Thursday, April 19, 2012

Running Into Myself

“Study the past if you would define the future.”
― Confucius
Day 230 of Sobriety

I went for a long overdue walk on the beach this morning, it was virtually empty but several casas to the east of me I ran into a man combing the beach.  He was wearing sunglasses and that made it difficult to tell if he was a local or an extranjero. 

“Buenos dias,” I said.

“How’s it goin?” he replied.

Ah, a furiner for sure.  We exchanged pleasantries and he told me that this was his fourth trip down here.

“I’ve never made it this far down the beach,” he said, “I usually can’t get anybody to hike that far down with me.”

“Well,” I said, “it can be kind of difficult to navigate the rocks just past my house but if you take the beach road into town you can hit the beach there and pretty much walk all the way to the inlet in Chuburna.”

“Town? What town?” 

“Chelem,” I replied, perplexed.

“It’s still Chelem clear over there?”

“Yeah, there’s a square and restaurants and a market and people,”  I replied, even more perplexed that a guy that had been down here four times didn’t know there was a town of 5000 people about 2 kilometers from where we stood.

“Do you know Buddy’s?” he asked, hopefully.

Ah, that explains it.  Yes, I know Buddy’s.  Any expat that lives down here knows Buddy’s, it is the favorite watering hole and gathering place of many of them.  For some, Buddy’s is just about the only place they do know. It is in the other direction, in Progreso.

That used to be me, different places, different watering holes, but so wrapped up in where my next drink was coming from, I didn’t pay much attention to the rest of the world that was passing me by as I made my way there. 

“Have a good one,” he said as I turned to make my way home.  

As I neared my casa I saw a couple I knew heading my way.  I waved and they waved back, instead of taking a few steps down to meet me, the woman turned sharply up my entrada, her husband lingered for a minute as if he thought he should stop to talk to me but then he turned and followed his wife.  They used to stop and chat with me, one day when I was out watering my flowers they stopped in and we were chatting about Greta, they were asking about her welfare, and I shared that I hadn’t drank in 100 days, he quickly came back with the information that he hadn’t drank in six years.  She was quiet.  

 I’ve run into them a couple of times at the local drinking establishments and she has come up to me after she has had a couple of wines too many and told me how she quit when he did but then she started again.  She tells me how badly she wants to find that peace again.  She has that look of pleading in her eyes that I remember.

I guess she doesn’t want to be reminded of those times, not that I ever would, but just seeing me must remind her.

That’s okay.  That used to be me, too.

Used to be.


  1. Oh, that's sad. I hate that feeling. I get it from a few people around me. One particularly who is a close family member. That my sober-ness is too uncomfortable so it's easier for them to retreat from me somewhat. I hate that feeling as it goes to that place where I'm worried that I'm somehow not fun or cool any more. And I'm one of those desperate to be liked people. I bet that was hard, on the beach at that moment. But having said that, going for a walk on the beach sounds like a bloody good idea. A BLOODY GOOD IDEA!! GODDAMIT I NEED TO TAKE A WALK ON A BEACH TODAY. Sorry but that's the truth. You've just helped me. I'm going to take my boys to a long beach today and walk along it. Great. Thanks. xxxx

  2. It wasn't sad, really, she isn't a close friend, more like an acquaintance that got a little more personal than mere acquaintances should. You know us drunks, we're all each others best friends after we've had a few. I just feel sorry for her because I think I know what she is feeling. It made me thankful of where I am. Maybe someday we'll be friends.

  3. "I didn’t pay much attention to the rest of the world that was passing me by"... This is something I DON'T miss. Gosh... while drinking seasons could pass by without me noticing. When I sobered up this time I had missed last years summer and autumn. Life happened all around me but time stood still in my little alcoholic bubble.

    About your aquaintance... I'm sure you represent the courage that she yet hasn't built up. I too would have avoided you if I was still drinking (I'd look for likeminded instead, justifying my continuance of drinking).

    I truly wish she finds her peace and I'm so happy that you already have. Have a great Friday dear Kary may!

  4. Riversurfer, when I was at my brothers-in-laws last week, they pulled up pictures of the two days we spent together last year at Carnaval and I don't remember a bit of it. I can remember normal people talking about places they went and things that they did that didn't involve drinking and I thought, "Why would I want to go there?" Sad.

    Pammie, She knows I know and, if she's like I was, she's probably worried about what else she told me that she doesn't remember.

  5. Honestly, if drinking was the reason she could not face you, I'd have to ask why? I may understand if she was constantly out of control, since that's not mentioned...probably not. If the soul truth between the two of you existed we'd hear a different story. Good Teachers don't abandoned their pupil, not on purpose! I know someone this happened to. Some times times though problems are just as bad when a bipolar person constantly emotionally beats up their mate and then runs off with another world he chose to deny her from so to keep his options open. He never meant to be serious with her or you wouldn't be talking behind her back right now! Self righteousness is just as toxic as offering her a drink. Rom8:5 says that the concern of the Spirit is life and peace. If hes judging her and spreading gossip hes breaking the "you shall not lie AND you shall not speak falsely against another! Lev 19:11 If you continue as such you have partaken of the wine of Jezebel yourself and model a more profane exam:ple both spiritually and physically.It looks like vain:ty is the name here. FYI lev19:15 is worth the read.This is the day of repair whats wrong and learn it right. WWYD? God Bless you and good luck.KIP