From the January 2009 magazine.

Where's the Meeting?

A member wonders if we are being welcoming enough to newcomers and visitors

It's early evening. I'm staying in a motel by myself in a vaguely familiar city. It has long been my custom to go to an AA meeting any night that's not otherwise spoken for. The local answering service provides me with the address of the meeting place, I check my map, allow myself a little extra time to get lost, and I'm off.

After a few minutes, I find the building--there's no identification on it but I can tell from the number next door that I'm in the right place. I park my car and get out. Which door is the right one? Do I knock or just walk in? For a while, I wander around, hoping someone will arrive at the meeting, see me standing there looking pathetic, and help me out. Eventually, my courage returns and my inclination to run away ebbs. I boldly try the door and walk in, hoping to see some evidence of Alcoholics Anonymous. At first I'm not sure, but I ask if there's a meeting tonight. The answer is affirmative; they point out the coffeepot and go back to their own conversation.

-- Barbara W.

Eureka, California

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