It’s spring in Michigan and I work in one of those old buildings that have trouble shifting from winter steam heat to AC. And it’s been so gorgeous outside, that natural air is what I’m after. So, I tried to open my office window. But, I work in one of those old buildings that have storm windows weighing a ton, and another set of windows that push out on dicky, metal thingies that do not hold. In other words, it is not easy to tap natural air.
Mother of Invention
I got creative and used my Alcoholics Anonymous big book as a window brace. The AA big book I have in my office is “for show” – the new, Warholesque, Pop version that weighs at least a pound. It was a gift from my friend Laura at my one year sober anniversary and I usually have it artfully displayed on my credenza.
I was sharing my marketing pearls with my intern Monica. She was facing the window and at some point, she furled her brow and said, “I think something just fell out of your window.” I turned around and the BIG book was gone.
Oh Oh. What if there was someone walking under the window? A gardener, or a visitor to one of the other offices? Someone minding their own business when a book, falling from three floors and gaining velocity, clobbers them on the head? What if, now that my life is going so well (and I have almost finished writing the new, Sanford House website), I kill someone and have to go to jail and become someone’s’ “bitch”? Maybe I can pretend it’s not mine. But what about the inscription? And everyone knows I like Pop art…
All those thoughts ran through my head as I walked the three feet to the window, pushed it open and looked down. No dead body, thank God. The fall didn’t even break the book’s binding. So I scampered down the stairs and reclaimed my possession before someone saw it as manna from heaven and snatched it for their library.
We were all laughing about it later and Jess said, ” What if it had just fallen in front of someone? Right at their feet – and they were thinking about quitting drinking? Would they think it was a sign?” This was a scenario I hadn’t thought about, but what if? I can imagine, after one of those horrible nights when I was shaky, still drunk and queasy, walking along and having an Alcoholics Anonymous tome fall out of the sky like a sign from God. Collapsing to my knees and shouting, “TELL IT! I will get sober today!”
I don’t want to make too much of a book falling from an office window. It was, after all, a careless mistake and not a Godsend. But it reminded me that unanticipated things happen – good and bad. And I suppose it’s how you look at it. You can dodge a falling book and sue the perp, or pick it up and get sober. You can get hit by a truck or a book out of nowhere. You can live to tell the tale.
Things happen. And sometimes they’re funny and thought provoking. Keep your eyes and ears open, look up occasionally and surround yourself with folks who get it.
Because what doesn’t kill you (or someone else) makes
you stronger for great blog fodder…
Today I’m not drinking because things happen…
How come you’re not drinking?