She’s had guns pulled on her but never actually been shot. That’s my new litmus for determining job security.

[A telephone conversation between myself and Douglas, who called specifically to talk about recovery.]

Me: “So I answered a help wanted ad posted by an engineering firm. It’s an entry-level position, but they’re only accepting applications from commissioned notaries.”

Douglas: “That’s awesome!”

Me: “And right after that, I was playing around online and found a historically-accurate Medieval notary costume. So I can go to the Renaissance Festival as a notary.”

Douglas: “Very cool!”

Me: “And also, a process server came into the office today, because some rando is suing one of our HOAs.”

Douglas: “Okay…”

Me: “She was very nice. And as she was leaving, I asked her if she’s a notary. She is, and she gave me her card and told me to call her when I get my own process server certification, so that she can show me the ropes.”

Douglas: “Wow.”

Me: “I know! It’s like three signs that I’m on the right path. OH, and I got a package in the mail this afternoon — it was a fake license plate that says ‘Beware of Notary.’ I’d totally forgotten I’d ordered it. So that’s an additional half-sign.”

Douglas: “…”

Me: “PLUS I found a reasonably-priced reference book on the history of notaries in early modern Rome. Fascinating. And probably a bonus sign. Like a sign-with-purchase.”

Douglas: “Right. We’re changing the subject now.”

He never did get around to discussing recovery. But I figure if I haven’t made him drink yet, it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

Speaking of, though, I asked my sponsor if I should use my email address on my résumé, so that potential employers would see how dedicated I am to notarization, and he was like, “Please just use Gmail like a normal person.” I feel like Douglas got to him first and told him to say that. My support network needs to set some damn boundaries.

As the World Turns and the Pendulum Swings


Everyone Else: “Okay.”

[a few hours pass]

Me: “Douglas and I made up.”

Everyone Else: “Cool.”

[the next morning]


Everyone Else: “Ah.”

[that afternoon]

Me: “Douglas is a true friend.”

Everyone Else: “Mmm.”

[two days later]


Everyone Else: “Huh.”

[the day after that]

Me: “Douglas and I are going to a timeshare presentation and pretending to be a couple so that we can win a free toaster.”

Everyone Else: “La.”

[moments later]


Everyone Else: [not even pretending to pay attention]

Me: “…”

Everyone Else: [still no response; possibly asleep]

Me: “I should call Douglas.”

Not As I Do

[Conversations with Douglas cont’d.]

Me: “I feel like my recovery program is getting kind of stagnant.”

Douglas: “Are you sponsoring anyone right now?”

Me: “Not at the moment, no.”

Douglas: “Well, that might be something to think about. If you’re in a slump, working with another addict could pull you out of it.”

Me: “You know what? You’re right! I’m going to be a sponsor again.”

Douglas: “Awesome!”

Me: “BAM.”


Douglas hasn’t responded, but I’m pretty sure it’s because he’s so awestruck by my commitment to both literalism and the modern NeoPagan movement that he’s can’t form coherent words. Or else I finally pushed him over the edge, and he’s facedown on the floor of a roadhouse. Hard to say with that one.

I should probably call his sponsor.

The Broken Hearts Solidarity League

[A telephone conversation between myself and Douglas.]

Me: “Argh. My ex-boyfriend keeps liking everything I post on Facebook.”

Douglas: “Why don’t you just block him?”

Me: “Because I need access to his timeline in case he posts something about his new boyfriend, so that I can get irrationally upset about it.”

Douglas: “…”

Me: “…”

Douglas: “Yeah. That’s why I haven’t blocked him, either.”

I wish we were bonding over something a little less unapologetically neurotic, but it’s nice to be on the same page.

Close Encounters of the Nasal Cavity

[A conversation with Douglas, who is currently suffering from an unidentified sinus plague and intermittent brain fever.]

Douglas: “I never knew the human body could produce so much snot. No wonder the aliens won’t come back.”

Me: “I am both grossed out and intrigued. Please continue.”

Douglas: “Well, ancient history does show evidence that aliens visited this planet, but they haven’t made contact in the modern times, so it must be because the human body produces a butt-load of mucus when the human gets sick. That’s why they won’t return. They want nothing to do with us.”

Me: “…”

Or, it could be that they thought we were incubating other life forms within our noses and were sure that’s what all the fluid was, and therefore they couldn’t impregnate us, so we were useless to them.”

Me: [awed silence]

Douglas: “I think the fever is back.”