecture by Antonia Fraser, a well-known British historian, or stay home and read a book on Shakespeare’s sonnets. Or I can experience British culture of another kind by attending a meeting at St. Mary’s church around the corner where some little old ladies in tennis shoes are organizing an opposition to a proposed development in our back yard. In any case, I’ll be happy, full of joy, and free.
Blessings to all. Alan.