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March 1988

Send Me a Man!

These reassuring words have started many a desperate alcoholic on the road to recovery--or so it is hoped. What follows is the shared experience of eleven AA members who have been on the telephone "firing line."

I was volunteering at our local central office in Vallejo a couple of years ago when a woman, obviously trying to sound as sober as possible, phoned and said she needed help. She said she wanted to stop drinking; she couldn't control it anymore. Could we please send someone to talk to her?

"Of course," I replied, eager that I had a live one who sounded willing. "Let me make a couple of phone calls, then I'll call you back with the names of a couple of women who'll be coming out to see you. Try not to drink between now and then. It should be within the hour."

"Oh, no," she cried. "I want you to send me a man. Just one man!"

I explained that it really would be preferable for her to talk to some women who would be willing to take her to a meeting. She began sounding as drunk and desperate as she really was.

"I'm telling you, I want a man from AA--only a man!" Then she told me to go to hell, and hung up.

I still think of her and pray for her.

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