It's 2:00 AM. I am standing in my favorite convenience store holding a bottle of Gatorade. In front of me is a dingy looking fellow. He fumbles in his pockets after putting a twelve-pack of beer on the counter. My favorite clerk rolls his eyes at me as I stand in line.
"Will that be all, sir?" the clerk asks impatiently as the fellow straightens out a crumpled mass of sweaty and dirty one dollar bills and places them upon the counter.
The man mumbles yes and then leaves with his purchase forgetting his change.
"Drunk son of a bitch," the clerk spits venomously. "You see what I have to put up with all night?"
I nod in agreement knowing all too well. I was once like that dingy fellow with the twelve-pack of beer and the crumpled mass of ones. I purchased my drink and then walked up the few hundred yards to my favorite spot in the little park across from the mill – my quiet place of contemplation. I sat as I mulled over the previous day's events.
My support group went okay. Only three people showed and two of them were me and Rosa. The other lady named Mary is such a kind soul and was very understanding of ours being a fledgling group. I promised her things would pick up over time.
"Rosa, I am worried there are just not enough crazy people in the Valley to support a group like this," I said, driving us home afterwards.
Something about what I said struck Rosa as funny and she laughed.
"Oh, I think there are enough crazy people to go around. They just need to find you and many are in denial," she replied.
In this day of Prozac, Wellbutrin, and atypical antipsychotics, maybe people have found their panacea in drugs. Maybe support groups are passé. It genuinely worried me.
"You know that old Kevin Costner movie about baseball?" Rosa then asked.
"Field of Dreams?"
"Yeah," Rosa said, borrowing from the movie. "You start it and they will come. Just give it time."
I liked that analogy I thought as I swung through town to take Rosa home. I am building my own field or room of dreams. It certainly is a dream of mine to have a thriving group of mentally interesting people coming together in friendship and with a common cause to help each other. Maybe next week will bring more to the meeting. We need some kind of critical mass to build for it to grow. I believe these small groups are intimidating to newcomers. I know they would be for me and my social anxieties.