Drinking Alcohol taught me how to fly
Then it took away the sky....

Monday, February 28, 2011

Microfiction Monday #72


That BIG Prince 
is on the way, 
Fairy Godmother. 
And these shoes 
are supposed to be 
too tight! 
DO something!!! 
bigger feet!

Many Thanks to the Susan the fairy of Microfiction Monday. she waves her hand and things happen in 140 characters.

Sunday, February 27, 2011



At the time, I didn't even know her name. She could see I was drifting. Sober three months.  Living in AA limbo. She saw my fear, my hopelessness, my despair. 

In June 1974 she simply handed me a brand new 24-Hours-A-Day-Book. She did not bark at me to "Get a sponsor" or "Work the Steps" or "You're gonna get drunk again" or "You'll never make it"... She said only, "Here--read this book". That was thirty-seven years ago (March 18, 2011).

And I'm still sober. 
And I still read it. 
Mary didn't stay sober.
I did!
She died drunk--way too young--several years later.
God bless Mary!

Her death was my first internalization of the power of alcohol, the life-and-death seriousness of our disease--alcoholism.


One more thing:
Funny. Mary had said to me, simply--"read this book"...and I did. EVERY day!

Years later I experienced another one of those AA flashes of light (insights) when a friend said to me, "All one needs to do to begin recovery is contained in the first three words at top of page 112 in the book Alcoholics Anonymous."  

Well I looked it up.  The first three words (a continuation of a sentence from page 111) are ".... .... ...."!  How simple, how complete, how true!  Each of these words are in my list of "AA FOUR-LETTER WORDS".... 

Note 1.  
You'll have to look it up to find out those three words, page 112!

Note 2. 
"Twenty-Four Hours A Day" book is published by Hazeldon, Center City, MN

Saturday, February 26, 2011


THIS may be a re-post: not certain. 
What I AM certain is that this may be 


Actually, this should be a category, with separate files spanning years, because I have experienced so MANY extraordinarily embarrassing events .  This following comes to mind tonight.  

During the years 1991-1995 I drove a van for Transportation Disadvantaged in Naples, Florida.  The company was called Community Transportation, or "CT".  

In my pocket I kept with me at all times a compact digital voice recorder for keeping notes to myself since I had so many "great"--Ha! thoughts during a work day, thoughts which would all but evaporate by the time I got home.  I had no time to stop and write notes to myself.

During one trip my load of passengers were retarded people coming home from work.  We had every day such a wonderful time of it, joking, laughing, and making fun of each other, how we talk, behave, etc. They loved it and I did also

I was so spiritually overcome with the happenings of the hour, I grabbed my handheld to record memories of the moment, and said some of--for me--the most beautiful expressions of faith and love.  

I spoke to relatives who had long been buried, I spoke to saints, to Mary, the Mother of God...and to Jesus.  I told them all of my gratitude, for the many gifts, in my life, especially that gift of sobriety.  I asked God to bless my handicapped passengers, my family, my fellow drivers, and my superiors at work.  And I praised our Lord for the peace, serenity and SOBRIETY He gave me, so that I might help those who still suffer from whatever illnesses.  And I made a promise to do better, to seek His will in all matters,  and asked for His help to carry out His work.  

As I reached to place the digital recorder back into my pocket, I felt 'IT'.  The recorder had been in my pocket the whole time. (Well, what am I holding in my hand, into WHAT had I been talking?)...N E X T : 

Earlier, I had inadvertently grabbed the company two-way radio microphone, and had been sending my ultra private thoughts out over the air!  EVERYTHING I'd said had been broadcast to the base office, overheard by the dispatcher, by my boss and all the office staff, and by ALL the drivers and ALL the passengers on ALL the buses that afternoon.

At the end of my shift, no one said a word about the incident.  Everyone behaved normally toward me, so that I got to thinking, well, maybe I had not pressed the transmitting button.  Maybe nobody heard a thing of my secret,  but verbal, soul-thinking.  Several days went by, and, you know, I was allowing myself to forget the whole episode.  

Then, one early morning drivers were doing our pre-trip inspections, and collecting our manifests for the day. One driver--one of the few who had always been friendly towards me--approached and said, "What the hell was that all about, the other day?  You were talking on the radio for a *long, long* time, and made no sense whatever. At least 50 employees, bosses, and the passengers of 14 buses all over town, were trying to catch every word."

Everyone has been wondering "...did the Oh!--SO-sober A.A. guy finally start drinking ? Were you hallucinating? On drugs--or WHAT?"

To this day I can bring up those spiritual minutes, then immediately re-feel the horrible discovery and shock of terror.

Guess I'll finish this off with...AMEN!

NOTE: Yesterday, 16 years after, a driver 'pushing' a concrete mixer asked me, "Do you remember that time...." So it became today's post in Fourth Dimension!

Friday, February 25, 2011


What pleasure!
What treasure!
A special blog-friend who lives in the Napa Valley paints and keeps on painting, though burdened with pain. LINDA, Linda, Linda. Click on her name, you'll find the same liveliness, loveliness and sweetness which I discovered there.

The colorful print--above--Linda sent me a week ago. It is the header of her blog which I have admired for a couple years now, have watched it grow in population, layers, and color.

I've been given also an appreciation of the many different 'seasons' in Sonoma County, from one hill/mountain to the next, different soil, different climate, different grape, different wine. All blest by the Divine.

When you visit LINDA please do a favor for yourself and view her PAINTINGS. Probably for sale, as the grape-growing business has hit hard times, along with all the other parts of our economy...

If Linda allows, I will be posting a piece of her work from time to time. Linda has struggled through much more than "hard times"...as you might read in her profile.
Love and PEACE!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


The following story is true, as of last night
Only the name has been changed, and June
With a phone list of recovering women
Found herself at a turning point in her life.


This is June. Her real name is...June!
It is her first visit to a meeting of
Alcoholics Anonymous.

She and I have  been  
Friends nearly five years.
June is a musician.
She is not an alcoholic.
That's what she says

Only drinks a few beers in late morning
Maybe a couple before bed
Wine only at 'lunch' and 'dinner'
Every day
(Just wants to "see what AA is like"!)
June "has a friend with a drinking problem"

Yeah! Right!
There are many who want to
Go to an AA meeting, saying
"Hi! I'm June. I'm just here to audit
Find out what it's like"

The corners of 154 pair of AA lips
Slightly curl at the tips
Each brain cell ringing that bell
Understood all too well...

"See what it's like?"

I have observed hundreds of them,
Men and women
Who are today sober
By the Grace of God 
(as each understands Him)
The same God
Who brought them here

To "See what is it like."

Who came to "analyze"
Finally came to realize
One lonely, difficult day
That they came
To stay.

Monday, February 21, 2011


APOLOGY: This post is not the one 
promised (Men and Machines II) but 
the following was on my mind tonight:

Someone who barely knows me, asked if I would speak Thursday morning 8:30 AM at 24-Hour Club in Naples. Of course I will. In all these years I have never heard a real alcoholic who is serious about recovery, say "No!" to any request to serve the fellowship which saved my life.

Several years ago I spoke, and just prior had read an article in which I learned that one can lose immediately 2 inches (5 cm) around the waist line if they but stand up straight. I tried it. It worked! There I stood before 150 people, to 'humbly' share my singular spirituality, my great strength and hope, my awesome love of all things, my total sobriety, and how all this happened. Well, I stood up, nice and tall. Yes, I immediately lost 2 inches off my waist. Also I immediately lost my pants!
Instantly I transformed into "Mr Humility" Or is that called Mr Humiliated? All the Ego stuff I had planned--what a wonderful recovering alcoholic I had become-grin!--flew right out the window. Honesty took over. Somehow it just seemed appropriate.

Thursday I will tell them what it was like as best I can recall--when I was drinking; what finally happened, what changes took place, and what my life is like now. I must be honest--for this, my program of Alcoholics Anonymous is how I stay sober, happy, and live without my crutch alcohol.

Oh! What an ugly story--my alcoholic progression--from earliest memory.

To tell what my life is like now will be a challenge, because sharing the singular lurid details is not required. But how do I sift them, cull them from the flock of my activities? Some people's stories are based on "The good I have done, since being sober!...ETC!"

I have never awakened thinking, "Well, I'm going out and 'do some good' today!" I wake up happy EVERY day, no matter what. I don't know why--it is a gift which I appreciate, accept, and use. I look in my book to see where I must be and when, and then put one foot in front of the other...that is, after attending to my one last(ing) obsession, blogging.

I know that God is working when (Example):  in a long line at the market, one lady in front of me is vocally unhappy about everything, so full of negativity. I 'mentally pounce' on her, full of smiles, and smiling remarks. By the time she leaves, she smilingly thanks me for helping brighten her day, or some such. And I KNOW God purposefully brought us together for those minutes. These happenings really, really occur. Frequently. Daily.

Not to give an impression that mine is a 'perfect' life...far from that. But I DO enjoy life as it unfolds, or as I unfold it. And I see humor in places where laughter is absent.
Inappropriate here is mention of the good, bad, and the ugly of me. But I will disclose these attributes at my talk on Thursday. Also I will ask God to allow me to say one thing--in any event--which will have meaning and consequence in the mind and heart of at least one person maybe just off the street, or one old-timer still suffering in some way.
And this to you I swear: I WILL keep my pants on!

image from Internet, no info...

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Hey, my HEAD is stuck in here--Heloooo? HELLLLP!

Several mornings while I go out to begin my day--riding Suzuki, of course!--I see a man who lives in the front, the main part of this house in which I inhabit a small room in rear. He is working on his car every morning, noon and evening, sometimes with a flashlight (lantern? Torch?) at night. Oh, so many tools and calibration instruments lying all over the driveway!

This morning I questioned him with "Wuz up, Dude?" (I try to be 'with the times' and find I am 25 years behind, no matter what--grin!) So...I asked  again:

"Wuz up, Dude?", and he responded.

Well my car won't start.

Will the engine run, though?

Dummy, if it won't start, HOW can it 'GO'?"

Why will it not start? (I'm asking this as if I should be able to help--ME, a volin player. HA!)

I blew a head gasket.

Get a new gasket...

It cost $2000.

Oh! And the truck only worth about $500?



How did head blow? Did your engine ever run 'hot'?

Yeah, it overheated many times


Me, thinking: (So now I know who is the 'dummy', and it ain't ME!)
So why are you working feverishly (foolishly, ha!) on this piece of junk?

I'm just tinkering--it needs a new engine. I am going to 'junk' it, give it to whoever will haul it away.

I still ask you--why do you keep working on a dead corpse? Thinking it will come alive?

NO! And that's a good question!

And so I got on my Burgman Scooter--which never fails me, because I do not let it overheat!!!--
and rode happily away. While riding, thinking, about the foibles of us men.

Our behavior is like little boys...yes.
Is THAT one of those 'other' things girls 'see' in us, what they LOVE about us?

Listen now to me...I'm sounding like a little boy. And I am a SOBER little boy! In the body of a man who is young no more, except in his head--grin!

And yet...there is still time for everything, EVERYTHING!

Monday will be a conclusion to this post--a "Part II" which I did not foresee while writing this. Thanks for reading, and PEACE, Peeps!

(I hope you all realize that "Peeps" means very VERY special people to me.)

"Mechanic Swallowed" by peirrin
Find this in Deviant Art

Friday, February 18, 2011


When speaking with another I sometimes put 
my own meaning into the others words. 
And sometimes it turns out other than intended, 
maybe intruding into a Fourth Dimension:

A reporter was interviewing a woman on her hundredth birthday. She seemed an extraordinarily vivacious sort of person who delighted in recalling her past. She had lived from the age of the covered wagon to the age of the supersonic jet, and she seemed eager to describe it all.

When the interview was over she still seemed eager to talk, so the reporter tried to think up some question that would keep the conversation going. “Have you ever been bedridden?” he asked.

Oh dear, yes,” she said with a slight blush, “dozens of times. And twice in a haystack.”

(in Deviant Art)

Yesss, another De Mello, 
"The Heart of the Enlightened" 
page 118

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


MLK and GANDHI    
"I thought that spirituality has nothing to do with politics", said a somewhat shocked disciple when she first became acquainted with the Master's political activities.

"That's because you have no idea what spirituality is all about", the Master said.

Several days after, observing that she espoused an opposition party he called out to her and said, "You have no idea what politics is all about either."

Pieced together from Anthony De Mello: "Awakening"

Monday, February 14, 2011


Can we stay daddy? Can we? Huh?
Tourists splashing by the sea
They are here from Germany
Blanketing fog rolling in
Hiding them away from me.

"In this fog, please put on your togs
Else your skin burn like fiery logs
Red hot, you will run from our sea
Back to old country Germany."

(I was telling this falsehood on just a whim
That to see
If they'd flee
Or sensing fully my ruse, stay to swim

There in that quiet, foggy place
All of us standing, face-to-face
And laughing, one saying to me,
"You funny bloke, on
You is this joke!"

There on that beach all fogged
The Germans playing, un-togged
Dashing to the sea and splashing
No shirts, no pants, no nothing!

(The joke was on me--
But so were my clothes!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011


"...and that burning flame is LOVE!
--Kahlil Gibran

My heart first pumps away day after day...
Inside, the heart-within-this-heart of mine--
Is yours.
Yours alone.

My heart organ one day will die
But not until long before I
Know that my Love for you
Will continue right on through
After all else of me is just
Nothing--no more nor less than dust.

This heart-within-heart will live
Will continue forever to give
Itself unending
To you, who forgive me
You, who outlive me

My inner heart, my soul, will
Live forever, always, until
We are once again entwined
One soul, one will, one mind
And those who with us living above
Shall have named our single spirit

--Steve E.


Friday, February 11, 2011


To boil a frog,
Grab him off the log and
Drop him into a pot of
Bubbling, boiling water! Right?

WRONG! He would only jump out.
Set him into a pot of warm water though,
And very slowly turn up the heat...
Voila! Delicious boiled frog meat.

Isn't this also the way we humans react?

Write a Flash "55" then go tell G-Man

in Deviant Art

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


"Monkey Talk" is the hundreds of thoughts 
my mind keeps chattering to me.
It keeps me from what is real
-or even what is not real.


One of the most exciting adventures I have undertaken (and yes, there have been a few--grin!) began Monday January 31, 2011. Occasion was the first of a five-Monday series of two-hour sessions (classes) presenting an introduction to Buddhism. Presenter expected 18-20 people might show up. Two hundred got in line to register that first early Monday morning. Fortunately--hate standing in line--I had pre registered. At the end of class time, I am ready for two more hours.


For the few who might happen by here and read this, some will no doubt say, "Steve does not know what he's talking about". And that is entirely correct. I do not fancy myself a teacher--unless you wish to learn the art of violin playing--grin! But my enthusiasm cannot be denied its voice about a topic I am loving. Buddha. I am embarking on a new voyage, same ship, new trip!


After two meetings I'm hooked, there is no more accurate word. From the start I sensed focusing would be my problem. According to what I've learned so far (in order to meditate) focus is 'out', an empty mind is 'in'. While practicing to meditate, I need a mantra, a word to repeat. A word which means absolutely nothing will be perfect...so if anyone has a suggestion, tell me please. You'd think I--of all Peeps--could easily conjure a "nothing" word, right?--grin! (Go on, think about it!)

A mantra is helpful to relieve my mind of everything, every thought, desire, sense, every constriction of place, time, and accouterments.

OM   MA   NI   PAD   ME   HUM   is a mantra I learned, pronunciation:
ohm mah nee pahd  may hoomng

Again..."Monkey Talk" refers to all those committees in the mind which go in a thousand directions, which must be hushed, for meditation needs a clear mind--more aptly, an 'empty' mind

There is so much more, but I must write what really amazed me thus far. Class #3, Monday, we will be introduced to Quantum Physics (simple form!), in order to better understand Buddha. 

IMAGINE! Two thousand-five-hundred years BC, there was no scientific knowledge as we claim today, yet the great thinkers--who did not know of protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks, etc., really DID know, in their special way of knowing--the enlightenment. 

They knew that everything--EVERYTHING--is connected, that our known 'world' (neighborhood?) is but a part of all else, unknown. How about that?

I have not blogged for several days, just cannot get away from this computer. I'm following every thread, every link concerning Buddha. From time to time I'll keep you posted, if anyone is interested in a 'beginner's' thoughts on this topic.

Our presenter claims he is not a teacher--but he IS--grin!  At one point he was describing what we will learn as we progress further than his 'classes', and I said to myself--even wrote in my notes--"Why, THIS is about my Alcoholics Anonymous Steps, six, seven, eight, nine and ten! How about THAT?"

Good love,

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Let MONKEY MAN know that you wrote a 
Flash Fiction using exactly 160 characters 
for the popular SUNDAY 160

By the sea, the calm sea
Nowhere I'd rather be
Want to say now
Wish to stay now
Here one more day
To love none but Thee.

At sea you'll bury
Say goodbye to me
in Deviant Art

Saturday, February 5, 2011


At age 40 I was told that "More shall be revealed". I thought they meant more about being happy, joyous and free. Well, they obviously did, but along with all that idealism, more was included. I would revisit my early daze time and again, would keep finding out more which I would have loved to NOT know or remember!

AGE about five:
Well do I recall the night when I first realized, "Hey, I didn't get 'spanked' today--not once!"  'Spanking' was the word adults used then for what is now called 'child abuse'.  Not a student of psychology, I'll not try to analyze and determine reasons now--for what was then. Were my parents expressing their fears, frustrations, inferiorities in beating us kids.

I do not recall my siblings being beaten as often or as much as I, but with me it was every day once, twice, thrice or more. I am not writing about 'love taps', but spankings which left a red ass even into the next day. My ass was ALWAYS red, but I never would show anyone. At age five, I even then 'had my pride'.  Hmft! (And I'll never ever forget 'razor-strap' day. A parent today would certainly go to jail, if found guilty of 'razor-strap' day's activities.)

Here I've gotta say, I've never blamed my parents for anything which happened to me in living my life. It never occurred to me. I happened to be a 'bad boy'. You know, "Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa". I was not just always getting into trouble...I STAYED in trouble.

One night happened, when it dawned on me that I had escaped punishment one whole day. I truly thought someone made a mistake. I remember about a year later wondering if I could put TWO non-punishment days together. That did not really happen until I was in high school. Still I say our parents were 'good' to me, and the others--I was the oldest of four.

I remember planning at age 14 to break out, run away, but was threatened with the nearby all-boys school (farm) for 'bad boys'. It was run by some 'bad' catholic brothers (Franciscans!), and I used to gaze at that compound of buildings as if the place was Sing Sing Prison. Petrified, I stared past those severing several miles.

Fear gripped me.
My body chilled to a frozen state.
Shaken, shivering.
I would never go near there. Ever!
(Years after, I visited there, a place of hard work, strict--but reasonable--rules. A place where peace and spirituality abounded.)

In a moment of fairness, I add here that I DID put my parents through hell. At a rather early age for those times I left their home to 'be on my own'--yeah, right!

Four wives later, I realize that 'school for bad boys' would have been a good thing...discipline to form character, it's called.

So yes...more is constantly being revealed!

Little_Innocent_Child in Deviant Art

Thursday, February 3, 2011



There is another way of looking at the world
(Which does not always twist, whirl, unfurled)
A place billions call home
Crowded in places like
Reykjavik or Rome.
During evening, on my bike
--Its fenders pearled--
I am being left quite alone.
And so to myself silently I say
Anyone been helped by God and me today?

in Deviant Art

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Once upon a time I knew a girl--Maria--who liked to dance on tables in taverns. She also enjoyed removing vital garments while dancing. Never EVER would she perform in this fashion without being drunk out of her mind. Maria is an alcoholic, suffers from that mental, physical, spiritual disease of alcoholism.

Somehow she one day decided enough of her life had been wasted being sick and tired of being sick and tired. She had reached the bottom of the pit of life. 'It' just was not working out as she had planned. 

Maria began to feel ashamed of her barroom antics. She had looked around the cocktail lounge and wondered which of dozens or so of the men had she taken to her bed? What were their names? She felt like that 'Adam-and-Eve' thing, wanting to go somewhere and hide herself.

Maria entered a 6-day detox, and then a 28-day treatment facility. There were 10 in her small group of recovering drunks. On the final day of her stay there, the chief counselor told the assembled 10 that the deck was stacked against them, statistics showed that ONE of them would likely be blest with long-term sobriety.

Maria began "tears-on-the-floor" crying, sobbing. Asked why she was crying, she replied, that she had been overwhelmed with sorrow for the other 9, who might not make it.

She had surrendered (SO important!) and made a commitment to herself to stay sober. She had stopped drinking--fine--and now she would STAY stopped. 

Maria is sober now 25 years. Eight did not make it.

I know Maria.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


On abstinence--A Piece of my Story

Regarding stopping the daily booze habit:  Sure I drank, didn't everyone? And I could stop, whenever I wished. In fact I stopped many times each day--I'd even put the lid back on the bottle. (How I loved the contents of those beautifully labeled bottles!)  Stopping drinking was simply easy.  The problem was to 'stay' stopped. That I would not, could not do.

Sure, I stopped drinking for a day, one time a whole week--well, 6 days and 4 hours, does Saturday count?--grin! What does it prove, one day, one week, a month? Only that I did not drink. This next is not documented--but most of my thinking during those 'dry' days was about drinking....

and how my body craved it (physical compulsion)....

and how my mind had been telling me, "What a mistake, to stop drinking--who cares whether I drink or not?" "I really REALLY  N E E D  it!" (Mental obsession.)  As a result, I always went back to my alcohol, couple(?) beers during the day/afternoon, wine with dinner yada-yada. Hey, EVERYONE does it.

And here is the punch line, which should (but unfortunately does not) tell me I have a problem:
I have to have it to be sociable, to have fun, to join with others in conversation, joking, to be relaxed, to feel good. Ahhhhh! To feel good. After all, why else do I drink, but that I like the effect produced by drug alcohol?

No human power, no earthly power--certainly not ME!--could relieve me of this daily habit. This habit which more and more often led me to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. I am not a weak person, but alcohol had beat me.

More on how I broke the habit, and 'stayed' sober...next time, maybe a week or so. WARNING: I may be using the "God" word...or "Higher Power"!

BEFORE YOU GO AWAY---Just wanted to tell y'all I attended today my first lecture/class  titled "An Introduction to Buddhism". Just felt pulled into it as by a magnet, there are five classes meeting Monday mornings, and I'm going back! Loved it! After learning a little, I'll blog my perspectives as a 77-year-old student--who takes notes so fast I cannot read them--grin!

IMAGE: Absolut_Spring_by_Kat_Art
in Deviant Art