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Writing Break: Norma

Early in sobriety I attended AA meetings daily, as prescribed by my temporary sponsor. I was told to listen closely to others with many years of sobriety, especially the women, because eventually I would hear my own story coming out of other women’s shares. It’s important, because we learn that […]

Chapter 1: Emmettism

I couldn’t get this handsome man’s face out of my head. It was strange. It was almost like I had embraced a whole new ‘-ism’, this time, Emmettism. Something new to replace the mania for alcohol, a feeling that comes and goes even with a few years of continuous sobriety. My […]

Family Disease

My sponsor cornered me after a meeting a few days ago. She hadn’t seen me in awhile — weeks — which isn’t a good thing for alcoholics in recovery. “Where have you been? What’s up?” She asked. Demanded, actually. So we sat down together in a coffee shop, and talked. […]

that which is most familiar

“We seek out what is familiar and comfortable emotionally, even though what is familiar and comfortable may not be healthy.” — Carolyn Hax, The Washington Post, June 2018 Everyone does this, alcoholic or not. “Fixing” Emmett’s unhealthy drinking habit would have been possible if he’d had help with a competent […]

Following the Money

One of the things I’ve always found curious about Emmett Wilson’s life was why he never lived on his own, never owned a house, never had his own apartment in which he was responsible for everything (food, furniture, utilities and the like). Emmett was a bachelor with an active and […]

“The Hardest Ride a Man Can Take”

Maximilian Foster was a famous author and playwright when Emmett met him at an intimate dinner party given by his friend, Billy Crawford, in March 1908. In 1908, Foster’s oeuvre was mostly what I’d call low density literature — it doesn’t require a lot of deep concentration, and is something […]

Judging Favorably

Today, I learned about the Judaic concept of “dan l’kaf zichud,” or, about the obligation to judge others favorably. In a nutshell, it is about giving someone the benefit of the doubt, not assuming a value judgment immediately about anything and everything. Given all the crap that goes on in […]

Celebrity Sightings, 1908

The date?   March 3, 1908, the day after Mardi Gras. The place?  The private dining room in the The Osceola Club, Pensacola, Florida The occasion/connection? Good question. This is another oddball jigsaw puzzle in the life of Emmett Wilson that I like to work out. Not to sound disparaging of anyone sitting around […]

The Miracle

On Saturday morning, I said goodbye to a dear friend. You’d have liked Michelle. She was a pistol. She was someone who lived life like a loose garment — she had poise, humor, smarts. She also had a way of getting right the point, of saying the right thing at […]