A man begins walking towards the front podium, cautious but confident. He adjusts the microphone to his height, and clears his throat.

 

Hi everyone. My name’s Steve, and I’m a write-aholic.

 

Couple of people start murmuring.

 

I know, I know. The sign said “Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at the Presbyterian church,” but I figured it was worth a shot. I mean, a try. I didn’t mean to say “shot” around a group of alcoholics. And I didn’t know if that was some sort of trigger word. Damnit.

Alright, let me try this again. I was hoping I could just…vent. Just for a moment. Or twelve. Not about one particular thing. Lots of things. Like how office windows are just tinted barely enough to make the outside look like it’s about to start raining at any time. Or how the most delicious foods are usually the worst for you. Seriously, if a chef can make tofu taste like a fuckin’ steak, I’d go vegan. For a night.

Look, I know this might sound silly, and I’m probably coming off as a pedantic piece of shit, but I’ve got nowhere else to go. The slam poetry bar across town banned me from entrance after I projectile vomited onto an elderly couple, and the community college wouldn’t let me participate because I’m already $50k in debt from a private college (whose goal it was to teach me about Jesus while attempting to make me three times as poor as he was).

So, you’re all I have left. I figured, if the town drunks won’t hear what I have to say, then who the hell will?

 

Silence.

 

That sounded better in my head. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. You all deserve better than what you’ve been given in your life. Far better than what I deserve. You’ve all seen some shit, been down that broken path. You’ve been blinded with grief and loss, pain and suffering, hazy memories and endless repercussions. Me? I got an English degree, and an opened can of Reality with four servings of ass-kicking. Not nearly compared to the demons in your closet.

And here you are, at this meeting, trying to make a definitive change for your future. That’s good. Really. Because, if you weren’t here, who knows where you’d be? This place, this mini rec room in the basement of this church… for one day out of the week, this is home. These strangers, who you only know by their first name, are family. You know more about the person to your left than your own sister. Because you have something in common with every person in this room. And you’ve made real connections here.

Isn’t that what we’re all looking for? For someone to share something with?

Maybe that’s why I’m here. Maybe I was just looking to make a connection with someone. Anyone.

If you want me to never come back, I’d understand. This group connects on a level that I’ll never be a part of, fully. I’ll just take my styrofoam cup of coffee to go, and we’ll call it a night. But I wanted to thank you for taking the time to hear me out. I feel like I’m going to get better, over time.

 

The man turns to his right, reads a sign.

 

…And it appears Alcoholics Anonymous is meeting tomorrow night. That would explain all the uniforms…and kids…and pinewood cars…

Shit.

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