We left our last article with me not liking women very much, and with me knowing that I had to change. The question was how? Where do I begin? How do I even start to? All I knew for sure was that I was miserable, that I missed the nanny, and that I had no idea of how I was supposed to start again. I was very much alone apart from seeing friends, it was difficult seeing these people because they were in relationships, obviously happy with who they were with, I was happy that they were, however, I found myself sometimes shunning them because of my darkness.
During the latter part of the 1990s television was changing, specialty TV channels were showing up, History, Discovery, Bravo, Documentary, and a hundred others. Often I’d find myself sitting up late at night watching TV, not an uncommon thing for anyone; I’d be watching whatever, usually History channel, and slowly a pattern was beginning to emerge, the history that I’d been taught in school wasn’t necessarily correct. That there seemed to be an “alternate” history, one that seemed to have been repressed. The question in my mind was what’s that all about?
During the course of the next 5 years, I left the greater Toronto area and landed up in south western Ontario, gradually I began to enjoy the company of women again, but I still hadn’t figured out how or exactly what I had to change about myself. In essence I was still a complete wreck, and despite the passage of time, I missed and longed for the nanny terribly. Back in 1997 while parked at what is now a Flying J truckstop in Black River Falls Wisconsin, it was a bitterly cold night and the snow was falling thick, I was lying in the bunk curled up in a ball of abject misery. I was thinking about the nanny, her smile, her eyes, the sound of her voice, and the sex, god the incredible mind blowing sex. As I laid there a pain began in the center of my forehead, it quickly grew from a 2 on a scale of 1 to 20 to an 800. I was in complete and utter agony, nothing helped, Tylenol, aspirin, pot, booze, nothing even touched it, not even a bag of frozen peas, it felt like someone was driving a rail way spike through the center of my forehead blunt end first, Christ the agony of it. The agonizing pain lasted for about 3 days, then during the following 7 days it faded away to nothing. I couldn’t explain it nor could my doctor, then as little as a few weeks went by and I began to notice what seemed a voice in my head, (yes I thought I was going crazy) but the thing of it was, this “voice”, was giving me a heads up about everything. All of a sudden colours were brighter, people all of a sudden said more with their body language, I knew even before work called if a trip would be good or bad, it wasn’t clairvoyance, it was something far better.
So now living in the London On area, I was sitting in Mike’s Coffee Shop at Dundas/William St. (it’s now a pizza shop) The place had decent coffee and sandwiches. It was getting on in the evening and this 50 something guy comes in, he’s unshaven and looking somewhat disheveled. Anyway this fella climbs on top of one of the tables and proceeds to undress right down to his bright neon pink boxers. My first thought is that the guy was mentally challenged, and indeed he was. The girl behind the serving counter quickly got him redressed and out of the place to everyone’s relief. And that was my first introduction to who would turn out to be my savior.
Some days later I was again at Mike’s, and the stripper dude comes in. This time he keeps his clothes on and very normally gets himself a coffee. He seats himself in a booth facing me; he seemed to be appraising me. It didn’t make me uncomfortable because we all do it. Then, out of the blue, he asks me the question; do you want to come to an A.A (Alcoholics Anomy nous) meeting with me?
My first thought was what??? Why the fuck is this complete stranger asking me to go to an A.A. meeting?? Realizing that he might be a bit daft, I figured I’d humor him a bit, so I asked him why the fuck he was asking me to go to an A.A. meeting with him. His answer blind-sided me and blew me right out of the water. He said to me with such phenomenal kindness in his eyes, otherworldly gentility of tone, “you seem troubled, on the ragged edge, I want to help”.
My brain imploded. I felt this unbelievable urge to cry, not just cry but ball my eyes out, just totally go to pieces. I could feel the emotion twisting my facial muscles, and for the first time in more than 20 years, I was helpless to stop it. All the subtle tricks and control mechanisms that I had perfected to protect myself were of no help at all in that moment. He sat there and with that, same kindness, and compassion watched my terrible internal struggle and said again, will you come to an A.A. meeting with me? I did go with him to that first meeting, and the whole time I wondered why. I mean, fine, I used both drugs and alcohol regularly, but not to excess, and only when I was home. Moreover, when I did use, I was always terrified that, this would be the drink, or toke that turned me in to a carbon copy of my parents. For a while when I got home off the road, I would hit two, sometimes three meetings a day, and it took a long time, for me to realize that, there was a fundamental difference between me, and the other people in those rooms. That difference was that those generally good people had a disease, whereas I was an environmentally exposed addict. I had been trained since birth to think, and act like an out of control addict. And if I wanted to change that, there was no better place in the world for me than those rooms.