I was at one of those meetings tonight where things just seem to fall into place. There was hardly anyone there because of a memorial service for Jere, about whom I wrote a few weeks ago. (I chose not to go; said goodbye already). The two speakers failed to show as well, so the chair — a woman with about a year and a half — and another guy with about 4 years shared instead. Naturally, since neither of them had a chance to think about it, their sharing was spontaneous and completely from the heart. Really nice.
Both spoke of their early lives; of remembering how it felt to never know “the rules,” the isolation, the discovery of their new best friend, better living through chemistry. I remembered along with them.
One of the interesting things that I recalled a few years ago came back to me. When I was about 16, I came into possession of a half bottle of liquor — I think it may have been Johnnie Walker Red, based on what I recall of the appearance. At the time, I didn’t drink at all. I had probably had a total of maybe two beers in my life, and maybe a sip of altar wine as an altar boy (I’m not even sure of that). I pretty-much figured I couldn’t get away with drinking it, and I sure didn’t want to bring it home with me, so I buried it out in an orange grove, where it stayed for several months.
I never drank it; ended up giving it to an older guy. But I remember the good feeling it gave me to know it was there. That I had a stash. That I could drink it if I wanted to — the same warm feeling I got some years later whenever I’d contemplate a new, unopened bottle of booze, or whatever other collection of chemicals I might have managed to acquire. That feeling of being secure with my best friend.
I don’t ever want to forget that feeling, because as long as I can bring it to mind, it’s one more reminder that I’m still an addict, and the stuff is still out there.
Waiting for me.