Sunday, August 21, 2011

AA In Boston

So I've been here a little over a week. I have been twice to a Sunday night meeting in the basement of an Episcopal church which, in itself, has the charm of something out of a European village; its Biblically correct foundation built on native rock, and the stairs which you climb to the front door are carved out of this rocky hillside, so that it juts skyward, with all the attendant spiritual connotations. The basement room where the meeting is held is not nearly so inspiring. It's your typical tile-and-cinderblock arrangement, with a central series of tables surrounded by folding chairs.

The woman next to me today had interesting second and third toes -- they came out from the foot nearly an inch before bifurcating into distinct digits -- almost as if they couldn't decide until the last moment whether to be one toe or two. She'd tipped all five metatarsals in a glossy brown. I can't remember a thing about her other than her toes.

When I got to the meeting I was freaking out. I was lonely, heartsick, bored, angry, a little depressed, and haunted as usual by my endless self-jugments and evaluations. But, I sat still, and listened, and something very powerful occurred. I saw my higher power take shape in the room, through the faces and voices of the people who had gathered there. I don't want to go into particulars in case I compromise someone's anonymity, but I will say that people were honest and forthright, and that there was none of the empty showmanship and bravado of some meetings I've been to in the past. And I will say that I arrived at two truths about myself which I think I could do well to consider in the days to come:

1. I don't want to admit what I'm feeling
2. I don't want to ask a higher power for help.

This, after nearly 11 years in the program. Well, I can change that, starting today. I even had the thought, as I was sitting there, that my higher power had perhaps gotten me to Boston purely to get me back into AA. Probably not. But can you put it past him?

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