They call it The Recovery Room and it meets Wednesdays, rain or shine.

A private conclave back then, it was truly more like a caucus. A dozen guys, maybe…pensively reading from selected material, each sharing his experience, strength and hope. I could smell the wisdom.

Oh—and I stumbled on it, in a way. (Well, maybe not). I just don’t believe in coincidence. (Ask me ‘bout it sometime and be prepared to roll your eyes).

2010, give or take: My friend, a regular attendee, needed papers signed. “Why not,” he suggested, “Come by the meeting?”

Entering the parking lot that night my sight focused immediately on the two men smoking outside the church. I’d found the place! Why is it that after all these years it still didn’t matter where the meeting was…somehow there’d always be one or more guys flanking the doors, flicking cigarettes)?

It was a sultry night in autumn. I shook some hands, walked downstairs, and on that autumn eve I found a home. (Oh, I’d had a “home group” already—a decade or so—but this assembly, as I’d come to say, I would love like a home group).

This, I determined, Murderer’s Row, decades later. (Or at least Sobriety’s answer). Rather than the Ruth, Gehrig and Lazzeri of the ’27 Yankees, this roster featured a half dozen chiseled veterans of The Steps. Sitting there that night, eyeing faces both familiar and not, I listened.

And I learned.

And… as good as I’d felt when I’d entered, I felt that much better on exit.

With permission, I came back. Invited. One of….

That was years ago, maybe three. A weekly excursion since then, I’ve made friendships in that room (while cementing old ones). Only family matters or commitment to a show has held me back…kept me away.

And that’s what happened recently…what with production of “Don’t Drink The Water—and why I feel revived, now that curtain’s down, and I’m back on track.

I walked the steps last week, once again. Circling the conference table— it was just before 7 and reasonably full — I shook all the hands and said all the hellos, and even got some spit for having been gone.

And then, game on;  Sitting, listening, sharing …  learning.

I never tire of those guys—ever—even though I’ve heard what they’ve said before I’ll hear it yet again. And again.  These guys: they’re never off message… a message I need to hear.

It’s a special group.

I’ve witnessed real men opening up, not hiding vulnerability. I’ve heard them speak to their good and their bad and their ugly. I’ve shared my own “stuff” in my journey toward growth. In a room bound by windows we each look in mirrors.

And the wisdom—the “hochmehs” n’er found just anywhere….still radiates—

Like I’m sitting in Miller Huggins’ dugout, swapping tales with the Bronx Bombers…

Gerry talks of taking his moral inventory. “There was nothing moral about it!” he says. “If all you do is go to meetings,” claims Steve, “You’re just pissing up a rope.” (I still think he looks like Bernie Madoff).  And Dan. And Tom. And my sponsor, John.

All the usual suspects—

It’s a great mix, I say. Add in Keith, who before he “got serious about the program” once brandished a knife at another meeting creating a stir. (Had he pulled that stunt at THIS meeting they’d have had a Shivah call for him). And Paul. And Tommy and Mike, both of whom have been sober four decades.   Not to mention Tim The Tattooed Half-Jew who always comes late…and the always present “new guys” that keep us new.

Like I say: it’s a great mix. I love it…like a home.

They call it The Recovery Room and it meets Wednesdays, rain or shine.

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