Yesterday, after a lapse of a number of years, J called and we had a nice catch-up gab fest on the phone. J, who is 15 years sober as a result of Alcoholics Anonymous and a packet of determination, was now living with her aging mother who had been left alone after her husband shot himself to death.
Why do men insist on committing a messy suicide? Isn't it bad enough that anyone should die leaving a bundle of loose ends to be tied up? Is there some need for going out with a spattering bang? Men, if I am correct, are more prone to shooting themselves to death. Women favor softer and less intrusive means ... things like pills.
J is now of an age when she is lined up for a hip replacement. She is also in a place where the come-to-Jesus enthusiasm of AA newcomers is tiring. Sure, she's glad she's sober and sure she gives thanks for AA, but listening to newcomers enthuse is tiring ... and lonely. It's like a piano player listening to someone who has read a lot of books about playing the piano.
It's lonely not to find someone who is more or less on the same page -- battles fought, mistakes made, vast efforts expended and yet now, today, the breath continues to enter and exit, enter and exit.
I told her I thought the only remedy was to take up stamp collecting. Fresh converts are invariably tiresome. The one-true-faith is invariably tiresome. But you can't say that to a one-true-faith-er ... so ... take up stamp collecting and talk about that. It's less lonely.
How nice it is to talk with old friends.