Little Trees: So, I gather you have a new sponsee.
Little Trees and I were having coffee. Well, I was having coffee, they're a hot chocolate devotee. I've sponsored them for a good number of years now, and we have an easy rapport; I am as candid with them about my process and personal challenges as I am with any peer or long-time sober friend.
Mr. SponsorPants: Yes, it seems I do.
LT: I thought your dance card was full.
Mr. SP: So did I. But this one sort of ... materialized on my doorstep.
LT: What the hell does that mean?
Mr. SP: Well, they were waiting for me outside of work. You know how you can see right in the restaurant, the whole front is open and all. One day, a couple of weeks ago, I was taking a break and I noticed this scruffy skateboarder type watching me eat my lunch on the patio. I didn't think much of it at the time. But then, when I left work, there they were again.
LT: Did you think, "stalker" or "mugger?"
Mr. SP: Dear God no. Neither. They're about as intimidating as a pound puppy.
LT: Did you recognize them at all?
Mr. SP: Nope. But they sort of skateboarded over and asked if I was a friend of AA. I had to gently suggest that maybe they meant to say "A friend of Bill."
LT: Homeless? Crazy?
Mr. SP: I can't decide. But they told me they'd seen me at meetings, and heard me share a couple times, and wanted to know about being sponsored.
LT: They saw you but you never saw them? Seriously?
Mr. SP: You know some of those big meetings. The Monday night -- or Sunday morning, if they were in the back.
LT: True enough. And you said yes? Just like that?
Mr. SP: They said that they're not much for prayer, but they asked God to help them find a sponsor and then later that same day they dediced sobriety was bullshit and were skateboarding over to their dealer and... there I was, eating my lunch.
LT: You're the answer to their prayer.
Little Trees laughs.
Mr. SP: Please, I know how it sounds, and I'm uncomfortable enough with it as it is. Not to mention it's such a pat thing to say, they could just be feeding me a line. Even with that bit I might have tried to suggest that maybe they needed to find someone more free, more available but... they said The Thing.
LT: The Thing?
Mr. SP: Yeah. The one thing someone can say which I pretty much can't refuse. I know that sounds melodramatic or something, but ....
LT: You're right.
Mr. SP: What?
LT: It does sound melodramatic. What's The Thing?
I told them.
Little Trees stared out the window and sipped their hot chocolate for a minute
LT: Yep. That would do it.
Mr. SP: I mean, in the face of that, I just can't come back with, 'Gosh, I feel like my dance card is full.' And it's not like I've heard it put that way very often. Quite seldom, in fact. Maybe three, four times over the course of my whole sobriety.
LT: So how's it working with them?
Mr. SP: Different. They put me in mind a little bit of someone I sponsored a long time ago, in another city. Not that they're similar people, just how they seem to have come to me is all.
LT: You get together every week?
Mr. SP: They just drop by work, and wait for me. When I have time I come out and tell them if I can talk or not. They will wait as long as it takes. No one really notices them, it's not like they've got their nose pressed against the glass. They just hang out. Skateboard around some. You know there's a bunch of people around there.
LT: Yeah. Do they call you? I mean, they have a phone, right?
Mr. SP: Yeah. They call pretty often, actually.
LT: Well, keep me posted. I'm intrigued. I guess your HP wanted you on special assignment.
Mr. SP: Intrigued? That makes two of us. And as for HP... well, I suppose I've run out of "Why's?" and am pretty comfortably living in a place of "Really? Okay. You're the boss."
LT: You've run out of "Why's?" Really.
Mr. SP: Oh, don't worry. I'm sure it's only temporary. I'll get more.
LT [muttering into their mug of hot chocolate]: I've no doubt.
Mr. SP: What's that?
LT: We'll find out. I said, 'We'll find out.' About your new sponsee I mean.
Mr. SP: I'm on to you, you know.
LT: Shhh. You're an answer to a prayer. Try to act dignified.
Mr. SP: I'll dignify you if you keep on with that.
LT: Dignity, please. Dignity. You're the example.
Mr. SP: I give up.
LT: Surrender! That's the spirit!
There are more stories like this one in "Mr. SponsorPants: Adventures in Sobriety and The 12 Steps for AA's and Others." Available as an eBook on Kindle via Amazon. Download the Kindle reader app for free on any device or platform, from PC to Smartphone, and enjoy eBooks anywhere you have time to read.