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Grapevine : June 2011
instead of that little room. I gath- ered up my Big Book, my “12 x 12,” my copy of Living sober, a pen and notebook and headed out, telling my husband I would meet him at the main bar terrace at 6:15 p.m . or so. as I stepped onto the walk- way, my eyes were newly opened to the beauty of my surroundings. There were vines laden with red trumpet flowers, wrapped like rib- bons around white pillars, mani- cured hedges, and towering palms cradling clusters of coconuts. The ocean swooshed its lazy waves, lull- ing and brushing the peach colored sand. How had I missed all this? I continued my enthusiastic pace over to the main building. Feeling serene and grateful, knowing that I was do- ing the next right thing, I sat on a bench in the courtyard, bathing in the warm honey of the evening air. I looked at my watch a few times. By 5:15 p.m., it became very like- ly that there would only be one aa member in attendance at the 5 p.m . “aa in Paradise” meeting of alcohol- ics anonymous, so I called myself to order and read from each book. Oc- casionally, I looked up to make sure nobody was lost or late, looking for the meeting. The next thing I knew, it was 6:00 p.m . For the next six nights, I re- turned to the courtyard with my books and papers. I tidied the meeting room and straightened the chairs, praying for courage and strength. I thought of all the things I was grateful for, especially my sobriety. I looked at my watch and hoped that someone else would come. I read my books, told myself to keep coming back, and I did. It was still hard, sometimes, to hear all the drunken brew-hah at the sports bar and watch the bim- bos parade around the pool all day, but I did end up having a good time on my vacation. I went windsurfing, swimming, boating, running and often just sat gazing at the horizon, letting myself unwind and breathe. when people say that wherever two or more alcoholics are gathered, there is a meeting of aa, I chuckle to myself. You can actually have a meeting with only one alcoholic present. I’ve done it. But I didn’t sit there watching TV or listening to music. I read the literature, prayed and stood ready to do service. I may not have helped anyone else, but I helped myself stay sober in piña co- lada paradise. Suzan C. San Francisco, Calif. I returned to the hotel room a completely different woman, bursting in with a big smile. 28 June 2011 GRAPE_24-28.indd 28 4/29/11 6:54 PM