Saturday, 6 May 2017

A sorry tale

Friend: “Good morning. You look a bit down.”
Alcoholic: “Yes, well, I’ve had a bit of bad news.”
F: “I’m sorry to hear that. What is it?”
A: “Well you know the people who helped me stop drinking?”
F: “Yes?”
A: “Well, I was happy to go through their programme to get me off the sauce; that was a few months ago now, and I’ve got my life together, my job’s going well, my girlfriend’s come back, and I’m having a great time.”
F: “So what’s the problem?”
A: “The problem is that that they say there’s more I have to do, to stay sober forever.”
F: “That sounds rough! What do you have to do?”
A: “It’s just awful. I’m not sure I can bring myself to say it.”
F: [stares blankly]
A: “I suppose I have to tell you. They say I have to spend time with people, for the rest of my life.”
F: “What do you mean, ‘spend time with people’?”
A: “Just that. I’m supposed to go to these places a couple of times a week where there are people, and they take turns talking about their lives and discussing things. They actually want me to participate, and talk. And then I have to spend time with individual people, where I talk about myself, and they talk about themselves, and then we discuss things. Can you believe it?”
F: “That does sound rough. I mean, you really don’t like people, do you?”
A: “Actually, I do. I’m scared this is going to detract from my social life.”
F: “Your social life? What does that consist of?”
A: “Oh, spending time with people.”
F: “And what does that involve?”
A: “Well, we get together in groups and talk about our lives and discuss things. Sometimes I hang out with just one person, and we take turns talking about ourselves, and then we discuss things. See?”
F: “Erm … so what’s the problem? Don’t you like the fact that these people are also sober?”
A: “No, of course, I’m glad they’re sober. Sober people are much easier to be with than drunk people.”
F: “So what is the problem then? Are the sober people fundamentally different from the ‘social life people’? Is it that you have to spend time with particular sober people?”
A: “Well, firstly they’re just like the social life people, except firstly they’re sober all of the time rather than most of the time, and secondly they, like me, are condemned to having to spend time with people just to stay alive. On the second point, no, I can go where I want; in fact there are tens of thousands of people to choose from, and over nine hundred different places I can go in London, many in walking distance from my office and home.”
F: “So what you’re saying is, you have recovered from alcoholism, and all you have to do to stay sober forever and maintain the wonderful life you have been given is spend time with people?”
A: “Yes.”
F: “My heart goes out to you, mate.”

1 comment:

Hortense Suleyman said...

Big smile at you Tim!