Connie Lee was Matey’s wife. “You must think I’m a real witch, the way I get after him,” she said to me after she made sure he’d gone to group. “I push ‘cause I still see him the way he was back in the day. People said Matey was tough as nails, sweet as sugar, and smooth as silk. He had been a tunnel rat in Vietnam, twice decorated for bravery. He was a fireman for thirty years. Rescued a bunch of people. Last couple of years it’s been like he’s lookin’ into the bottle ‘stead of the mirror. He can’t see who he really is. I can, that’s why I push him to do for himself. I ain’t giving up on him.”
I thought of people who had pushed me, who had seen things in me I didn’t see in myself. Some had been kind and subtle. Others were every bit as grating as Connie Lee. I wondered how my life might have turned out differently without them.
Today I’ll be grateful for the people who’ push me, no matter how annoying they might be.
Sober Not Somber © 2015 by Ken Montrose
(Just a reminder: Sober Not Somber is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to anyone you might know is purely coincidental.)