The Meeting — Part 2 of ???

You can find the first part of this story, which is fiction, but educated by my real life experiences, lower in my posts.  Eventually I will compile them into their own page. Enjoy, Smiling1541.

***********

The man opens the door and steps inside, nods to me and heads downstairs. He doesn’t look like an alcoholic – whatever an alcoholic looks like, it’s not him. I stay on the landing, not wanting to feel like I am following a complete stranger into the basement of a random church. It just doesn’t feel right to follow him.

I go up the stairs and look around, the area is wide open and there’s a statue of some saint or something in the middle of the room. A box covered in Christmas wrapping – patterned with small trees and random presents of all colors—sits under an office window. A sign hangs on the front:

                                   Food Drive For Hearts and Home

                    Please only place unopened non-perishable items in the box.

                                                   From our hearts to their homes.

The box is nearly empty, expect or a can of green beans and a box of macaroni and cheese. It makes me feel sad and empty. I think about bringing something next time and putting it in there, knowing full well I won’t – this also makes me sad.

I wander back down to the landing as two people approach the door. The older of the two opens the door and smiles at me. I smile and nod back.

“Hi, how are you? You a member of your exclusive club,” the first guy in the door asks.

“I’m fine, you?  I am not sure if I am part of your club, unless you mean AA,” I ask feeling trepidation.

“Doing great, and yup, welcome to our exclusive club of drunks and addicts,” he says chuckling, the sarcasm nearly dripping from him.

“Yes, then I am looking to be part your club,” I say somewhat relieved, “I am new,” the nervousness evident in my voice.

“Well, welcome, it’s good group of folks here, you’re in the right place. I’m John,” he says offering his hand, “and this is Nick,” he nods at the younger man beside him.

I shake John’s hand and then turn and shake Nick, “I’m Chris, thanks. I was worried I didn’t have the right place, when no one was here when I pulled in.”

John smiled, “Yeah, people tend to roll in just barely on time, or late.” He shrugs and adds, “Drunks, can’t rely on them for anything.” Nick chuckles and John laughs. I am surprised by how happy, or at least light hearted he is about the purpose of going to this meeting.

Still laughing he starts going downstairs, and I follow.

“Is this your first meeting,” Nick asks.

“I went to a couple maybe 15 years ago, but didn’t really buy it then – so yeah,” I say, a bit quickly, the anxiety forces the words out. I am sure they can hear in my voice how much I am shaking inside. Fear and apprehension has my hands shaking and I am sure my voice is too. If they heard it, they didn’t let on.

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