Investments

“Right then and there, Ebby established the principle that A.A. in action calls for the sacrifice of much time and a little money.” ABSI 324

I am Responsible, when anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. to always be there, and for that I am Responsible.

What do you invest into your sobriety ?

Many years ago, when I came in, I was told that I never would have to leave the circle for anything, if ever I needed something, all I had to do, was go to a meeting, and ask.

Hence, the before and after the meeting importance.

The fellowship always provided for me. Whenever I needed it, in whatever form I needed it to be in. All I can say for today is this: Sobriety in 2019, is not the same as Sobriety in 2001.

We are on the front lines of the war, I heard it said tonight. We are all in this fight together, one and all, man or woman. Sometimes people in this war fall, some go out, and some die. But we must keep on marching, even over those dead bodies to get to the proverbial beach head of sober town.

I’ve invested years of my life to helping others, even when I was a university student, I did what I could, as I was able. helping others is a way of life. It is what we do, whenever we are asked to step up and help.

Yesterday I got a text from a rehab friend of mine looking for a meeting in the town of Ferni B.C. I don’t know BC very well, but he had a woman who would be leaving the rehab soon and returning out West, and she needed a contact before she got there.

Not knowing what to do, at first, I thought that the first place I needed to go was our local inter group office. I made the call, and the director turned me over to a man who was on the physical help line IN the office, who had a directory in front of him. I did not have a directory link here at home, nor the physical book either.

We started in Fernie, and worked From East to West, from one side of the mountain range through Fernie, and out to the West, as far as needed to find the closest listed GSR that was listed in the Canadian Directory for B.C.

The closest town was Cranbrook B.C. about an hours drive from Fernie to the West around a mountain pass, and through a valley system. He texted me a picture of that page of the book, which I passed on to my friend.

Last night, after I set up the Thursday meeting, I took the Canadian Directory and my phone running Google Maps, and I worked the line as far as I could get to find a GSR. I had found a list of ten numbers.

Thinking that I should check to see how helpful those numbers were, I started calling them from Montreal to B.C. for an hour I made phone calls and got varied responses. Several men listed, no longer attended A.A. several phone numbers were no longer in service. Finally, I got two numbers that went directly to voice mail.

I wrote those numbers down, and when my rehab friend showed up we spoke about them. He had made a few calls for her as well himself. Between the two of us, our woman is connected to a live sober human on the other end when she gets home.

I like to think that sober fact finding missions always prove worth it in the end, because we all learn something about people, in other places. And that the books seriously need to be updated, and soon.

I work with others, and have been for a few years now. I invest a lot of time with my guys, and when I can, even with the girls and women, because the trend in sober young women is not good. Watching long sober women go back out and drink again, in double digit territory is hard and is harder on their sponsees. I try to help when it is possible to help.

Our young women are starving for long sober women. And they are far and few between, as are the older men in the fellowship as well.

If the need arises that I need to invest treasure into a sober investment, I ponder if I am able, to what end will it go to, and if an investment is wise, because they say, or some say, that you don’t give money to an alcoholic or a drug addict.

I beg to differ.

Sometimes you have to step out into the unknown, if you know someone well enough that any investment made will, in the end, have a good ROI. Return on Investment.

Todd always told me that in order to keep his command to help others, that one day, I would have the opportunity to help someone to the degree that Todd helped me, and in those actions, you might change a life in ways you cannot imagine.

So I invest when necessary to see one of my guys better themselves.

many men and women invested Time, Talent, and Treasure to help me get and stay sober, so it is up to me to pay that good fortune forward, and help another human get on the path and stay on the path for as long as I can.

But I do remember that I am powerless over people, places and things, and sometimes things don’t go as planned. And I have experienced that too. So I judge each situation wisely based on history and performance.

My investments have proved to be fruitful, so that is a good thing.

When we are called on to be present, We Are Present.

PRESENCE IS THE GREATEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE TO YOUR FELLOW MEN AND WOMEN. BECAUSE IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO ???

You might be the only Big Book, someone may ever read.

Step up, be present, and give back.

Give as you were freely given.

Permanent

Rage Cage

In one weeks time, this cage will arrive. My run with the CB-6000 is coming to an end. I find that the plastic cage has its drawbacks. I’ve been wearing it on and off, along with my BON-4 Metal cage for 160 days.

The problem with a closed cage is that if you wear it for long periods of time, cleanliness becomes an issue, because it is a closed cage, and after a few days, it needs to be removed to clean, then get it back on. That is a hassle.

I’ve been researching steel cages, and after searching one of my sites, I found a seller, who produce these steel cages, at very nominal prices. Half the price of my regular cage seller, that I have been buying from since the beginning of this run.

Many people in the chastity community have commented that a steel cage, in the long run, is better than a plastic cage, and also, the silicone cages have been warned off from.

So I chose this particular cage, the “Rage Cage.” it is so named because only the most hardcore chastity folks will find this one a challenge. On the particular site, Fetish Toy Box They sell many types of cages, in all forms, steel, silicone, and the poly carbonate CB line.

I’ve been shopping at the CB-X.com website for the odds and ends for the CB line. I bought the CB-6000 here in Montreal, at Priape and also bought one for a friend at the beginning of summer. The first cage I purchased at Priape was the BON-4 metal cage that I started with. Then moved to the CB-6000.

The CB-X shop has parts that they sell individually, that are not available in retail shops, which came in handy over the past few months.

The Rage Cage is going to run half of what I paid for my CB-6000. I have another BON-4 metal cage that I am using right now, because it is an open air cage, that is metal, and does not have the same issues as my CB-6000.

When the Rage Cage arrives, I am going to have it modified once I get it on, so that there is no locking mechanism, hence (no lock). In the end it will be soldered shut with a soldering gun, meaning that once I solder the mechanism locked, there is no taking it off, PERIOD !!!

I will enter full chastity mode, with the Rage Cage solidly sealed shut.

Sex is a distraction, and so is masturbation. Something I have come to realize over the past few months. The reason my friend and I entered into this fetish, was to curb the obsession with our dicks. Because what good is man, without his penis. Many men I know, in my social circle, sex and masturbation are at the top of the list of important topics to discuss.

If you eliminate the obsession, you can focus on other things, that are much better for you, than always relying on your “mister” for satisfaction.

The Alcoholic WILL DRINK AGAIN !!!

The Book does say that: “The Alcoholic will drink again.”

There is a very solid reason why they tell us, that the girls work with the girls and the guys work with the guys, (caveat) “unless you are Gay.”

Tonight we read Step One – out of the Twelve and Twelve. Because the chair needed to hear, “Going back to basics.”

We all know that Step One is the Step, one has to get right, the first time, and every day hence… Every day we wake up and do a Step One, just to get out of bed, on the right side of said bed. I mean really, if you don’t say the words Thank You, when you wake up, every morning, you are doing something wrong.

Those of us with some time, work tirelessly every day, in meetings, and on the outside, helping others. Shit, I devote my entire waking time, week in and week out, taking care of others, in a multitude of ways, week in and week out.

The men stay away from the women, and the boys stay away from the girls, for obvious reasons. Some of our girls won’t even deign to say hello to me when they walk in the doors to a meeting, like I am some monster out to get them and do serious harm to them.

Fuck me for trying.

There is a particular gaggle of girls who travel in a pack. Most of them are first timers, but several of them are back around again. I speak to some of them, who will listen when I speak, then there are those who care not for anything I have to say to them, even if it means their lives in the balance, and alas, they drink again.

A couple years ago, when the first round took place, they all came in, just prior to the holidays, so keeping them ALL SOBER, was my first order of business. I opened meetings on Christmas and New Years. I set out chairs and I was present.

And from my mouth to God’s ears I said to them, “If you make it through Christmas, I guranteed them, that they would stay sober.” They all made their first Christmas sober, all stayed sober, into the next year, Last Christmas came and again, I was present, and I was out there, with them, and they all made a second Christmas, sober.

One by One, each in their own ways, decided to drink again. Tonight, the one remaining girl in the gaggle, spoke, AFTER I had shared, on my Step One. And much to my surprise, after two years working indirectly to keep her sober, night after night, meeting after meeting, talking to her her from the sidelines, because the girls won’t listen to the men at all …

She Drank Again. With two years and a bit under her belt.

I was shocked. But not surprised. Because over the last few months, one of the long sober woman leading this rag tag bunch of girls, drank again. Watching your sponsor drink again, is a solid shock to the sternum. And it usually strikes the fear of God into them.

When that long sober woman drank again, I was present, I knew about it because I was told about it, and I tried to mitigate the fallout. Alas, in the long run, I failed at my mission to help them all stay sober.

I am disappointed that the girls won’t cross the divide and call us when they have nowhere else to turn. When the women fail in working with women, then what do they do? Drink again, like they have no other option?

I really don’t know what to do but wish them well, and see them into this next round of sobriety from the sidelines, because we must stay on our side of the proverbial street.

People know what to do if they want to drink. They know where to go and if push comes to shove, they have options. They can ONE, go back out and drink, or TWO, they can speak to one of us, and we will be glad to help when necessary.

Sadly, the girls stay away from the men and the boys, for those obvious reasons.

Hence … The Alcoholic Will Drink Again.

The Collar Story in Full

When I was a boy, merely 25 years old, I met Todd the first night I walked into his bar. i was looking for trouble and he knew that from the first time he set eyes on me.


We had a conversation, and if you looked into Todd’s eyes, you would have thought that you were looking into the eyes of God, Jesus. I knew from that moment I needed to know him. And so I set out a plan to work for him, which did come to pass, soon thereafter.

I don’t know if you are familiar with gay subculture, it might not be something you’ve ever encountered before. But before i got sick (at 26) a year and a few months prior, Todd opened a second bar, where I was employed.It was a rough and tumble leather bar. You know, leather clothing, rough and tumble clientele, all that jazz.

It was the world I sought out, after the education in Gay I got from my father, I knew exactly what it was I was looking for, and the night I first met Todd, he knew that as well, without ever having me to explain it to him. There was only one reason I walked into his bar, and it wasn’t for pleasant conversation.

When I got sick, and told Todd I was going to die, he told me Not on his watch.

Todd became my Master, My Protector, My Guide, My Friend, all the while he was my employer.

Every man in our world knew that Todd was on my side, and they knew, by His Words, never to touch me or engage me physically or sexually.

I was protected from the get go, without my knowledge at that time. He passed a decree in the bar, and everybody obeyed his rules while under his roof. Nobody ever touched me. And I did not have sex with anyone for a very long time. It was a bitter pill after I had found the holy grail of what I really desired, but Todd, like I said, knew that from the get go, and he knew that if I was allowed to explore my darkest fantasies, I would end up in real trouble or even dead.

Too many of my young brothers got mixed up with the wrong men and all of them died. I was the only one who lived in that grouping along with my friend mark, who now lives in Florida. He was the dj in the bar. And I worked with him too in the dj booth.

In the beginning when I was in my head about death, Todd has to curb me in and sort me out. And the relationship we formed did that for me, because he knew what he was doing, and I am still alive here with you, so he did something right from the beginning.


The chain and lock, is a significant item of clothing between two men. We call it a collar. The collar, in our world, signifies that we have been spoken for, because the man who provided it to us, is the man we are in relation to. it is a ritualistic piece of clothing, because it is not an item freely given to just anyone. But it shows that the man who gives it, thinks we are worthy to wear it, and respect the man who gave it to us. It marks us as untouchable to other men in the leather world, that we are “Spoken for.”
And other men see that outward token on us and they know to leave us alone. 

Wearing a collar is an outward sign of inward desire. Todd will always be the man who saved my life. He was the Master of my sinking ship, that he kept from sinking. Nobody else did that for me. He chose me to save, and he could have saved any random other boy in that bar, but before all the others he chose me. He loved me. And I knew that. And for the rest of my life I think of him daily when I get up in the morning and I am still alive.

You know, I am tired of some of our sober men in the rooms. All I get from them is critical judgment about my weight, my body, and my choice of clothing. And that irks me to no end. because I am not going to become a fifty plus year old frumpy miserable man, like they are.


I fucking work my ass off, I am in the book, I work with others, and I do service. I do a hell of a lot more than many of those men, but they would never criticize my sobriety openly, because I work my ass off and they come and sit in judgment and are miserable. And I see that and I know what I’ve done, and how I got here. And I know what they do not do on any given day in sobriety.

Yesterday morning I went to Home Depot and bought the chain and lock I am wearing right now, because it reminds me of the commitment I had with Todd and that he had with me, and how he loved me more than any other boy in the world then. And I thought to myself that I would no longer hide the most important part of who I am because of some assholes in the meeting, if they cannot deal they can go fuck themselves.

Nobody can take my story away from me, because I am the ONLY gay man who survived AIDS on the English side, Everyone else is dead, and all the gay men we know together, don’t want anything to do with me, because of their prejudices and judgments. You saw how they treated me when I was at my worst when we were at that Monday meeting for those 14 months.
So I am wearing an outward sign of inward desire.

Todd is in my heart and in my soul, and honoring that man for the rest of my life, as I do, just grew out in another dimension in my outward life.

It does not make me sick, or demented. Because most straight men, think I am demented to begin with, so that is a no brainer.

It just means I was loved, by a man who saved my life, when I was supposed to die. The last word I will utter on my death bed will be Todd’s name.

Outward Sign of Inward Devotion

This is quite a good photo of myself taken earlier tonight, prior to the meeting, sitting outside St. Matthias Church. As usual I got there early, because I received an email saying the floors would be re-polished and please, could I be gentle with the chairs, so as to not scratch the floors.

Ok, can do …

I got my coffee perking and looked down at the floor in the hall and thought to myself, they sure did a shitty job if that’s what the floor looks like post polishing. I gingerly set out all the chairs and went about the business of setting up as usual.

Only to find out that no, the floors won’t be reworked until next week. Gee, don’t I feel stupid now !

Over the last little while I have tired of all the critics, the longer sober critics, who always have to critique me in front of others. And seeing how other long sober men react when they hear admonishment come from one of their own. You know old timers stick together.

Earlier today I was doing step work with a friend and we had a very long conversation about Steps One and Two, sobriety and all things sober. And I said to her that to date, not one old timer ever challenges me when I open my mouth in a meeting. They are openly critical about my wardrobe and my body weight, but when it comes to sobriety, they are all tight and slammed shut like a clam in the ocean.

I don’t know why that is, but it is what it is.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Todd:Read:God.

Late last night, I did some cursory online shopping, looking to get some new hardware. The collar in the photo. Shopping in mainline stores at the mall does not produce the right look, with little choice for hardware.

So last night I went to shop at Home Depot. If you want serious hardware that is right and will seal the deal, that’s where you go.

I had an 11 am appointment this morning for step work uptown on the Orange Line and the Home Depot is also on the Orange line going in the same direction and a short walk from Place St. Henri station, a few stops up from my home station near the apartment.

I got up early, with plenty of time to make that stop, walk to the Depot, get what I wanted, and get back on the train and head farther up the line to Snowden, where my friend lives.

Mission accomplished.

The Collar has a storied past.

In the Leather world, where I was born into when I got sick, working at the Leather Bar in Ft. Lauderdale, relationships were formed on the basis of role. Master/Slave, Dom/sub, Daddy/boy so forth and so on.

It was a huge honor if your Master or Dom or Daddy bought you a collar, because in ritual terms, that kind of seals the deal between us. Meaning that we are now taken, off the proverbial meat market. Untouchable for other men who might see us in a public setting. (i.e. The Bar)

For all intents and purposes, in the most meaningful way, of Love, Dignity and Respect, Todd was many things. God, Man, Master, Boss, Friend.

He was the man who stepped up and claimed me when everybody else tossed me to the curb, alone.

There was nothing I would not do for Todd. And He for me either.

The collar for us subs, is an outward sign of inner devotion to the men who took us in, and protected us. Sadly, during those times, there were men who were up to no good. And many of my brothers in leather, were taken into the world of seedy sex, drugs and alcohol.

All of them are dead. Masters and Boys. Memorialized in the Names Quilt for all of Eternity.

Todd had passed a decree behind my back, making sure every men who frequented the bar, that I was off limits to everyone. That I was not to be approached or touched. But Todd did tell me that as long as I did my job well, I could dress any way I wanted either behind the bar or on the floor if I was not bar tending that night.

Todd knew more about character, love, and devotion, like no other man I know or have known since. Even my husband does not hold that kind of place in my heart. He is a totally different kind of human being to me.

I posted the pic on my Instagram and got many comments about what the meaning of it is, I don’t know if I can adequately explain the fine minutia of a leather relationship to straight men, who could not understand, even if I tried. One of my friends tonight said to me at the meeting that it was good, in his view that he did not know me then, because it looked to him like I was trouble.

How far from the reality he had it.

The outward sign of inward devotion is something I carry within me, it is who I was and who I am, because if it were not for that specific leather community and those who cared for me and the others, sadly, they are all dead, and Mark and myself are the only two survivors from that sinking ship.

Nobody here wants to know that story, or mostly any story about my gay life, and every single gay man I know on the English Side of the Fellowship want nothing to do with me. Sunday past, was the Pride Parade, and they all posted photos of themselves at the parade.

Not one of them thought to call me and invite me along. Not that I was expecting that kind of grace from any of them, but that is what I thought after seeing all the photos in my feed.

You can’t adequately describe the gay subculture to terminally straight people, unless they are open to that kind of radical honesty from me.

Only my closest friends who know me, would need to know, in any case.

We’ll see how that goes.

I’ve kept this portion of my life, the gritty details of it beyond some of the stories I tell in community, close to my chest where only I can see the cards.

And I’ve decided that I’m tired of hiding a crucial part of who I am. My fluid kids are all over the place, and they might get it.

More to come.

What Will The Newcomer Think?

Today I was wearing a variant of this outfit, in Blue, rather than Black, but Under Armour in any case. I saw this photo in one of my streams and decided on replicating it in my wardrobe. I have several different iterations of said color scheme. Any color goes with white 3/4 tights, as long as your sock and shirt colors match.

I devote myself to breaking the mold of just what a 50+ year old man can wear in public. And the men who know me all have smart ass remarks about my looks. I really do not care what people have to say about my looks or my methods.

I’ve learned not to care what others think about me. I have more people who support me, rather than deride me openly.

Today in particular, my old sponsor who is up in the twenty six year range was sitting outside the church with another elder friend at thirty years sobriety. My old sponsor looked at me and said:

“You know you should really stop wearing your underwear out in public, I mean really, what will the newcomer think if they see you dressed that way?”

I should have pulled down my pants and showed him my brightly colored patterned underwear that I WAS wearing underneath my white tights.

But I digress …

I had posed a question to my elder friend sitting next to him, and he turned his face away from me, and answered my question by posing the answer to another man standing ten feet away, as if to say, he acquiesced to my old sponsors admonition about my wardrobe choice tonight.

I noticed …

Newcomer won’t come near me because they all think me a little strange, but I do have my friends in the younger bracket. I mean, I will socialize and I do, and I share when necessary, but overall, I am interested in their progress and mainly keep tabs on my kids where ever I go, on any particular night.

I told the story about the boy I cornered with the three, seven, eleven shuffle last week. He’s been MIA for days and skipped all the meetings we used to share in common. I hope I did not scare him away because I asked him to pray, as the Book Says … and that He does not DO GOD.

Oh well, you win some and you loose some, I guess.

We spoke about Step Seven tonight:
Humbly Asked Him to Remove our Shortcomings.

I always tell the same story when talking about Step Seven.

Many years ago, just after I was diagnosed, and getting sober at the same time, I have said before that Todd knew more about sobriety than any man I knew or have known since.

He was in essence: God. As I understood Him.

One night, on a busy weekend, I was on duty and the main bathroom was packed and someone put a RED CUP in a toilet backwards. The toilet was overflowing with shit and piss and other sundry fluids.

Todd called me over and said to “Clean the bathroom.” My response was “I don’t do toilets!” He said a second time “Clean the bathroom” Which my response did not change. He went into the kitchen and brought out a pair of rubber gloves and demanded quite forcefully, that I should reconsider and go and Clean the Bathroom.

I had nowhere to go but to follow orders.

I did indeed don the gloves and attacked the bathroom and the backed up toilet. At the end of shift, Todd spoke to me saying this:

Do you know why I had you clean that messy toilet? Everything he told me to do was connected to some lesson about the present and maybe the future. I said No…

His answer was loving and kind. He said that if I could clean a shitty toilet, that if I got really sick and ended up in a shitty diaper one day, that I would then know what to do for myself.

Lesson learned. Humble Pie it was …

Many men I knew who were vibrant and alive, ended up sick, demented, and lying in their own shit. I had a friend for a while who was damned to diaper living and it was demeaning. It was terrible for him. And I swore then and there, I would rather die than to end up sick, demented, and lying in a shitty diaper.

Thank God I never saw that kind of sickness in my own life. And for that I am forever grateful for small mercies.

Humility … for me, is knowing my place in the world. I am not better than anyone else, I know what I know, because I’ve studied life for the whole of my life and I’ve been sober quite a long time now. You cannot take that away from me. My life experience nor my sober knowledge.

I am not the center of the universe and my belly button is not the center either, and finally:

There is a GOD, but I am NOT GOD.

I know what enough means, and I am ok with having enough. Because for many years in early sobriety, we had very little, and for a long time, we did not have Enough. And we had to make it work.

Enough is not lost on me.

Keep it simple, Help someone else, because you can, and not because you expect something in return.

Last week, I went to intergroup to buy a chip for one of our men at the men’s meeting on Wednesday night. I did not say anything about it, but I got his cake, card, and candles.

We gave him the whole ritual of cake and chip.

On Saturday morning, my sponsor called from Vermont. I missed his call because it was early and I was still sleeping. He called to tell me that he had heard about the anniversary celebration, and he said: “Well Done.”

I had not told him about what I was doing, because he’s out of country right now, but several of the men in the group called him to tell him what I had done, a good thing for someone else.

I did not expect praise nor did I do it for the praise, it was the right thing to do for someone. Kindness goes a long way in making friendships work.

But it was nice to hear the words … Well Done.

Something Todd would have said to me.

It made me smile inside.

Sobriety Challenge

Procrastination is “Sloth” in five syllables.

We’ve heard over the last little while, what one needs to do to get sober, and then stay sober. One of my friends tonight said that when he came in, a few years before me, that at that time, he was so tired and burned, and mentally empty, that he had to just chill out for a while, and allow the message to seep into his addled brain.

After a little while, and going to meetings, he began to get involved a little deeper. At a particular business meeting, he was not sure about taking a service position, and an old timer looked at him and asked, “Why did you not take a position?” He did not have an answer. She then said to him:

WELL YOU ARE JUST A TAKER.

That really riled him up to the point where, Fuck You could be heard within his head. For a while he ruminated over that judgment. But not long after he decided he should bite the bullet and get active.

When I came in in 2001, I was just as tired and my brain was mush. Thank God I could go to the same meeting, seven nights a week, in the same location, at the same time, a 10 pm meeting, not far from home. A walkable distance.

For months, I sat in those meetings, and listened to people read me the books, because each night was a different presentation. So at least I was sober, albeit, a little bit, and I was hearing the Big Book being read to me.

When I moved to Montreal and got situated at Tuesday Beginners, I’d been going to meetings all over the island, and met my next sponsor. At eleven months I was ready to engage, and I asked about step work of him, and his response was “well I don’t do step work.” Much to my surprise.

He did not remain my sponsor very long afterwards. And that man eventually drank again.

My next sponsor bought me a fourth edition Big Book, and got me involved in my first seventeen week Big Book Study. One of many to follow.

Over the years, I’ve read the entire book, cover to cover, five times in as many years. A full read cover to cover, in a meeting setting, takes about fourteen months in total.

I did my last round last summer into the fall. And I hit Big Book meetings, and a Step/Traditions meeting as well. So I am reading both texts during the week, and dong step work in the Twelve and Twelve meeting on Wednesday nights. I’ve got anew sponsor now, and that is working for me.

Thursday night, we heard an old timer speak truth. He said that if you come in and you don’t stay, then you just Keep Coming Back, until it sticks. He also said that at some point warming a chair becomes useless, at some point you are going to have to start reading the Book, and doing the work.

Because once we stop drinking, the reason why we drank was a lack of power. And in sobriety, lack of power can be our downfall, unless we do the work necessary to change that trend to find a Power Greater than Ourselves to help us make sense of sobriety.

He also said, to those of us with some time and experience, that if we are further up the pike than others, and we have something that works, a method, a path, a way to really step up your game, then it falls to us to share that with somebody else, and not put our lamps under a bushel basket, to use a biblical analogy.

I’ve been talking to a new young person as of late, because we hit the same meetings, and he has a little light, and is receptive about The Work and The Book. So we’ve been talking over coffee and before meetings as of last week.

A few nights ago, I presented him with a sobriety challenge, since he was so keen to share about the book and how important to the book and work was to him.

After following Bob’s Three, Seven, Eleven shuffle … The prayers right out of the book, in steps three, seven and eleven, that changed my life in spades a few years ago, the very same shuffle I still do to this day, I gave him this very same plan. Bought him a journal for his tenth step inventory, and directed him to a You Tube Video of Lorna talking about Nikos Kazanzatkis when he says that:

TO ALWAYS CHOOSE THE SURE THING IS TREASON FOR THE SOUL.

Bob says that if you don’t pray, then why not, because every time you pray, you ratchet up your spiritual life and your sobriety. He said that if I prayed my life would change, and I believed him and I did what he told me to do, without fail or complaint.

MY LIFE DID CHANGE IN SPADES.

If you are always going to the easy path, and not stepping out of your comfort zone and reaching for the Brass Ring, then why bother, you are not going to learn anything new or see something new in sobriety.

I had it all written out on index cards. With the journal, and the step work.

When I asked him about his prayer life, he said he had one, but it was the easy out. He did not prescribe to the book. So I asked him for thirty days to do the Shuffle with me.

He balked.

Oh, I don’t pray. I don’t do God. And I don’t do what the Big Book says, even though we talked over the last month about:

PEOPLE WHO GO TO BIG BOOK MEETINGS AND READ THE BIG BOOK, USUALLY DO WHAT THE BIG BOOK SAYS…

It was obvious my sober young man, is not one of those people.

On Thursday he came to the meeting and avoided me he did not say one word to me or come over to greet me either. Tonight, he skipped the meeting all together.

It was obvious to me that I was barking up the wrong tree, and that I was wasting my time. And I should just let this lie for now.

So you see … If you cannot step out of your comfort zone and push your program forward and you rest on the time you have and you don’t expand your horizons in sobriety, then you are JUST WARMING A CHAIR.

Going to meetings can carry you only so far. At some point, you will have to get off your ass and do something concrete, or you will turn and isolate, stop going to meetings, rest on your laurels:

AND DRINK AGAIN.

I know a certain path that works for me, that guarantees me not to drink on a daily basis. I know it works, because I am working on eighteen years this year, and I haven’t had a drink in all that time.

And when I challenge people with something new that I think can help someone get farther up that road …

THEY LOOK AT ME LIKE I AM FROM MARS …

Fuck me for trying.