I threw some vegetables in the hot wok. They sizzled as they intermingled with the flank steak amid the hot peanut oil and I stirred them. Next to the wok, on the stove, was a big pot of steamed rice.
"This is not going to look like something a cat threw up?" Rosa asked.
"I am going to teach you how to use chopsticks," I replied.
As we ate our Asian inspired cuisine, Rosa never could get the hang of the chopsticks. I finally gave her a fork.
"I like your southern cooking better," she said. "I never was much for Chinese food."
I then took Rosa home and headed to my nightly A.A. meeting. I walked in, fixed a cup of coffee, and sat down amid a growing group. This was the midweek Big Book study which is the Bible of Alcoholics Anonymous. Philip, the local patriarch, walked in and placed a CD player on the table. Apparently, we were going to be listening to CDs of narratives of the Big Book.
As I sat and listened, I noticed the great diversity of the patrons of A.A. in these meeting halls. There was my mother's gynecologist sitting next to me. Across the table was William, a car mechanic, who always looks dirty and unkempt from doing his job all day. We also had the little old retired lady who lives on Social Security with her twenty cats. People from all walks of life attend these meetings seeking help, comfort, and solace.
I had almost decided to quit going, but then I realized why I attend these meetings. It is the people I have grown to know and love such as Wanda and Tim that keeps me coming back. I sometimes rail against the religious aspects, but that is par for the course for A.A. There are no other alternatives in the small town I live in. In big cities such as New York they actually have 12 step programs with the religious references removed. "If you can't beat them, join them," I thought as I left last night's meeting and drove home.