49/6 Party

The cancellations started rolling in on Thursday. They continued right through to yesterday morning—death in the family, complications from outpatient surgery, hormone problems. This led to one of the topics I chose to focus on last night when I chaired the meeting, “Profound Personality Change.”

If you’re a woman, the easiest way to confuse a man is to play the hormone troubles card. After the physical changes of puberty, testosterone has but one effect. It makes us want to fuck. Yes, there’s aggression too, but peel back the layers and it’s in completion for a mate. But basically, we want to fuck.

Anything will do, generally. I’m sure it was a great relief to the sheep in Brokeback Mountain that there were two gay boys. You know what they say about Wyoming, it’s where men are men and the sheep are scared.

While there are no medical studies to support it, some people argue that another effect of testosterone causes men to purchase ugly reclining chairs in which to sit around, burp, fart, scratch our butts and hog the remote. Even adding this in, testosterone is pretty simple stuff.

Female hormones are a different matter completely. First, it’s hormones, plural. They seem to come and go as they please with all sorts of different physical and emotional calamities appearing and disappearing as all part of the process. Men have come to accept this, but we really don’t understand it.

So when CBC called Friday afternoon, all completely freaked-out, I knew there could be only one reason. Hormones. She was so far beyond freaked-out, that it was painful for me, 400 miles away on the other end of the phone.

She’d been all excited earlier in the week that the initial six months of hormone replacement therapy were over and had gone well and her doc had set her up for self-administration. Apparently, when she got home from the pharmacy on Thursday night, there was something wrong, or appearing to be wrong, with the syringes, the gage of the needles, and even the little bottles of hormones.

I never did quite get whether it was one or all of the above, or if the problem was with the doc, the pharmacy or CBC’s recognition and interpretation of what was in the bag. The results, however, were crystal clear, and familiar to every man, woman and child on the planet. Livid, screaming anger, followed immediately sobbing apologies, then launching into a rapid-fire display of about 42 other emotions. Repeated several times in a half-hour.

This was the awesome power of female hormones at work.

Now, the profound personality change I referred to, was in me. Once upon a time, I’d have gotten angry myself, raging on about the broken commitment and deception. (You didn’t really want to come and all you come up with is this as an excuse? You volunteered for this woman stuff, now suck it up!) A few years later I’d have launched into a crying fit myself. (Even my best friend won’t come to my party. My party is ruined without a guest of honor.)

Friday afternoon, where I went was completely different. My very first thought was, Gee. I hope she doesn’t get into the Mercedes and drive 400 miles feeling like this. And then relief and gratitude that she had enough wits about her stay home.

Then I went about my day.

I got to enjoy my freshly scrubbed apartment all by myself. Now it’s clean just for me, not for someone else. Without CBC, I had to find something else to do Saturday morning and early afternoon. I went to the grocery store and did some banking and shopping.

Then I decided that at 700 miles or so, it was a good time to thoroughly clean the drivetrain on the bike. It was still quiet, but not silent. Perhaps some degreaser and good scrubbing with a brush would help.

So I poured some degreaser into a bowl and sat on my fire escape for an hour with a rag and an old toothbrush. Yes, my bike has it’s own toothbrush now. Gears have teeth, you know. I retain exclusive rights to the floss, however. I’d forgotten that the cassette was chrome-plated. Looks nice, all sparkly and clean.

I made a nice lunch, took a long relaxing shower, and rode my once-again silent bike to the party.

I’d invited all sorts of people—friends, family, clients, co-workers from the library, local, out-of-town, gay, straight, bi, men, women, (and in-between), married, single, AA members and tipplers alike. As the afternoon passed, and people came and went, we never ran out of chairs in the shade and the breeze.

And being sober, we never had to worry about a keg running dry.

As it worked-out, at no time was anyone there who knew only me. That was good. What was better was all these people from different areas of my life meeting one another. There was always an interesting mix of people and more interesting conversations than I could track. It was fun to watch phone numbers being exchanged as new friendships were forged.

The evening came far too quickly, and a few of us—mainly AAers, but a couple of other people besides—drove, walked and cycled the two blocks to the meeting. I chaired, telling my story as it relates to compartmentalizing life and self; and about the profound personality change sobriety can bring. Afterwards, I was approached by a member looking for his first sponsor. We’ll meet for coffee on Tuesday.

Most of the regular after-the-meeting dinner crew went home after the meeting, so four of us went down the street for Chinese. An SUV, a Harley and my bike, all arrived simultaneously.

Except for the occasional pizza from The Corner Store, I never get take-out. The Chinese places where I’ve eaten in recent memory have all been those buffets. I was unprepared for the amount of food served and that I’d be taking more than half of it home. The foil and plastic-lid container of General Tzo’s Chicken sealed well enough and fit perfectly—and flat—in the Brain Bag. No leaks.

The heat and humidity of the day had relented from their near record-breaking heights, but the nice breeze (a headwind) remained. Coming home long after dark, it was the latest I’ve ridden. I liked it. Quiet, considerably less traffic, and what traffic there was, could see me, perhaps more easily (given my lights and the reduced visual distraction), and gave me lots of consideration.

A nice, slow, easy ride into a cooling breeze made a perfect cap for the day.

One Response to “49/6 Party”

  1. Von Says:

    Let me tell ya about hormones…
    Well, I would, if my brain wasn’t mush. Hormones.