Prior to this, I had not maintained my sobriety for longer than a few days in over twenty years, and while I am quite proud to have made this step in my life, the realization that today meant four weeks of sobriety made me want to run out and grab the nearest pint of Guinness.
That is not how one celebrates sobriety, at least not successfully, so I decided that I would oust my thoughts of Guinness with a visit to Golf's Steak House, where I was sure there would be enough heavy food to create a good and proper celebratory food baby.
I wanted a higher end meal, and Golf's promises that sort of thing, but the woman who seated me at a table by a lovely fire was wearing a pink hoodie. FIRST STRIKE.
I'm kind of old school when it comes to work-appropriate dress, and I don't think hoodies are appropriate for anywhere but outside, like when you're camping or watching sports. At Golf's, her pink hoodie made me feel more like I was in a small-town diner.
The fire, though, was, as I said, lovely, although not nearly as miniature as my giant hand in the foreground would have you believe:
A couple of ladies at a nearby table were talking about having just finished therapy for some kind of female cancer, which turned into a conversation about how they were never going to be crazy old women like their mothers. One of them had a mother who would call up relatives to tell them to come visit her, claiming that she was dying when she really only had gout.
"Her big toe hurts, but she tells my brother that she's dying. He drove all the way from Estevan. This is why we have to take the phone away from her."
One of three men sitting across the dining room from me was wearing a Sepultura t-shirt. They all clinked shot glasses.
My bread roll was cold and uninteresting, but the coffee was pretty decent:
I'd never had a prime rib sandwich before, and so I was a little surprised to find blood on the bun, but it was pretty tasty. At least it was once I peeled off the generous helping of soft fat that came with it. SECOND STRIKE.
I'm not a fan of having a lot of fat left on my meat when it's in a sandwich, because surprise mouthfuls of gooey fat are disgusting. Just about any kind of surprise goo is disgusting.
I know that I'm sounding kind of picky, but I'm picky, and they were playing this stupid type of relaxation music that you find at lakeside gift shops, the kind with soulless classical music overlaid with bird calls. That shit irritates the hell out of me. If I want to listen to some fucking birds, I'll go out into nature and do that. When you play canned classical overlaid with bird calls, the only kind of mood you're setting is precious-family-slide-show-at-a-funeral or some such crap.
Also, the gravy was cold and lumpy.
That would have been a third strike, but the fire was so nice and warm, the carrots were pretty sweet, and that was some of the best au jus I've had in a long time, so I let it go.
I wouldn't do that particular lunch a second time for twenty dollars, but I did like the old-school wool carpet and the fire and big chandelier. I might go again in the evening for dessert, though, just to pay rent on that level of coziness again.
I didn't come here to write a restaurant review, though. I came here to thank you.
Today is my 28th day sober, and, when I began, I wasn't at all sure that I would get this far. I had that feeling, that kick of intuition, the same one that kicked me last year when I quit smoking, but feelings and realizations aren't always as sticky as we'd like them to be. At least mine are not.
So, I wrote about it with the hope that what I wrote would plant the seed for the future I needed to realize, and it worked, or at least it has worked so far, and that is in part because of you.
You came and read that post. You told me that I could do this. You told me that I was brave and strong and that you were there for me. You commented and sent me e-mails and tweeted at me and facebooked me and talked to me on Skype and sent me songs on Blip.fm. I don't know if you realize this, but you helped to turn that post into a scrapbook of reasons why that I can go back to on days when things seem particularly dark or stupid or futile or just plain despicable. When I feel like maybe I don't need to fight this fight anymore, that weblog entry is there to remind me that I do.
You helped to create a space for my fledgling sobriety to get its footing. You helped to create a whole small universe of can for when can't feels like it might win.
I can, I do, and I have come through 28 days, and you helped me to get here.