Minion quits

Published June 7, 2013 by Johanna

It has been several months since my first AA meeting. Six to be exact. John has served as my sponsor for the first four months but stopped shadowing me after I asked him to give me some room to breathe. His methods were more than extreme. One meeting every day, plus two commitments and fellowshipping – I couldn’t do my work anymore. Getting sober almost felt worst than getting hammered. Never in my life did I have to subject myself to such torture. Many predicted I’d relapse after dumping John. But I’m still here. Perfectly sober and sane. Step work? I’m doing it in a healthy rhythm. Some people need structure to stay afloat. I try not to pressure myself unreasonably. Right now my focus is to remain on track with cruise control.

I guess John got upset with me for a little while. Unless it’s all in my head. Anyway, we don’t talk as much anymore. Yesterday, he came to see me in my office.

John doesn’t even knock and barges in like a canon ball.

“What’s up?” he asks.

I glance at him and rotate my chair ninety degrees.

“How may I help you?”

He sits down in the guest seat.

“I got something to tell you,” he says.

“Spill it out.”

“I’m leaving in one month to work for this retail company.” Smiling like a clam, he expects me to congratulate him with a big jump up in the air.

I don’t do anything but stare back at my computer screen. Deep inside I don’t want to deal with him anymore, and am relieved he’s the one to go. John has been a good friend but our time is over. Or at least, our time needs a well deserved break.

“Congratulations,” I blurt. Nothing else to say. “When’s your last day?”

“September 10th.”

I nod. “Will you finish all your projects in time before you go?”

“Yeah, no worries.”

He says that now but I know he’s going to be slacking until the last minute. I know him. He might not be smoking weed anymore but his brain is still like Swiss cheese. And being forgetful is another character trait I can’t stand.

“I want to see the spreadsheet on my desk before the end of this week,” I say.

“I got you, Kiki.”

Right. You got me in all the wrong ways now. Ouch! I used to like John. What happened? I learn quick. All the bitches of New York City can’t take me as a weak link anymore. Kiki has come back, and stronger!

John is only twenty-two dammit. What he experiences through AA doesn’t mean squat in this world of sharks. At least not in my playbook. I yearn to hit hard, make the world shake until it screams. Kiki isn’t scared anymore. Six months of sobriety will do that to people. Maybe not to everyone, but works for me.

“You’re gonna keep in touch once I’m gone? Go to meetings with me?” he asks. “Or at least hang out?”

I laugh. “John stop the propaganda bullshit. I’m sober. I’m fine. I got your number in my phone – right here. I’ll hang. Don’t you worry your pretty head about me, alright?” I wave my phone at him. “Unless I lose this baby, I call you, deal?”

He smiles. “Sure. Okay. Just be sure not to relapse because you think you got it. And also because we’re friends. Let’s not lose this bond over bullshit.”

I nod. “Do you have it John? After two years?”

“No one has it. Especially not me. One day at a time, remember?”

“Loud and clear.” I smile. “You’re a good guy. We’ll stay friends. I just need some room to explore I guess. See what life’s made of after I dropped the booze. Being clear headed is probably the best gift you could give me, so for that, I thank you.”

No reason to burn bridges. I might be pissed at him now, but deep down, I still love him like a brother. He was there for me when no one else showed up. I respect him. I listen to him. His opinion matters.

“You know I’ll get around all the crap I say just because I’m frustrated. I’m not going back out. This time is over. I’m sober now. Just learning how to deal with myself,” I say.

“I feel ya. We’re all going through this. I’m always here for advice, you know that.”

I sigh. “Yep, you’ll be missed. But you already screwed up one good opportunity because of me. Don’t let this one pass.”

“I’m good. I know you’ll be okay.” He stands up and walks to the door. “Okay, I’ll see you later?” he asks as he exits my office.

“Sure,” I say.

This departure feels bittersweet. On one hand I need a break from him. On the other hand, I still want him in my life. I don’t hate him. I don’t hate AA. I really don’t hate anyone. I just need some girl time.

Speaking of which, I wonder what my good friend Julie is doing tonight.

To be continued…

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