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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

grace and will

what do you do when a stranger snowsuits into an aa meeting, disrupting the silence; assaulting the senses?

it was not his faux pas, ivory, unicolored winter wear. not the sheeting, rubbing rhythm as he dragged up the chair beside me. not the musky air of recent drag i coughed out, pulled in with the bitter cold. nor was it the casual toss of his "bud" black cap upon the unfolded table strong.


what do you do when your nostrils suck and toss you flat onto a tarmac lined with 15 waiting airplanes; gaseous vapors poisoning your blood, your brain, your heart? suddenly you are flying high on second hand fumes; literally scorching the hairs on your throat, branding an image of a crimson thick goblet in your hand...

you move your chair away with an unsubtle screech across the floor...

you avoid all eye contact with this skunky drunk, this weak link, this 12-step misstep...

and you judge the ruckus that follows him constant: from smoke break, to pee break, to java hit...

and then you hear him speak. about losing his best friend to suicide at age 33 the day before. and you know that most "normies" would probably have a drink if something like that happened to them. you know you would if you could...

it's just that we can't. ever.

but he did. and so what.

because couched deep in his ruddy, raw face, were eyes shining, vodka glistening, but shadowed, dyed black from pain...

he is human. and he came back.

and when i reached my arms up and around to hold him briefly, that familiar whiff of delicious insanity weakened my knees. just for a moment.


for tomorrow that could be me.

1 comment:

  1. Hen, I haven't struggled with addiction...or at least the addictions I've got stashed in my purse can't compare....
    But this story can touch everyone. We judge and then maybe learn a reason that softens our hearts. These obnoxious intruders who invade our personal space sometimes are just doing the best they can with where they are at in life. And, yes, he came back.
    Thank you for reminding me...