The Frantic Man Getaway
When opportunity arises it is best to take it before it has a chance to slip away.
I have a trip planned with my sponsor this weekend to a men’s conference in Oklahoma. After speaking with him earlier in the week it turns out we have room for one more person. I tell him not go worry I have the perfect candidate.
I drive over to the halfway house and knock on the door. The house monitor opens the door and greets me.
“Hey Goner, what’s shaking?”
I return his high five with a loud clap of the open palm and reply,
“Nada. Is the frantic man here? I’d like to take him to conference this weekend if you all will approve it.”
He smiles and answers,
“Yeah, he’s here…..he is always here…kind of afraid of his own shadow. If you can get him to go, he’s all yours. 3rd door on the left.”
He points down the hall and returns to his office.
I head down the hall knock and announce who I am through the closed door.
“Hey, Frantic, it’s me good2begone from the meetings. Can I talk to you for a minute?”
I hear the shuffling of feet and the turning of a knob.
Low and behold the frantic man stands before me.
“D…d…did I do something wrong?”
“Nah, I wanted to ask you to come with me to an AA conference in Oklahoma this weekend with my sponsor and a couple of guys. I already cleared it with the house monitor. Just be ready at noon on Friday with a change of clothes for 2 days.”
I figured small talk was not the way to go. Blindside him and leave him with little chance to decide.
“I can’t…..I…I…don’t have the money to go to…”
I interrupted him before he could finish.
“I didn’t ask if you had money. I just said be ready. See you Friday.”
With that, I turned around and walked away….and left him in stunned silence at his bedroom door.
The house monitor called to me as I walked out,
“That was smooth as glass, Goner..freaking smooth!”
I just winked and kept walking to my truck….and drove away.
The frantic man is waiting on the porch with a trash bag containing his clothes for the weekend.
We pull up in my sponsor’s Suburban. I look at the porch and then ask the guys to give me a minute with our next passenger.
I walk up to the porch and ask,
“You ready to go, “traveling man”?”
“I….I….I’m real nervous. Wh…wh…who are we going with?”
“My sponsor and a couple of other guys in AA. No need to be nervous. It will help you to be around others in sobriety. To learn how they stay sober will help you to stay sober. My sponsor has been sober for 26 years, one of the others has been sober 20 years, I have been sober over 6, and the other guy over a year. We can learn from each other….and whoever else we meet at the conference.”
“Wh..wh…who’s your sponsor?” He asks.
“You see the guy biting on the cigar behind the wheel? That’s him…”
He holds his hand up to block the sun in order to see better. His eyes get real big and then he speaks.
“I..is…isn’t that the guy who has like 18 DWi’s….and was lo…lo….locked up in the nut house for life until he found AA?…..and because of his life change he is now a free man?”
I smile and reply
“You have been listening in meetings….yup that’s him. AA changed his life and continues to for over 26 years…..he has helped me understand. Maybe we might help you to understand. Just don’t ask him about talking to toasters and you will be fine. Let’s go.”
He gives me a strange look and follows me to the vehicle. He is about to jump in the very back seat and I stop him.
“Not so fast, Flash…..you get to ride shotgun.”
“Wh….wh..what? I never get to ride shotgun. I kind of annoy p..p..people with my stuttering.”
“Well….this weekend you are the most important person with us….so a shot gunning you will go.” I said with a smile as I opened the front door for him.
He gets in and puts on his seatbelt. He glances over to my sponsor, who smiles and takes the cigar out of his mouth and says,
“Happy to meet you young man, good2begone has said many good things about you. I look forward to hearing them myself. Thank you for coming with us. The sober life is worth it, my hope is that this weekend you will find it as gratifying as we do…..GENTLEMEN…..OKLAHOMA AWAITS US!”
He gently slaps the frantic man on the knee, puts the cigar back into his mouth and shifts the vehicle into drive.
200 mile drive
3 days of the fellowship of AA
4 sober members
1 frantic man
What could possibly go wrong….