Since this has been resurrected... I am compelled to over share and let out personal info that I will probably wish I hadn't at some point...
My ex wife and I divorced in 1991 and, for a few years I took it upon myself to try to drink myself to death. I don't mean this figuratively... I
mean it literally. I drank incessantly. I went through a few sober months, here and there. But for the most part, I stayed "on task". I isolated
myself from the world - sat on the Interwebz - and drank myself into a full on blackout most every night.
After a long period of this my sister came by my house and said she'd run into a woman who had once been an employee of mine, named Claire. Claire
had recognized my sister, as my sister had visited me at work often, and inquired about me as they conversed. My sister pulled no punches and told
Claire the truth of my situation. Claire responded by giving my sister her phone number, to give to me, and sent the message that she'd always wanted
to date me, but knew I wouldn't date an employee.
Since Claire was no longer an employee - long story short - Claire and I began dating.
In hindsight I realize that Claire was one of those people who collects strays... who tries to fix broken folk. But, at that time, through my haze, I
didn't see that. I just saw a pretty face and a kind heart all inclusive to a woman who was kindly enough to pay attention to me. She'd come over,
we'd watch movies, and she'd watch me drink.
Well, one night, she brought over a copy of Leaving Las Vegas.
and I found myself staring directly
into my own life - into my own emptiness and pathetic state. This movie troubled me to such a great degree that I doubt I made it halfway through the
movie before I turned it off, angrily, and refused to watch any more. In fact, to this very day I have never seen the latter half of the movie. I
still can't bear to watch it and it's been well over a decade and a half since this happened - and since I drank to excess on any regular basis.
Even thinking about this movie takes me to a dark place that I cannot bring myself to revisit. Claire and I fought much of the rest of the night as
she admitted that she'd done this to me on purpose - to force me to see how other people in my world were effected by my lack of self concern.... to
see how selfish I was being. I was furious.
I think Claire and I dated for about two weeks after this event. I had awakened the following morning and poured out my supply of liquor. Claires
message to me had cut me straight to the bone and had sunk in. Once I was no longer broken... no longer a stray... I think I lost my appeal to Claire,
and she went off to find another soul to salvage. In hindsight, I kind of wish she'd have stuck around. People like that don't come along often...
angels are like that.