I took out my PDA (My family doesn’t know where I am) and type, “My name is Bushington and I’m an alcoholic”. I’ve never drank alcohol, but I’m here, so why not? They go around the table and everyone introduces themselves. But, there’s an argument about whether or not I should get to stay. After all, I am a dog. However, the people in charge (why is it always people in charge instead of dogs?) say they’ll discuss it at the business meeting which is in four weeks.
So, for now, this group accepts me and allows me to stay. The man at the front introduced himself as ____ (remember the Twelfth Tradition) and says he’s an alcoholic. He then reads the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and the twelve Traditions. I like the Twelve Traditions; the Third Tradition is my favorite and the Seventh Tradition is my least favorite.
Then, the man with the tobacco-stained beard says: “The topic is the First Step: ‘We Admitted we were Powerless over Alcohol, that Our Lives had become Unmanageable’”. Then, one at a time, each man and woman talk about what brought them into these rooms. One man who looks like Elmer Fudd says alcohol broke up his marriage and his wife has custody of his children. One lady who looked like Mrs. Cosby says she’d gotten a DUI and had to come to these meetings because of a court, like where Sean plays basketball.
One by one they tell their stories. Remember, my super power is active listening and remembering. Then, I listen and wonder what these people do afterwards. The voting isn’t for four weeks. After the meeting is done, the yellow beard guy asks if anyone has anything to say to prevent them from drinking. Nobody says anything. Then, the man asks a thin lady who looks like Hillary to hand out little circles. The little circles are different colors and different colors mean different things. They give me a white chip and say it’s the most important chip. Wow! And I get it on the first day. See, they’ll have to let me stay if I have the important chip. Then, the guy with the beard says to not talk to anybody about what I’ve heard and everyone stands in a circle and says something that starts with, “Our Father”.
Then the man with the beard says we can get numbers to call in case we have an urge. So, I ask for everyone’s numbers, but the man with the yellow beard says I can only ask other men unless I’m homosexual. I’m not, so I settle on getting men’s numbers. I put the numbers in my PDA, pack up, and sneak back into my home.
I sleep in. They didn’t suspect anything and no one looks at my PDA. They said to think about whether I’m an alcoholic. I’m not, but my family is busy and these people aren’t . So, I head downstairs for lunch and when they’re finished, I wag my tail and beg for leftovers. I get some scraps but then everyone goes back to doing what they’re doing and ignores me.
So, I go to the attic and open my PDA. I call one of the numbers on the list and ask for the man by name. I then talk to him about how everyone’s ignoring me and tell him how boring it is here. Then I tell him I’m thinking of getting a drink, so, after talking, we decide to go to a local coffee shop. I did want a drink (of water). Now, here’s where I play Houdini.
I go to the back door and jimmy the lock and head out. My family doesn’t pay attention to me anyway, so why not? I’ve been past the local coffee shop, so I know where it is. I unjimmy the lock when I get outside. I then go to the coffee shop The guy isn’t there yet, so I order a Frappachino, put in two sugars, hazelnut cream, and wait for my friend of Bill’s
He comes half-an hour later and sits across from me. He sips his coffee and asks what’s going on. Why did I want to drink today? I talk about my family, how everyone else is going to school and planning for college and I’m stuck at home twittling my paws, being ignored and I wanted a drink (but I didn’t tell him it was from my water bowl).
He tells me to remember what happened the last time I drank and how I felt afterwards. It felt good for a bit but then I had to go tinkle and my family went out and left me home. They didn’t come home for five hours. It hurt.
I told him about the pain in my tummy. He told me that’s my liver from drinking alcohol. I look down at the floor and put my tail between my legs. Maybe I’m a wateraholic. I didn’t know there was such a thing. I’m an addict.
He tells me it’s ok. Maybe I’m not an alcoholic. We talk about his past and the people he’d harmed as an alcoholic. His wife, his children. He tells me personal things. I tell him how I’d run away from Daddy’s office at work, the car accident with Sean, and other things. He nodded. He said I was lucky the cops didn’t give me a breathalyzer test. I don’t know what that means, but I typed in, “I’ll say,” into my PDA. He then offers to be my temporary sponsor. I’m not sure what that means, but if it means I can keep hanging out with him (I can’t tell you his name because of the Twelfth Tradition), that sounds good, so I wrote “Yes,” into my PDA, but the board still has to approve me being a member. He tells me not to drink until after the next meeting.
I sneak back home, (don’t tell anybody) but when I get home, Sean walks me, I tinkle, come back in, and have some dog food and water. I drank again. I hope my sponsor doesn’t find out.
Things go normal with my family. They don’t know I’m going to the meetings. I sleep with Kartha that night.
The man meets me at the coffee shop every time I call. He says he’s retired and this program saved his life. After one month, I go back to the meeting and I say, “I’m Bushington and I’m an alcoholic.” Everyone shares and I talk about having coffee with my friend. Then, I share about the stomach pain after drinking. They all say they can relate. My temporary sponsor reminds them of the third tradition and they say I can keep coming, so I’m in. I lift my head up and wag my tail. I’m in. I smile.