“The people he met, the places he passed, were all steps in his journey, and he kept a place inside his heart for each of them.” –Rachel Joyce
Samuel is a blacksmith. His hands are gnarled and permanently gray. For years he has watched as horses trot toward him and away from him. He analyzes their gait and fits shoes for them accordingly.
And, Sam drank. A lot. Eventually he acquired a stomach paunch that paralleled the bow in his back. He hurt both physically and emotionally, yet he laughed—sharply and often.
“I am Sam, and I am an alcoholic,” he calls out to the others. “I have 6 years of sobriety, but I still make a meeting every day. AA got me clean and it keeps me clean.”
Suzanna is a mother, wife, and part time accountant. Dressed in a sundress and sandals, she is the picture of attractiveness and good health. Her parents were both killed in a car accident 10 years ago.
“Hi everyone. My name is Suzanna, and I am an alcoholic and an addict. I drank and smoked crack for 7 years. I come to these rooms because I was saved here. Yes, that sounds dramatic, but it’s true. My babies wouldn’t be on this earth; I wouldn’t be on this earth without AA. I’ll keep coming.”
Marshall’s chair is empty.
“Why do I keep coming?” asks Lynn. “I try to make 4 meetings a week, but that is really hard because I’m a stewardess, you know. Some weeks I can come more often, others not as often. Thank God that I hate booze because in my work that’s a part of what I do, serve liquor to people who usually have had enough.”
Lynn is wearing jeans, high tops and her hair is disheveled. “I am a pill lady,” she continues, “and I am 35 days sober. I have to come here because otherwise, otherwise…I don’t know. I’ll pass,” Lynn concludes as her tears begin to fall.
“I’m Kyle and I’m 19 and I shoot dope. Shot dope, I should say. I’m coming up on 2 years and I just got a sponsee.” Kyle wears a leather jacket even though the weather is warm. His hair is shaved short and he is working at his dad’s auto body shop.
“I stay with AA and NA cuz I need the steps, ya know. I need people to help me find answers to all the questions I have. Ya know, ‘the wisdom to know the difference.’”
“Welcome all,” announces Laura who is serving as the meeting’s chairperson. “Tonight we will be talking about Step 3—‘Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.’ Kyle, will you please read, ‘How it works?’ Thanks everyone. ‘It works if you work it, so work it cause you’re worth it.’”
An elderly man arrives. He is tall and thin and he wears a pinstriped suit.
“So sorry that I’m late. I am Marshall, and I’m an alcoholic. And Lynn, you left your lights on. God, it’s good to be home.”