So I ended up talking to the old friend I was scared to talk to. He said he had been trying to find me and Goggled “Marilyn Spiller”. Then he read and watched and looked at the photos (with what he described as equal parts “horror” and “fascination”) depicting what I have been doing since last we spoke. The proverbial wine bottle was out of the bag, so I didn’t have a lot of explaining to do.
When I told him how much money I had plowed through, his composure slipped. He laughed a sort of sputter of disbelief and said, “Are you kidding?” Wish that I were…
He reminded me that he was an instigator in the old days, although he denies teaching me how to “lie effectively”. He said he actually felt guilty, as if he were partially responsible for my nosedive. There was the time we were heading home drunk on the FDR, after Happy Hour at Elaine’s and he clipped the car next to us with his side mirror going 70 MPH.
I don’t remember that, but now that I think of it, I do remember the time we were on that sales call at a fancy law firm in Washington DC. We were having a three wine lunch with the partner in charge and he announced he was an S&M enthusiast (slurring the “S” like Sylvester Puddy Tat) and asked us, “Are you bottoms or tops?” My friend and I exchanged looks (the nonverbal communication of a crackerjack sales team used to saying what a potential client wanted to hear) and we said in unison, “Tops. I think we’re tops…”
My friend is not responsible for me becoming an alcoholic. He wasn’t really even an instigator. I got there all on my own, but it was nice, in the apologetic world of ex-boozery to have someone make amends to me for a change. Even though it was generous and unfounded.
But that’s a gentleman for you.