This is a true story, but as a true story it is not about another woman. Or it was about many women but not about amorous liasons, instead about friendship and trust, intimacies of the heart. In AA I have had and take that opportunity to befriend women. I went home to my wife. In the early days, people figured it out. I was going home to my wife. Women found me trustworthy and as a result I wound up with as much female intimacy as I wanted, and this included a chaste form of intimate hugging and touching, an occasional familial kiss. I went home to my wife. That was a whole other story. Our marriage had become distant due to my drinking and it wasn't coming back so well.
(I should say as an aside, three times over eight years there were women who just stepped in closer and once I was very close to accepting the offer. I stopped, but not without creating hard feelings in the lady. She thought she had me. She got me to come home with her but couldn't get me in the bedroom. That ended it. Ouch. This was a couple years after the moment this poem is about.)
On my sixth AA sobriety anniversary, hoping to get my wife to join in on this joy in my life that was AA, I convinced her to come to my celebration meeting. Other people would do that, have their spouses come to the meeting. It usually was a fine thing. It would work out wonderfully I thought, a family thing, a solidarity thing, a healing thing. That's what I thought would happen. My wife was a Social Worker, and a good one. She had pushed me into sobriety. I was making it work, had become a successful sober story. It all pointed to a wonderful time of celebration. She came with me. We sat together. I acknowledged her. It all seemed to be going well. The usual things were said. People, several of them of course my women friends, said good things about me and how I was valuable in the group and to them personally. All of this.
After the meeting, on the way home, I asked her what she thought. This poem is basically what she said. I was crushed. There was nothing to do, no way for me to fix it.
I saw her but damn
I just hate meeting her now,
your mistress, that's what
you told me coldly
upon returning from town.
I could say nothing.
February 12, 2009 10:43 AM