I went to a beginner’s workshop the other night, arriving a few minutes late and had to push and pull the door handle to see it was locked. (Flashback to the Graduate scene). I puzzled outside the door for a moment and then some kid in a beanie and saggy pants walked up to the door and pushed and pulled it a few times and jarred it open like he owned the place. I thought well alrightee then! Once inside I see the speaker has already started his pitch. I notice he is frail and I tiptoed to an open seat and later wished I had moved closer as I strained to hear him throughout his talk. I only got little snippets of his pitch because he was so fragile and soft spoken even though he was in front of a normally loud microphone. I heard “penitentiary” and “criminal” and that perked me up. He had to be in his 80’s - late 80’s. He was likely taller at some point in his hey day, but had certainly shrunk down both horizontally and vertically like one of those Russian dolls. He had leathery crumpled skin and was floating inside of a nicely ironed suit. His voice would fade out and then back in again as I imagined he was not strong enough to hold himself steady. At several points his speech sounded slurred as if he had told this story so many times he wanted to just get it over with. I had this image pop into my head of paramedic’s coming and taking him away mid-pitch. I feared would not make it to the end of his story. It didn’t help that the guy in the motorcycle jacket behind me brought a small paper bag that had been rolled up in transit and now it needed to be opened… very slowly - which just made it worse - I thought “of course the guy who obviously has a dual diagnosis of AA and OCD has to fiddle with his bag and rummage around in there for his candy that is in it’s own wrapper that needs undoing as well!” I put my elbows down on my knees and leaned toward the front of the hall straining to hear the speaker. (Insert grocery bag foley HERE) Infuriated with this self absorbed beatnik behind me, I tried that half turn of the head in his general direction giving him the benefit of my polite but urgent body language which was meant to say “Hey, chewy, leave the cough drops at the recovery house next time I’m trying to hear this criminals drunkalogue”. He did not see my head flip the first time so I did it again, this time turning a couple inches more to the back of the room (in place of turning around and grabbing that bag and bopping him on the head with it) - you see I am a considerate person and don’t want to bother anyone as I’m sure I’m not the only one who is having a rough time hearing this old-timers long and sorry story. Deep breath. I think I went out of my body for a few moments as I could not hear the speaker and Crumplestillskin was in full OCD mode. Next thing I know I'm in the circle saying the Serenity Prayer and securing my spot in line to thank the speaker. As I got closer, the old guy was even smaller at street level. I thanked him for his amazing story - something about the pentitentary. I’m sure his story was very interesting - or at least a warning to newcomers that this disease wants to take you and kidnap you from your family and friends and lock you in its jail and make you a prisoner every day until you go insane. So let that be a lesson to all of you smirking young vaping beanie headed saggy-ass pant wearing drunkards! Next time you decide to hit a meeting - do us all a favor - STFU and listen!