A hush descended over the room. She stands and clears her throat. Then she reaches over to the center of the table to take some grapes out of the glass dish. Everyone watches as she slowly places one single grape in her mouth. She put the remainder of them on her paper plate. Again she clears her throat and says, “Hi I am Beth and I am an alcoholic.”
Everyone responds “Hi Beth.”
“I am here cause I believe in myself. After years of drinking, two husbands, over twenty-five tattoos and lots of alcohol it is just time. Life has exhausted me. I have no control. I never have. Honesty is the hardest thing to face. I have drowned honesty with gallons of alcohol. That has cost me my kids, two failed marriages and my professional life. I know I am not alone in this self-destructive behavior. When does it end? I am scared of where I have awakened sober. I am no friend to emotion. I express love through physical contact and nothing more. I am a sad state of affairs.”
Beth sheds no tears during her introductory speech. She listens as others comment. She sits nearly motionless through each visitor’s talk in the meeting. Daydreaming. Agonizing. Regretting. She slowly finishes her grapes as the meeting draws to a close. She savors the sweet taste of each. She has brief conversations after the meeting then heads out the door. Waiting for her outside are her kids. They were granted a quick visit. She hugs each kid tightly. Her tattooed arms hold each kid tight, tears flowing from her eyes. She kisses each kid and reaffirms her love. Then she stands and turns to a female officer, waiting with the door of her car open. The officer places handcuffs on her. Beth takes her place in the back seat.
As they drive off she waves to her kids. She then says, “You know officer, my jail sentence is short. Only two months along with rehab and AA. But my true sentence was handed down not by a judge but by alcohol. A life sentence.”
This is a work of fiction. Written for the speakeasy at yeah write #95.