"How spicy?" the clerk at the Korean restaurant asked me with a heavy accent.
"Hot," I replied, pulling out my wallet to pay.
"Two dozen hot and spicy chicken wings," he then said, after a short wait, handing me the to-go box of wings. "That will be $4.17."
I paid and then ambled on down the sidewalk towards the grocery store. It was a stunningly beautiful day and I felt glad to be out of the house. I took a seat on a bench after buying a soda from a machine and proceeded to dig in as they say and eat my meal.
After finishing my lunch, I sat and thought of the last few years. Much has gone on in such a short time. My biggest claim to fame was that I got sober and I am still in amazement with every day that passes without me getting drunk. Once I got sober, other things in my life started to fall into place and sort themselves out.
I also thought of last night's A.A. meeting and my epiphany. I am still searching for that elusive spirituality, but feel I am one step closer. My wise friend Wanda was so kind in separating the religion that I thought was A.A. from what is in reality the spirituality of A.A. I will give George an earful the next time he calls A.A. a religious cult.
And then there is Rosa. I remember the first time we met. I was walking across the parking lot from the bank when she stopped me and asked for a cigarette. She looked homeless, haggard and tired. She had just gotten clean and sober after years of being addicted to crack cocaine.
"Are you homeless?" I asked her as I handed her a cigarette.
"No," she said, looking offended. "Do I look homeless?"
"The only reason I asked was that I was once homeless as well," I said, trying to diffuse her offence. "I just wanted you to know I understood."
It was a terrible and awkward start to our friendship, but that friendship would soon grow to encompass a fondness and closeness like none I have ever experienced in my life.
Last, but not least, there is George – my friend of many years. Despite all of George's drunken debauchery and raucousness, he is still a kind soul who just happens to enjoy one too many beers. We have grown apart this last year, but I still consider him someone I could go to in a time of need. Our nightly drives have served to strengthen our once severing bond. I look forward to the always interesting conversations.
The sky had begun to grow dark as I finished my musing thinking. The National Weather Service had warned of storms today. Such storms would serve as the proverbial icing on the cake for me on this day and I smiled as I looked skyward to the rapidly building cumulus clouds. I decided to walk on home to spend the afternoon watching weather radars and reading weather reports. It is going to be a grand day.