When most people ask me how I'm "doing," I respond in the positive. Obviously it's the easiest and truest way to answer that question, but I can tell Ansel a different truth I can't explain to anyone else. And we agreed on an interesting aspect of our sobriety: loneliness.
It's something I've been noticing for awhile and been afraid to articulate, convinced I was nuts in my surrounded solitude. It's true though. Sometimes I'll be in the middle of a lively dinner party and get a pang of loneliness. It's only a moment, but a moment I hate.
It's kind of like being the only kid not allowed to play tackle football because you kept breaking your leg.
And when I finally said today, "Sometimes it's kind of lonely," Ansel put down his fork, looked at me and said, "I know! Everyone's having so much fun and you get singled out and if you don't have fun it's because you're a big, boring sober person."
"And everyone gets to clink glasses with their champagne and you're the big tumbler of water ruining the moment."
"And you tell they feel a little bit bad for you."
"My friends are awesome, mind you." I said, and I mean it. They are.
"Of course they are. It's just a fact."
Ansel has a really great way of saying things. And I didn't have to explain certain situations, personal history, location and circumstance of specific instances. He just got it and commiserated. Which I guess is the whole point of having things in common with another human being.
And with me and Ansel, well, he was a stranger with whom I survived a disaster...