"The fellowship will get you drunk!" he thundered from where he sat, sharing (at length) his experience, strength, hope, and then more of his experience.
I leaned over to my friend. "I didn't know this was a two speaker meeting." I whispered.
He glared at me, then hissed. "Quiet!"
Just then a wizened crocodile of an old timer -- I think he drank with the guy who did Lois Wilson's hair or something -- looked in our direction and gave us a frown (the same one I give people who talk in meetings, rigorous honesty forces me to confess). I managed to appear innocent, leaving my friend to look like the Chatty Charlie to Crocodile Dundrinkin'. He turned back to the face the front of the room.
"You know I hate that." I whispered again.
Furious that I wouldn't keep still my friend gave me his best withering glare (which, I must admit, is very, very good. I think it can, at full strength, actually sour the milk in a new mother's breast) and moved a seat over, out of whisper range.
"Coward" I mouthed at him.
I was being bad. Dreadful. Rude. Juvenile. Inappropriate. Selfish... and I couldn't seem to get myself in check. One of my Great Spiritual Teacher's had taken it upon themselves to "instruct" us via their sharing, and they'd struck one of the chords which drives me absolutely bonkers. "Okay, SponsorPants" I muttered to myself, "Count down 100 breaths and not another word." I closed my eyes and tried to leave my body, focusing on my breathing and keeping count with each exhalation. My GSP wound down around breath number 68, and I managed to regain a modicum of decorum shortly thereafter. The meeting came to an end.
"What is wrong with you?" my friend asked, on the way to the car.
I shrugged. "Every 500 meetings I get to be a horse's ass. Relax, I won't do that again till we're at a meeting some time in 2013. Besides, that one gives me fits, and I cannot stand that expression. They thunder that bull about the Fellowship getting you drunk and suddenly everyone in the meeting is nodding agreement like they're sitting in church -- Our Lady of the Sanctimonious -- and the Reverend had just started giving out confirmation numbers for their reservation at the Rapture."
My friend looked at me for a minute. "Do you rehearse this stuff, or does it just unspool, kind of on its own?"
"On its own." I answered.
"Just what I thought." He nodded to himself. "Well, it confirms my personal theory as to why God gave you so many sponsees."
"Because of the way I express myself, you mean?" I asked.
"No. Because you are so very, very sick that God knows you need extra help in getting out of self centeredness."
"Walked right into that, didn't I."
"But really, how alcoholic is that, to claim 'The fellowship will get you drunk.'" I was still fuming.
"Explain." My friend commanded. "Not that I could stop you if I wanted to."
"Well come on, it's just so alcoholic to find someone -- or someones, in this case -- to be the bad guy rather than taking responsibility for ourselves. It's not the fellowship which will get someone drunk..."
"You're being too literal." my friend interrupted. "You know perfectly well the point they're making is that you must find a way to depend on a power greater than yourself, some kind of HP connection, to stay sober."
"Yes I get that's the point, but how it's being made is still nails on the psychic chalkboard for me. It's not the fellowship which gets us drunk. It's our unrealistic expectations, our ego, our resentments, towards people in AA which will get us drunk -- it's on us, not on them, not on the fellowship."
"A good point, but undermined by your juvenile inability to be quiet back there."
"Every 500 meetings. I get one brat attack every 500 meetings."
"You made that up."
"You know what I'm going to pray for tonight?" He said it with a kind of earnest wistfulness.
"No, what?" I asked.
"For God to send you more sponsees. It's worse than I thought."