I showered, shaved, and put on my dress slacks with my favorite button-up long sleeve flannel shirt. I was all gussied up for an A.A. meeting. I noticed how cold and dreary it was outside as I walked to my car. It was a short five minute drive to the A.A. meeting hall. The hall was dark with the only soul being a haggard, older looking man standing out by the front door.
"You waiting on an A.A. meeting?" I asked him as I stepped up to the front of the darkened hall.
"Yeah," he said, lighting up a cigarette.
"Andrew," I said, holding out my hand.
He shook it and told me he was court ordered to attend.
"Do they have meetings on Christmas?" he then asked me.
"It doesn't look like it," I replied. "They usually have a meeting here at night, but no one has showed to open up and turn on the heat."
I talked to the fellow for quite awhile as we smoked. Alcoholics always seem to have tales of woe. He was estranged from his wife due to his drinking and was staying with his elderly parents this Christmas. He was court ordered to go to A.A. after getting several DUI charges.
"Night," I finally said, having had enough of the cold. "Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas," he replied once I found out if he needed a ride home. He did not.
I drove home feeling better for just having tried to attend. The butterflies in my stomach subsided and I felt eerily calm after an anxious day.