I recently overheard some great gossip so feeling a tad weak I decided to feed on it and keep it going. An argument between two people setting up the chairs at a local meeting. This wasn't told to me directly, no. I overheard it from someone who overheard it. I guess that would be gossip twice removed or pretty much by the time I repeat it? Lies. The only thing that was the same was there were two guys involved.
I was ready to carry the mess. Hopefully find someone to listen intently to my new version , co-sign me, like me so I can like myself. It was pure checkout line gossip now. Like when you look in the grocery basket and see $200 dollars worth of nothing? Fear creeps in because all you see worth anything is a $3.00 bag of your favorite cookies that is already open and missing a few, so you can't just get out of line and split. No way to make a run for it without a possible shoplifting arrest and well? You're much too old for that.. So you look for trouble. Trouble is power. Just stand there and crowd the person in front of you with a subtle bump to the back of the ankle so in some way you can make another pay for how you feel.. When they turn and look as if you're going to get a bag of frozen broccoli in the face you smile and apologize. You're now the manipulative weasel. These people got nothing on you.
HEY LOOK! Brad Pitt is losing his kids complete with pictures of the horrific life he leads in his house the size of a Amazon distribution center.. Next paper? A not so shocking front page? Madonna rallies for freedom of speech, teaches F-bombs to 2rd graders in New York. Yikes! Atleast I'm not them! I wanted to feel better about myself so I read a few paragraphs in hopes of validation through another's grand screw up. It worked. I didn't even want to be Brad Pitt and had a newer softer sympathetic place in my heart for Guy Richie. I am now feeling fine who I am thank you. Clearly above it all. Everybody is screwed up and I'm ok.
Oh sorry, back to the meeting set up gossip..
The seemingly old timer? He had cemented himself as the longtime hardened all knowing group member. He was everything AA, usually when the other legendary long time member wasn't there. Been doing it for years and of course the only one with proper experience setting up the hall. He also doubled as the coffee maker for atleast the last 5 years putting an end to the groups rotation suggestion.
The other seemed to be a new guy? Wandering aimlessly looking for something to do in hopes of overcoming the blaring self centeredness or at least until the red coffee pot light comes on to signal applause... He's shadowing the set up guy while taking rapid fire orders describing the seemingly flawless schematic surrounding chairs, tables, and whatever else? Following his intense medicated focus signifying dual addiction, like sure this old timer may be alcoholic but there's a definite hole in his bucket. oh, and no eye contact whatsoever. Just a constant barking on proper chair alignment while staring at the floor.
Not too close! Semi circle here and straight line there! No, over a bit, there! That's good, with a path to the second row. Following up with the annoying need to touch every chair the new guy set up as if no matter what he did? It just wasn't good enough. The dysfunctional obsessive compulsive AA meeting set up. I laughed to myself. Really just grateful it wasn't me he was dominating. I've never been that good at math and would have taken a beating.
I thought wow, bad management. But why? It's just two alcoholics setting up chairs right? Like how many alcoholics does it take to change a light bulb? 10. 1 to replace it. 2 to find a ladder. 3 to open it up for discussion on what it was like changing light bulbs drinking..1 to mention PTSD issues surrounding a family members electrocution while repairing a toaster with a fork. 1 to insist on using care. 1 humble spiritual member to lead in prayer. God grant me the serenity to accept the bulbs I cannot change. Courage to change the bulbs I can. And wisdom to know the difference. And of course 1 to shamelessly say "let there be light ".
I was relieved to find that again, nobody stay's on stage for very long in AA so...By the time the chairs and hall were (picture perfect) complete the new guy disappeared to the sanctuary smoking area where cool happy people congregate for the meeting before during and after the meeting. The set up guy was pleased with himself and making final obsessive arrangements of Books, pamphlets and such, at the podium area where oddly he couldn't seem to leave.
Ears perked up like dogs to a can opener as a few heard the van pull up outside. The woman's halfway house! Oh boy! The van. The older donated Church van with the noisy muffler.
Single file on the catwalk, Wearing the latest in Sally's outer garments accenting the wide array of tattoos from tribal to cartoon characters. A few expensive family portraits that kind of look the same. And of course the fragmented coverup's done before rehab when you just needed to see blood and didn't care who's so you gladly stab yourself a thousand times while cray cray sitting in County. Someone has a pin, some thread, and ink from a pen so you're looking into covering up his name? Now? You now have a tattoo over your heart that looks like spilled pasta salad, apparently forever? Who cares, you hate yourself anyway.
Past the coffee, past the cookies to their designated seats demanding the complete attention of anyone in the room by completely removing the oxygen. Especially choking out those with incomplete 4th Steps. There she is, she's too cute to be alcoholic. Can we look at you so we don't have to look at ourselves? ((mother)) We're not staring, we're admiring. They all wanted to be the one she'd be sober texting upon her release. They all wanted total control of Amber. Yup.
The way she said it. That whole non committed edgy I'm an addict not just an alcoholic thing. My name is Amber and I'm an addict. Everyone nodding yes, yes Amber. We're addicts too. Please like me on Facebook so we can stay recovery friends..
It was a good meeting, everyone was sober. Right out of their minds? full flight from reality? Maybe. But sober. It was a good day. I thought well? You got to start somewhere so it may as well be here. This is where I started.