This piece was a proto-30 minute writing exercise, and written under a slightly different set of circumstances.
They don’t have support groups for me, so I started going to AA meetings. When they would mention “booze” or“alcohol,” I would simply replace the word in my own head as they were speaking.
A guy named Larry was my sponsor. He used to watch hockey games at a pizza place, and quote scripture. Larry made up a lot of stuff: how he had lived in Europe, and how America should drop billions into creating scenic canal systems like the ones they have Europe. Presumably, this was because travelers would be unable to tell the difference between The Mattapoisett River and La Seine. Larry would argue with people even when they agreed with him. I would try to smooth things over with the waitresses and cooks, afterwards.
He said he could tell that I “got it.” This doesn’t say a whole lot for Larry’s powers of observation.
Earlier, I wrote“They don’t have support groups for me…” You could misunderstand that sentence as meaning “They don’t have support groups for people like me,” but that would be inaccurate.
Once, I snuck into Larry’s house and stole his clothing. A few hours later, I met him at the pizza parlor. I was wearing his Barracuda jacket and his weird loafers. We stayed for three hours. Once again, this plays to Larry’s powers of observation, or lack thereof.
His personality was such that when he went missing, his absence attracted a lot of attention. That was unexpected: most people tried to ignore him when he was around. However, his disappearance left an unnatural void. I probably learned more from that than from anything else.
The Iowa Wild eventually contacted me; they’re an AHL Team based in DesMoines. I became their strength and conditioning coach, which is great. The folks from AA threw a big going-away party for me. I drove to Urbandale, Iowa, wearing one of Larry’s Bruins jerseys, and it was beautiful.
I never did it again.