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Grapevine : November 2011
When I'min the mood to shake things up a bit, I go to a meeting in a small church with no air con- ditioning here in south Florida. I en- joy watching God's colorful treasure box, filled with eclectic personalities and varying degrees of sanity. The meeting is nothing less than amazing. I am old-school AA, but I know enough not to interfere or become a bleeding deacon, regardless of my thoughts. Sometimes, someone will raise their hand and start singing and no one will shut them up. Backtalk, crosstalk, yelling across the room and laughing are part of every meeting. One time, a massive hulk of a man raged and ran out of the room in a fury. I was sure homicide was immi- nent. When I returned two days later, the same man walked in, calm as a summer breeze, and read the Pre- amble. When a toothless man, who stutters incoherently, raises his hand to talk, everyone listens patiently and To text ... or not to text Could it be a question of anonymity? responds kindly, for as long as it takes. God attends each of these meet- ings, and I've been around long enough to keep my mouth shut and participate. Sometimes it's hard, but I keep practicing. Yesterday, I sat next to a woman who was texting on her cell phone the entire meeting--- I mean, the entire meeting. All I could do was keep repeating to my- self, It's not your business. You're not her sponsor. We don't have AA police. Just keep your mouth shut. I wanted so badly to lean over and whisper something into her ear, but that would break my own rule about talking during meetings. I told myself if after the closing prayer I was holding hands with her, I would say something about it. It turned out that I was holding hands with someone else, so I told myself, again, to shut my mouth and go home. I said nothing and left the meeting. The same girl came all the way to the end of the parking lot to find me. That was about as large a sign to open my mouth and say something 56 November 2011