Thursday, December 4, 2008

So, Why Not Me?

Robert Holbrook Smith, better known to people in recovery from alcoholism as Dr. Bob, was credited with having helped more than 5,000 alcoholics find a solution before his death in November of 1950. He remains a glittering role model in that, before becoming the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Smith toiled drunkenly for years as a proctologist, a surgeon who specialized in the treatment of diseases of the colon, rectum, and anus. It's too simple a leap to say that if I were to hold that distinction, I would need to remain drunk on the job, too. More likely, if I knew I was to have a prostate procedure performed by a drunken man from Akron, I'd pop a few scotches myself.

I once met a obstetrician who said he had caught babies while in a drunken blackout. I've met a pilot who claimed to have flown Boeing airliners from New York to Sweden while intoxicated with a stewardess (as they were then called) in his lap. I have a friend who loaded bombs into B-52s during the Vietnam war while stoned on LSD. So many near-misses, if you will. Hence, it's comforting to know that Dr. Bob survived years of behaving like a wickedly sauced, unrepentant intruder to eventually transform his life and to help countless others find peace.

So, in this initial post, let us say that I shall (despite my narcissism and sense of entitlement to hard-won cynicism) search with diligence to find in each day the essence of what poet Emily Dickinson once remarked:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all...

1 comment:

Brent said...

Gabby, my man! About time you started blogging again. I'm eager to read more. Dr. Bob the proctologist, eh? Does this give a new meaning to the phrase bobbing for apples? No?