The book "Alcoholic's Anonymous" (AA's Big Book) states that the trajectory for an alcoholic ends in one of three places: Jails, institutions or death.
For my friend DB, his path eventually included all three.
20 years ago he was selling expensive European sports cars to millionaires and movie stars in Beverly Hills, California.
Six years ago I fired him for being drunk at work -- and we were a long way from selling sports cars in Beverly Hills. Actually, he was drunk at work a number of times. Since I knew him from AA I tried to cut him some slack, but eventually I had to hold him accountable -- though I did fudge the paperwork when I let him go, so he didn't have a "not eligible for rehire" dogging him when he looked for his next gig. It wasn't rigorously honest of me, and maybe it was shielding an alcoholic from the consequences of his drinking -- which never actually helps them, I know -- but I'd probably do it that way again, if I had it to do all over. Sue me.
Four years ago I went to his "Transition" -- the graduation ceremony from a pretty tough recovery house he had been in. Not the first, but ... "This time it'll be different." And it was. For a while.
Tonight I learned that he "fell asleep" in an alley and was run over and died.
Another Coroner's Certificate that will be inaccurate when listing "Cause of Death."
It's pretty easy to get all caught up in and distracted by the
No. Stop. Though I believe DB's death is a powerful illustration of what alcoholism does to a person, I'm not going to wax on about sobriety and the spiritual solution and what it is we're really doing in AA (trying to save lives, if you need it spelled out for you).
I'm just going to log off, and say a prayer for my friend -- a really great, funny guy, who tried and tried but couldn't stay sober, and wound up passed out in an alley, run over like a stray dog.