Monday, August 23, 2010


We are well into October now. And I realize that it is almost a year to the day from the time I made my way far enough out of deep darkness to go to my first ACOA meeting. It was the one on the East Side, where I felt no convincing identification. I had been so sure there was no way to connect with these people in this part of town I did not like, and at the same time it had felt like the turning point it proved to be. Precisely a year later made the anniversary date a Thursday.

The day after the East Side meeting I had gone to my second meeting, which was the Thursday meeting at the Corlears School, ten blocks down from my apartment.
I am now staying away from the Sunday Corlears meeting, which is Gillian’s. But the Thursday meeting feels like my home base. On this anniversary night I see people on I never thought I would connect with who are now like my oldest friends. The red-headed former nurse, and the former clinical therapist, and a Waspy guy who was looking for a wife but also had had sex with men, and the girl who talked of rolling around like a puppy with her lover, and the bore who bragged about drunken nights at the Players Club , and the pretty girl upon whom one night an addict had fastened his eyes, and the sentimental black man, and the art photographer, and the California girl whose sister has a 19th century art gallery, and a Southern guy named Rand who called me Philippine Fred, and the girl whose father is a therapist cult leader, and the actress who introduced me to the East village galleries. And there are more. I am one of the first to talk this night, and unlike what happens usually I do not speak from anger this time. It feels like more than a place to merely test out what I want to do. So I say what an important day this is for me, for it was this day a year ago that my life began to change. I pause. I see in the circle Janie, my companion in past months on foot and horseback in the parks, and I reminisce about how Janie was talking the first time I walked in.

Reminisce as if I am looking back years later on how my life had worked out.

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