If You Ever Need

A reminder.

Just call me.

I don’t normally need a reminder, but once in a while an old face, a friend who saved my ass when I didn’t even know how badly I needed to be saved, will resurface in my life and I am just amazed at how far I have come.

“I kept up with all your posts about Paris,” he said and gave me a great big hug.

That’s the thing about social media, I may not see a person for years, literally, but they have been keeping tabs on me.

“You were just glowing in all the photos, I mean, stunning.”

That was nice to hear.

It was nice to get the hug too and to remember how it was, not so long ago, but oh, how long ago, another life time ago, it was.

Almost eleven years now.

We met when I had 20 days.

I had gotten the job at Absinthe when I had 19 days sober.


I remember telling my person how desperate I was for a job and I had gotten an interview at Absinthe and I was real nervous.

I needed to work.

I remember the interview and what cinched it with the GM was my description of the uni pasta at Hawthorne Lane where I had worked previously.

I was a bit worried that he might ask why I had left Hawthorne, um, yeah, I was fired, but it never came up.


I was given a tour, a locker, a set of instructions to go out and get a pair of pants, white shirt, a tie, and a pair of black shoes.

I have no idea where the money came from that I purchased those things with.


Oh hahahahaha.

Faintest little ring of a memory.

It was the last time I used a credit card.

I had a few in my wallet, none of which should have worked, and the first couple did in fact get turned down, but miraculously the third worked.

I haven’t used a card since that point.

Although it was a little while before I cut them up.

Not that they would have worked had I not.

I came back later that night to audition for the position and I ran circles around the dining room and cocktail area.

I got the job and was instructed to come back the next day for training.

My trainer that day was high on cocaine.

Fuck me.

It was an awful hard shift and I made a few phone calls.

I also discovered that I was allowed to smoke in the back garden and I could make myself any espresso drink I wanted free of charge.

Brilliant that.

I took a break with a great big bowl of caffeine and milk and sat in the back garden area with my feet in a chair and a cigarette dangling from my mouth.

I forget that I used to smoke, but those first few months, oh I smoked like a chimney.

Yes, yes I did.

I managed to get through the shift, but I had serious doubts about coming back to the job.

I was assigned the coke head a second day of training.

I said something to the manager, not that the person was high, but that I had already trained with him if there was someone else I should follow.

“Oh yeah, I need ____________ up front anyhow, go shadow _________”

And I did.

One of the first things said person said to me was, “oh, yeah and we serve six wines by the glass, make sure that you know what they taste like, at the end of your shift you can go and try them at the service bar.”

“I don’t drink,” I mumbled under my breath.

I didn’t like wine anyhow, I was a vodka, beer, cocaine, cigarette type of gal.

“Oh really,” he said, “how many days?”

What the fuck?

“19, no 20,” I said, more than a little spooked.

“Four years,” he responded.

I just about fell over with relief.

“The maitre d'” he continued “19 years.”

Oh wow.

“Are you going to ______?” He asked.

“Yes,” I said wide eyed and more than a little in awe of what was happening.

“Good, where?”

I told him.

“Do you have a __________?”

“Yes!”  I said, nodding my head emphatically.

“You’re going to be ok,” he said, “if you need anything, anything at all, you just ask me.”

I remember tearing up.

I remember he did, in fact, take care of me a couple of times.

It was good to see him tonight.

A lovely surprise.

And a great reminder that I have indeed come very far.

Very far.

I don’t suspect that the journey is anywhere near ended either and for that I have extraordinary gratitude.

“You’re in grad school now right?”  He asked me as we were walking out carrying chairs to be stacked in a corner of the room.

“Yes!  I just finished my first semester.”

“Creative writing?” He asked.

“No, Masters in Psychology, so I can be an MFT (marriage/family therapist).

He is not the first person to assume I am getting a masters in creative writing and truth be told, I would indeed like to get a masters in creative writing, but it would not seem that now is the time.

I told him the story, in short, about how the decision to pursue a psychology masters degree came about and we both chuckled.

It was good to catch up.

It was good to be seen.

It was good to have it acknowledged that I have shown up for so much of the work over this last decade.

I have nothing that matters more than this experience and it is a constant source of amazement for me that I get to keep, one day at a time, one moment at a time, one millisecond at time, showing up for this life.

It is a huge gift.

One that I sometimes question why I was given it.

But never, ever, ever.

A gift that I turn my nose up at .



It is the gift that keeps on giving.

Good times and bad.

There are no bad times.

Sometimes hard times.

But no bad times.


And I am grateful.


Grateful to be reminded from where I come.

Because I don’t want to ever forget how awful it was.

(It was really, really bad)

Like some I know who have.

This gift, this blessing, this life for which I am beyond grateful for, something that I hold onto, no matter what or who or circumstance–good, bad, they are the same–is something I cannot measure in words.

Only in love.

A depth of love that knows no end.

Infinity x ten.


Then some.

Maybe eleven.


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