How I Met Adam, Part 5

Soon Hank, Adam and I made it back to Bill and Dave’s.  We sat down on their back deck as Adam started to shuck his gorilla costume.  (I tried not to watch, I did.)  Hank and I were both getting pretty ready for the evening to end.  I put on my helmet, told them both goodnight and headed back to Hollywood.  About 1:30am, my phone rang.  It was Adam.  He actually sounded like he had sobered up a bit.  He apologized for trying to kiss me and for getting so drunk.  Still, I got the feeling that if I’d suggested we get together right then he would have gone for it.  I actually felt sad for him because I know from much experience what a life rife with problem drinking can be like.  He was very sweet when he apologized and I knew he meant it.  Underneath the sweaty, drunk gorilla was hiding a beautiful soul and I could see it there.  I wasn’t buying all the bad-boy bravado but as sad as it sounds, I didn’t think he was even near the point where all alcoholics have to be before they finally give up the sauce.  I was pretty sure that he had a lot more wreckage ahead of him.  That notwithstanding, I know that my staying sober has been in large part from reaching out to other drunks like me, those who were still drinking and those who were staying sober so I told him, “Look Dude, I think you are an awesome guy.  You made an ass out of yourself tonight, yeah, but in the end no one got hurt.  I had years of that shit and trust me, I know it’s no picnic. If you ever want to do something about your drinking, give me a call.  I think I can help.”  We said a polite goodnight and hung up.

The next morning I went to the gym and then out to get something to eat.  When I got home, there was a message from Adam saying essentially what he had said in his 1:30 am call.  He had forgotten that he’d even called.  God, how I remember those days!  There was a long period in my life where most every morning was filled with dread as I tried to piece together what had happened the night before.  I used to find my car parked in the strangest places.  I have even driven from one state to another in a blackout!  The fact that I never killed anyone is God’s grace.  One thing that Adam said in his message that just melted my heart, he said in the most bashful and boyish sort of way, “So I guess I tried to kiss you last night.  That was baaaad manners.”  I thought it was about the cutest thing I had ever heard and I hated myself for continuing to be smitten by this guyfor whom there was a growing list of reasons that I should run away from like a forest fire.  So naturally I called him back.  I basically repeated what I had said to him the night before, that I would be happy to steer him in the right direction should he ever decide he wanted to do something about his drinking.  He made some statement of gratitude for my being willing to help out but I could hear in his voice that he wasn’t really ready to give it up.  Actually, that’s not true.  He was ready to give it up but was still way too scared.  I sure do remember what that was like!  It was years before I quit drinking the first time ( I was a year sober four different times before I started this period of sobriety which has lasted ten years)…but it long before quitting that first time that I stood in the mirror, glass in hand, drunk off my ass and said, “I’m Jeff and I’m alcoholic.”  Then I’d just toss back that glassfull and keep going.  I needed it like I needed air.  So I hurt for Adam but knew that there was nothing in the world that I could do to make him want it bad enough.  He had to take that step on his own.

I wished him luck, hung up and honestly figured I never hear from him again.

To be continued.


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