My first AA meeting was in a stale smelling room with a scattering of about fifteen people. Samantha pushed me to go after I told her what happened at the holiday party. On Friday she reminded me about the meeting in her Mr. Rogers tone, “Anna, what time is the meeting today?”
I wondered if she could see my claws extending, my back arching, and the hair rising down the length of my back. AA? I didn’t belong in AA! Samantha dragged me there like mothers push screaming children into dentists’ office.
She led the way and found us two seats right in the center of the madness. The gentlemen to my left smelled like he rolled out of a filthy box on the corner of M street. I purposely picked a meeting place in Georgetown. I figured I would be sitting amongst a bunch of aristocrats smashing their martini glasses into a roaring fireplace. My plan wasn’t working. The man across from me with the beady eyes held the smallest glimmer of sophistication that I would find that night by crossing his legs. Upon further inspection, the more that Beady Eyes shifted, the brighter the light reflecting from the ankle monitor fastened below the cuff in his pants. Towards the middle of the meeting, Candy arrived. Candy was wearing a stained faux fur coat, slim jeans that didn’t fit properly (for some reason), rainbow socks, and summer sandals. I was so fixed on Candy’s thinly strapped package that I missed the Adam’s apple. Samantha smiled at every one like she was handing out food at a soup kitchen. I covered my eyes with my hand when Candy hysterically waved at Samantha’s smile from across the room.
When Candy spoke the facilitator interrupted her. He asked her to wait until after the meeting so that he could council her. She had only been sober for two days. Candy continued to babble on, however, making it obvious to all of us that she had either missed taking, or taken too many colorful pills.
Then it was Beady Eyes’ turn, “Hello, I’m Beady Eyes and I’m an alcoholic.”
“Hi Beady Eyes.”
I couldn’t believe it. Beady Eyes knew about the voice. I feel silly writing about the voice. It’s not that I thought no one else knew about the voice. It’s just that, I had never heard anyone talk about the voice out loud.
It’s a faint whisper that says all types of things to you, “You’re a grown woman. You can have just one glass of wine. It’s just wine, it’s not the hard stuff. You had a hard day at work. Drink today, quit tomorrow. Europeans drink in the morning all the time. Mimosas match with breakfast. Just one glass! It’s been a whole week since the last time you drank.”
I pulled out my phone and set up the reminder for the reoccurring meeting on Fridays.
The post was supposed to be over here but I can’t end it before admitting something. It wasn’t just the holiday party that helped me to AA. I’m nervous about exposing everything that happened…