Excerpt from Eyes Shut Tight
1969 Drink to your health
In the summer of 1969, I flew to Atlanta to make preliminary preparations for the Vice-Mayor campaign in the fall. Most of the same people from the last campaign were there and it was like a reunion. Gerry and I would return in the early fall. As the cadre of about 15 sat around in discussion, someone produced beers from the refrigerator.
I had been sober for almost four years at this time. They say in AA that when you have an addiction and are sober, the adversary is always in the next room "doing calisthenics and push ups," Waiting, waiting, waiting, quietly waiting, for the right time. Waiting for the moment that your guard is down, waiting for the moment of weakness, and waiting finally for the moment of surrender. When it comes, he is at the door with all of his minions, the lost souls, waiting behind him. Maybe they will slip in one at a time, maybe just a few now, maybe a few tomorrow, but one at a time, or altogether, they are at the door, because they are all coming. And unheard by the addicted is the raucous laughter, the cries, the screams of delight that are howling as one, "Victory at last, we knew it was coming," Oh the slime and the puking, and the slurring, and the staggering, and the fighting, and the shitting in the pants. You thought you were so high and mighty, you have been ours since the beginning and you will be ours till the end! Say good-bye to everything you have held to your heart, your family, your job, your self-respect and your soul, you worthless degraded miserable piece of shit! You are ours again and you were always going to be ours again. Get ready to be so sick of mind, body, and soul, and wish you were dead, and you don't have the fucking guts to do that. What yesterday you thought was the ugliest, nastiest, most disgusting, and sickening of the human endeavors now your family and your best friend. Welcome to the land of the lost souls. Welcome to living purgatory you ass hole!!"
I took the beer that was handed to me and drank it.
No, they did not come all at once. Within two weeks, they had. I had two beers at the meeting and went directly to the bar at the hotel. Oh, it felt so good with no regrets and that warm glow was beginning from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. "Free at last, free at Last, thank God, free at last." God heard you Ken, your free will was free or so it seemed. Your angels would weep, now it was their turn to wait and the outcome was not so sure as it was for the others. If paper smothers rock, do prayers beat push-ups? The jury will be out for a while on this one. I stayed in the bar that night until it closed.PREVIEW EYES SHUT TIGHT