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i’m not your savior

August 16, 2009

most saturday nights are spent playing no limit hold ’em with a large group of friends, and of course the dreaded noob. it’s the one day of the week where we all have the opportunity to reconnect, make plans for the upcoming week and of course, trash talk.

one of my favorite participants at our weekly games is a young man we’ll call brian. (the name has been changed to protect the innocent.) brian is all of 23-years-old, 20 years my junior, and he’s one of the best natural talents at the game i’ve ever seen. he’s scarily good at poker. he reminds me of negreanu in that in inherently knows what his opponents are holding. he is a brilliant player.

brian is also a hardcore alcoholic, and he knows it. he’s admitted this to me. many a saturday night, and other days during the course of the week, i’ve seen brian shit-faced beyond comprehension. brian’s behavior frightens me, and i’ve informed him of my feelings. i can recount at least seven times during the course of the last four years (the length of time i’ve known him) where i’ve had to either punch him to get his keys, or make a scene in a public place to shame him and then get the keys. i’d do all of this again, and he knows it.

brian knows two of my family members — both young men his age — who have been killed by drunk drivers. he’s got my telephone number and he’s called me three times to come and pick him up because he’s too impaired to drive. i’ll do this again, and he knows it.

at last night’s game, brian’s drinking was at a level i’ve never witnessed before. he was more “lovey-dovey” than usual, and taking off his clothes. he wanted to sit by me during all of last night’s tournaments, and the after-party cash game, and i told him to go fuck himself. GO. FUCK. YOURSELF. you disgust me. you’re a beautiful, intelligent and wonderful young man. God has given you so many gifts and you’re spitting in my general direction by your behavior.

towards the end of the evening and as i was preparing to leave, brian comes over to me (fully-dressed by this time) and tells me, “you’re my savior.” pardon me? your savior? i don’t want that responsibility, sweetheart, and i reject the notion of being your savior, let alone any else’s savior. I. AM. NOT. YOUR. SAVIOR. period. full stop. your life is just that, YOUR LIFE. you’re responsible for your actions, good and bad. brian, i can’t show you your “bottom;” you’ve got to achieve that on your own. when you’re at the point when you’ve lost everything, excluding your life, you’ll at that point begin to realize and change your life. my husband did it. my big brother did it. two of my uncles did it. my mother didn’t, and now she’s rotting in a grave at santa cruz memorial. how dare you tell me i’m your savior. i’m not. i’m your friend, i’m your supporter and i can also be a chauffeur. i won’t pay for your habits, and i can’t save you from your habits. i want you to be the very best you can be, yet you’re at your very worst when you imbibe to excess. i adore the ground on which you walk, yet i despise your actions and your mindset when you drink. i am here for you, for now and forever, but i can’t save you.

this one’s for brian. i hope i see you next week …

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