Today I have been sober for 38 days.
Last Saturday evening, my wife took off to her home village with her son and our gardener/houseboy for the Sunday “Buddha day”.
Originally she had planned to go on Sunday morning and return home that evening (it is a 190 km, 3 hour journey), but then changed her mind and they took off on Saturday evening, planning to return on Sunday evening.
On Sunday she called to say that she would now return on Monday.
On Monday she called to tell me they would all return on Tuesday.
It is now Wednesday, and still no sign of her, and no phone call either, but at least the houseboy is back; he hitched a lift with the wife’s brother who drove here in his pick up, (another generous “Mobi Thai family gift”), as he is going to work with another relative near Rayong.
In the meantime on Sunday, Bob and I went to view the preferred condo in Pattaya that I had viewed the previous day, and he agreed with me that it was a lovely place, and that I would be very comfortable there for a while.
Then on Monday morning I attended my regular AA meeting, and to my surprise and joy, my house guest, Bob, announced that he would go with me to the meeting.
I have previously mentioned that Bob has been sober for a number of weeks now, and is an admitted alcoholic. However, he announced soon after his arrival in Pattaya that he had no wish to go to AA meetings, so I did not pursue it any further – at the time. But last Sunday, I finally brought up his stated reluctance to attend a meeting as an indication that he should work on his humility and pride, and he backed off, claiming that he had never made such a statement. I did not argue with him, and on the following morning, I was taken by complete surprise when he told me he would accompany me to the Pattaya meeting.
It was yet another good meeting and Bob was made very welcome by the others, and he actually spoke briefly and introduced himself to the gathering.
After the meeting we drove home, and I worked on my computer and Bob did some packing as we were going to Bangkok on the Tuesday.
So yesterday, Tuesday, Bob attended his second AA meeting with me and once again Bob was made very welcome. This time, Bob was presented with a free copy of the “big Book” by one of the senior members, and at the close of the meeting, we headed off for Bangkok.
After checking into our hotel we set off to visit with Dave, who has now recovered sufficiently to get out of bed and walk around a little, but he is still in a lot of pain, and is still very weak. Dave wanted to go out for lunch, so we all climbed into a taxi, and made the short journey to a nearby Italian restaurant – Italian food being one of Dave’s favourites.
We had a good lunch, and Dave provided us with more details about his current state of health. As mentioned, he is still in a lot of pain, and this pain is coming from his liver. He has no idea if, and when it is supposed to ease, and will ask the doctors at his next appointment in 6 day’s time. He told us he was on a strict pain medication regime, and as the medication wore off, he was in considerable distress until the next dose ‘kicked in’. It is disquieting that he is still in this amount of pain, almost a month after he collapsed and was admitted to hospital. I do sincerely hope that this is not an indicator that the end maybe near to hand.
Dave was clearly very happy to be with us – his oldest friends, and in particular to be out dining with us, but both Bob and I felt that underneath his good humoured bravado, we detected an uneasiness, and we agreed that not all was fine and dandy with Dave from a psychological standpoint. Of course no one could expect him to be full of the joys of spring after what he had been through, but we know him well, and it wasn’t just the state of his health that was bothering him – we felt there was something else as well.
I even speculated whether Dave might be drinking again, and hiding it from us, but Bob did not think so. I hope he is right, because one more drink and Dave will be dead within weeks.
I shall call his wife today and try to see if she knows what is wrong, because undoubtedly something is, and it goes beyond his physical sickness.
In the early evening, Bob and I made a return visit to the Centara Hotel and the rooftop bar on the 55th floor, where once again we sipped on our drinks and enjoyed the fabulous view. We were awaiting the owner of a condo which I was about to lease in Pattaya. I had previously been in touch with the landlord and told him I was going to Bangkok, and he suggested that we meet in Bangkok, as he lived there. He duly arrived, I signed the lease, and handed over the 1 month security deposit.
I was committed. My new life is about to begin. Bob and I sat at the bar for another hour or so, and he helped me plan the exit strategy from my marriage and ‘old life’, and how I would handle my wife and try to divide and dispose of our joint property, once I had departed for good from the marital abode.
My lease commences on 15th October, but I have my keys, so can start to move belongings in at any time.
This is not the first time I have taken this action, but this time around I am much better prepared, both from a practical viewpoint and an emotional viewpoint, and I am very confident that this is will be my final exit from this bitter and unhappy relationship.
We raised our glasses to the sky, and toasted a new life, both for Bob (who has recently separated from his wife) and for me.
This morning, I arose at the crack of dawn as Bob had to check in at the airport at 6 a.m. We set of from the hotel at 5.30 and I made it with minutes to spare. Then I continued on to my home, east of Pattaya, and found that my wife had still not returned home, but that the maid ,(who lives outside), had spent the night in one of the spare bedrooms. The wife must have called to tell her to stay there and protect the home!! (But she hasn’t called me)
Last night while Bob and I had been chatting at the rooftop bar in Bangkok, Bob reminded me that during the 3 weeks he had been living at my house, he had only seen my wife briefly on two occasions.
I know not what the future may bring, but I do know that whatever it turns out to be, I will embrace it with hope and joy; hopefully a clear, sober mind; and NO MORE WIVES!!!