From the October 2004 magazine.

The Piano Teacher

A life-long outsider discovers harmony in AA

I'll never forget my first AA meeting. I walked through the door and looked around the room. "Oh no!" I thought, my gasp audible. "It's all the cool people from high school!" Visibly terrified, I slumped down in my seat and twirled a piece of my hair. I felt like the world's biggest dork--just like my first day of ninth grade when I wore plaid bellbottoms and a sweatshirt and all the cool girls wore jeans and halter tops. Would I ever fit in?

The meeting began. You spoke of pink clouds, a Higher Power, and committees in your head. My brain began to spin! I could have been on Mars for all that I understood of that first meeting. Flashbacks of failed French exams danced before my eyes. Would I ever get this AA stuff?

-- Jenni J.

Fullerton, California

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