I will seriously sober up tomorrow. Just so we can have this conversation.

When: August 8, 2018 | Where: Home

On August 9th, 2018, I began my first day of sobriety. I was more or less alone. Angela and I had separated nearly 2 months earlier. She had gone back to her home town to search for her own sobriety. I had stayed behind to find mine in the midst of the construction zone that our house had become over the 2 months before her departure.

For nearly 2 months after her departure, I had stopped drinking, started again, and thoroughly convinced myself that the death spiral I’d entered was a controlled descent that was all simply part of my plan to get clean.

I was alone, save for the comings and goings of contractors and my terrier, Rascal, who would keep her body in contact with mine on whichever patch of level space we could find to sit or sleep… and drink. 

Myself… Contractors… Rascal… and one other person. A voice in the ether, who had asked how I was months earlier, and had received an honest answer.  Who had continued to remind me that someone cared as my life disintegrated.

Robin was there.  As the 19 days of my final binge accumulated, and darkness muffled everything else, her voice remained present… three time  zones distant, but present all the same.

What happened the night of August 8th won’t be written up in anybody’s guide on how to get sober. Nobody will vouch for the ethics of either one of us or praise us for any high ideals.

But, it IS my story. It IS how I found sobriety… and how I began to reclaim and restore myself. At 6:46 pm on August 8th, 2018, I grabbed an imperfect but outstretched hand.  This is how it happened.

Robin: 3:09 PM
Awe. See? You should listen to us.

Lemuel: 3:09 PM
I definitely should have.

I really never thought you gave me a second thought.

Robin: 3:11 PM
Not so.

Lemuel: 3:12 PM
Allen clued me in later, when I was in college, and we had kind of a disastrous date at that point. But, I never realized.

Robin: 3:12 PM
What do you mean?

He clued you in. Oh, Lord. Ha ha

Lemuel: 3:13 PM
Do you remember the date we had, when I came home from LA? I was kind of all over you, and you were feeling (I think) a bit used?

Robin: 3:14 PM
The gun point night?

Lemuel: 3:14 PM
Was that the same night? I thought gun-point was still high school.

Robin: 3:16 PM
I don’t know if it was the same night, but I remember both. Gun point night was in collage. We bought beer from Tony at 7-11. That’s why we were at Carter’s parents house because he was home from school, too.

When the SWAT guy wanted to kill us

Lemuel: 3:18 PM
I think they were different nights. I owe you an apology for the night I’m talking about. I was at my most selfish.

Robin: 3:19 PM
I don’t remember ever feeling used by you. Did I tell Allen about that?

Lemuel: 3:19 PM
No.

Robin: 3:20 PM
It didn’t sound like anything i would have shared with anyone. What did I tell him?

Lemuel: 3:21 PM
I just felt it. And I felt sick about it. I’m a guy. Guys are dicks. I was looking for one thing that night.

You didn’t say anything to Allen after.

Robin: 3:23 PM
I’m kind of surprised that bothered me . I completely adored you.

Lemuel: 3:23 PM
DAMN! WHY DIDN”T YOU GIVE IT UP?? kidding

Robin: 3:23 PM
Right?!?! What was I thinking?!?!?!

Lemuel: 3:24 PM
I know what I was thinking.

Robin: 3:24 PM
What did Alien clue you in about. Was I pathetically moping around school after you left? . That’s kind of embarrassing.

Lemuel: 3:26 PM
No. He just said you were still into me. Nothing more; nothing less.

Robin: 3:26 PM
I just wrote collage ️.

Lemuel: 3:26 PM
And, I tried to use that to get laid.

In all honesty

Robin: 3:27 PM
I’m pretty proud of myself then, albeit surprised.

And Alien instead of Allen. Good grief my eyes are old. 🙄

Robin: 3:34 PM
I wish we could have been more honest back then, but that’s youth for ya.

I don’t really believe that everything happens for a reason, but I do believe everything is a teachable moment. It makes us who we are. Maybe we are of much more use to each other now than we would have been then. (Although, one night wouldn’t have hurt. 🤔)

Lemuel: 3:36 PM
One night wouldn’t have hurt at all.

Back to the stationwagon…. my first night ever being intimate with a girl. Sorry I forgot about the star… but I’ve got other memories.

Robin: 3:41 PM
All good, I hope. 🤭

Lemuel: 3:43 PM
You talk about bullshit? I’d love to hear my sales pitch about that star. Cause I guarantee you my thoughts were somewhere closer.

Robin: 3:45 PM
Ha ha ha ha, I’m sure mine were, too. You don’t have to carry all of the shame.

Lemuel: 4:07 PM
Are we flirting?

Robin: 4:07 PM
Btw, Kathy was the aide for my English class so I rarely went. I failed the class and had to go to night school.

Lemuel: 4:07 PM
Haha

Robin: 4:07 PM
We certainly don’t need to be.

I got an A. Just sayin’.

I don’t know what we’re doing. I know it’s been nice catching up with you the past few days. If at any point we need to stop, say the word. We don’t need labels, though, do we? I mean, we aren’t canned goods! 🙄

Lemuel: 5:08 PM
I have ZERO desire to stop talking with you. Just got off phone with Angela. Very nice call,k but she and Sherrie were really drunk. So, I’m kind of in outer space.

Lemuel: 5:19 PM
No bullshit, riight? My marital situation is uncertain, to sayt the least. I’ve established that one of the biggest mistakes I ever made in my life was “dumping” you. You’ve said that you and Brad aren’t married.

Getting that I’m a disaster right now, is this something worth pursuing? My assumption is that you’re happy, so I haven’t even raised the issue… but,..

Jesus, this must sound crazy. I just felt us getting close to flirting, and figured better to get it out there now than later on.

Lemuel: 5:20 PM
If this is not something to pursue, I hope to hell you’ll still be my close friend. Just wondering if I should be thinking about more.

Robin: 5:24 PM
You’re going to have to give me a few minutes. I’m surrounded by my entire family at the moment. Be right back.

Lemuel: 5:25 PM
Awesome. Glad I caught you at such a perfect moment.

HEY EVERYONE!!

Robin: 5:25 PM
Our timing was never very good.

Lemuel: 5:27 PM
Sorry. Laughing my ass off at getting a message like that in the middle of all the fam. So sorry

Robin: 5:31 PM
SAME!!! My mother’s always loved you, though.

Lemuel: 5:31 PM
Let me be more clear this time. I AM interested. I may have uderstated that previously, but I don’t want to make the same mistake twice.

Robin: 5:32 PM
You’re killing me right now. . Did I mention my whole family is here?

Lemuel: 5:33 PM
Do they like juggling acts? I can do that.

Robin: 5:33 PM
Who now think I’m ready to be admitted because I can’t stop laughing at the irony.

I really have missed you.

Lemuel: 5:37 PM
How might it work? You’ve got kids. I obviously can;t be like this around them. Your youngest is what? 6? I’d have to learn to be a parent. I’m soooo willing to do that stuff.

Leaving Angela isn’t a huge hurtle. We’re half way there. I have NO idea of your own situation.

Sorry. HI FAMILY!

Robin: 5:40 PM
🤪

Almost bedtime.

Lemuel: 5:43 PM
Don’t know what’s going on there, but please don’t leave me hanging. I think I know part of the answer from you non-response. I hope its what I think it is.

Robin: 5:43 PM
I won’t leave you hanging.

Lemuel: 5:44 PM
Thanks

Robin: 5:48 PM
How much did you drink today?

Lemuel: 5:48 PM
So far?

So far?

Maybe 3 glasses of wine.

Robin: 5:49 PM
Okay

Lemuel: 5:50 PM
I’d call myself inebriated. Not fucked up.

Robin: 6:08 PM
I’m baaaaaack.

I’m going to go in order, starting with Angela.

Lemuel: 6:09 PM
I’m here

Robin: 6:09 PM
What the fuck is Sherrie thinking. Aren’t you incredibly angry with her?

Lemuel: 6:13 PM
As I said, she’s really flawed. Oops

Robin: 6:14 PM
We all are, but Goddamn, you’re way kinder in your explanation than I would be.

Moving on…

…and getting real. You tell me frequently that you love your wife. Do you love your wife or do you love who you believe your wife is capable of being?

Lemuel: 6:20 PM
Good question. I’m not certain of the anaswer

I don’t know.

Lemuel: 6:25 PM
I’m awake and listening now

Robin: 6:25 PM
That seems very real an honest.

I can’t give you all of the answers that you want. I’ve already broken a huge self-imposed rule with you and, given time, I’m sure I’d be willing to break even more. There are so many X factors in both of our lives. I don’t even know where to start or what to think really.

I know I want to see you in October. I would love another chance at a better night than we’ve had in the past.

I know I love talking to you and I miss you dearly.

I also know how much I appreciate the fact that we can pick up where we left off 30 years ago.

Robin: 6:32 PM
But you’re married and I know you love her dearly. I also know that you are in a seriously bad place in your alcoholism. There are reasons AA does not allow male/female sponsorships.

Lemuel: 6:35 PM
I don’t know where Angela and I end up. That was part of the deal when she left. She told me she was going to sleep with her married ex.

…if I have a chance to unscrew a situation, I will jump into your arms tomorrow.

Robin: 6:36 PM
I need time. I don’t want to be your back up plan.

Lemuel: 6:37 PM
Jesus. That isn’t it at all.

Robin: 6:37 PM
Wait, why would she say something like that to you?!?!

But she also told you 2 days ago she wanted to come home.

Lemuel: 6:38 PM
Don’t know. It was kind of hurtful but honest.

Robin: 6:39 PM
So no matter what the deal was when she left, things are clearly fluid.

Lemuel: 6:40 PM
So… I’m not wrong to pursue you?

Given that I have to sort my stuff out.

Robin: 6:42 PM
I am super hesitant to have this conversation with you while you’re drinking.

Lemuel: 6:43 PM
Okay. Will you talk to me honestly when I sober up?

Robin: 6:44 PM
Absolutely. I would love to.

Lemuel: 6:46 PM
Wow. I will seriously sober up tomorrow. Just so we can have this conversation.

Robin: 6:49 PM
You’re so easy.

I need to change my password for messenger but I’m not sure how.

Robin: 6:55 PM
I can’t remember my password and I’m afraid I’ll get locked out so I stopped .

Lemuel: 6:55 PM
So easy… lol. But I am very in to you, and apparently I fucked it up pretty badly the first time. I’d like a second chance. If one is actually available, I just won the lottery.

Robin: 6:55 PM
Did she sleep with him?

Lemuel: 6:56 PM
No

Robin: 6:56 PM
You didn’t fuck up.

Lemuel: 6:57 PM
My feelings for you are entirely independent from that.

Robin: 6:57 PM
I believe you.

Lemuel: 6:58 PM
Thank you.

Robin: 6:58 PM
Tell me something funny.

Lemuel: 6:59 PM
Bear shits in the woods. Looks at bunny, and asks, “does the shit stick to your fur?” Bear wipes his ass with the bunnie…

Sorrie.. bunny was supposed to say “no.”

Robin: 7:01 PM
That makes so much more sense

Lemuel: 7:04 PM
Poor fucking bunny. I mean the bear just needs something to get him from a to b. Utilitarian. But hey! Here’s this bunny rabbit. Might as well ask.

Dunno. Funniest thing in my head.

Robin: 7:04 PM
That’ll work.

Lemuel: 7:05 PM
I’ll sober up for you. Then, we can talk for real?

Robin: 7:06 PM
It was super sweet of him to ask, you know. Most people don’t ask others if it’s okay to shit on them or wipe their ass with them.

Yes, for real.

Lemuel: 7:06 PM
Bears are very polite

Robin: 7:07 PM
Yogi always shared his pic-a-nic basket.

Lemuel: 7:09 PM
I’m grateful you’re sweet on me, and I WILL do my best… but I’m no catch. Hope you don’t regret this.

Robin: 7:09 PM
I don’t regret you.

Lemuel: 7:11 PM
Well, I’m gonna do my damndest to see where this leads. You’re amazing.

10/9: sober up

… for Robin.

No… for me

Robin: 7:13 PM
I was just going to say that.

Lemuel: 7:13 PM
But you are providing extra motivation.

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