He sat across me with a straight face. He caught my eye not only because he was extremely handsome, but for his gleaming blue/grey eyes and air of calmness. It was on my way out of the meeting that he approached me and we got talking. He was from San Francisco, worked in the movie business, loved to travel and told me he was living in Spain for a few months.
That meeting where I met him was one of my first tries at getting sober. It took two more years for me to finally get clean while I kept going to random meetings where this man kept showing up. At the end of another of those random meetings he gave me his address. He was moving back to San Francisco. We left it at small talk, but he made a deep impression on me. He was calm, charming, in a good way, intelligent, witty, full of life and seemed to have the program down.
One day, I tried to find a book but they didn’t sell it in Spain, so I wrote to him, pen in hand, asking if he could please send me a copy, that I would pay him back. He sent the book immediately and we started an ongoing written conversation. He wrote beautiful crafted letters full of stories, and adventures. I in turn, was able to ask him for help on sobriety and how to deal with everyday seemingly easy situations, that for me were horrendous challenges at the time. He helped me to get on my feet with these candid letters by sharing his own recovery experience and life with me.
Twenty four years later here I am in San Francisco because of him, mourning his loss. And all because of a book…