I’ve been trying to find a recovery meeting for two days. On Friday, I called a number in the phone book, left a message on someone’s answering machine, and no one called me back. On Saturday, I called the number again, someone picked up, and it sounded like the phone was tumbling around in the bottom of a purse while a hand fished for it. An older woman laughed then the phone went dead. I called back. The old woman answered.
“Hi,” I said. “I’m looking for a meeting but I’m not sure I have the right number.”
“Oh hi,” she said. “Yeah, this is the right number. I’m not at home so I’m not by my meeting list. Could you call back at four-thirty when I’ll be home?”
I called back at four-thirty and got her voicemail. I left another message and left the cabin number and my cell number. She didn’t call back. I called a local treatment center thinking they might have a meeting list. What sounded to be a very old woman answered. “There’s a meeting going on here right now, but it’s almost over,” she said.
“Great. Is there another one this week?”
“Oh, this is the only one here,” she said. “It’s once a week on Saturday.”
“There have to be other meetings,” I said. “Do you have a list?”
“I work at the hospital as a greeter,” she said. “I don’t have any of that information. Call me back tomorrow. I’ll be at work at ten on Sunday. I’ll see what I can find out for you from the men as they leave tonight.”
I called the hospital greeter this morning.
“Oh, I didn’t get a chance to ask,” the woman said. “They went out a different door.”
I was livid. I called Sara. I told her I felt like drinking.
“Look how hard you’ve tried to find a meeting,” Sara said. “Look how much you want to stay sober. That’s awesome. So you couldn’t find a meeting, you’re talking to me. Just think how lucky we are to have all the meetings we have at home. Those poor people up there—it’s got to be a lot harder for them. Keep calling me.”