This morning this photo popped up on my phone, from one year ago. Late February, 2020. That’s me and our high school athletic director, James Coffey, with our sons Chan and JJ, who were FES kindergarteners at the time. It was FES Night at the Maine Red Claws, which feels like ten years ago. We were all pretty excited to score Robert Williams bobblehead dolls and see Tacko Fall in person. I got to say a few words to Tacko in his native tongue of Wolof (I did a term abroad in his hometown of Dakar, Senegal), which was awesome.

“And on I read until the day was gone / And I sat in regret of all the things I’ve done / For all that I’ve blessed and all that I’ve wronged / In dreams until my death I will wander on.” — Chris Cornell

I suppose I read myself sober.

My first couple months sober I devoured books every night, especially memoirs. It started six days into my sobriety. I was taking a piss and realized, depressingly, that I was still dehydrated and unhealthy from my last binge. While I was feeling the familiar shame of self-damage, I just…

Sometimes I think if Joe Bolton had owned a dog, maybe he would have been ok in the end.

My dog Mookie is turning ten. It seemed fitting to post this with many of the Pearl Jam allusions syncing up nicely. Although in light of recent events we’ve taken to using the surname Betts instead of Blaylock.

I often (probably too often) joke with my wife that Mookie is my most successful long-term relationship. But he is! Ten years ago I went puppy shopping with the ex-fiance. We started at the Monadnock Humane Society visiting ten *mostly* German Shepherd puppies…

“And I laugh at myself while the tears roll down, because it’s the world I know.”

I’m not quite sure how to say goodbye to something that has defined me for more than 25 years. Especially since it’s a physical act that I can no longer do. At least not in any way that I would find satisfying.

First, the necessary caveat. This letter (if you will) is purely an exercise in self-indulgence, and the topic is certainly a “first world problem.” I feel guilty just typing this, knowing I should instead be writing another letter about the inhumanity of…

Stephen T. Chabot

First book “Pine Away” available 2023...probably.

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