"Hello. I'm Kenny McCormick, and… I'm here because it was my only option."
Some fat woman next to me nodded all knowingly, like she could understand where I was coming from. She obviously didn't.
"Is it because you're an alcoholic, Kenny?" I heard the group leader question. I don't remember his name, but I will always remember those huge magnifying glasses that make him look like a bug.
"No, it's not. I got in trouble with a cop. The judge said I could either go to juvie and be expelled or do community service and go to AA meetings. I'm not an alcoholic."
"But, you are."
"No. No, really, I'm not."
The group leader sighed. "You have to accept your shortcomings, Kenny. Look around you," he said dramatically as he did that stupid arm swooshing thing, gesturing to the other losers in the small AA circle. I was expecting a bigger turnout. I mean, this is small town Colorado we're talking about. The only place with more hicks is the South. "All these people are just like you. We've all struggled with our demons. This is a supportive, safe environment. You don't have to be afraid."
I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose. I inherited that habit from a close friend, someone who had warned me about this group. "I'm not afraid. I'm not an alcoholic. This was my only option. Really."
"In order to get better, we must… what, everyone?" The leader waited for a response from the group. What is he, a fucking kindergarten teacher?
"Accept that we are powerless…" They all droned back, confident in the words but also kind of dead in feeling. It was creepy.
"Yes, exactly. And we must put our faith in a higher power and accept that only God can help us escape ourselves."
This place was scary as fuck. I just kind of stared at the weird dude for awhile, watched his buggy eyes blink and fidget behind those fat, legally-blind lenses, and considered how to deal with him. I'm not that good at dealing with stupid people. That's more of Kyle's thing. I usually avoid talking to idiots at all cost. But I guess, in desperate times, sacrifices must be made.
"Have you ever seen God?" I ask seriously, the aggression in my voice masked perfectly. I grab my chin to add a more contemplative feel, because I'm classy like that.
"No one has, but I have felt Him. I know His power." Holy shit, this guy is really convinced. I almost feel bad for him. Almost.
"Well, I have. I've also seen the devil. I've saved the earth from damnation a few times, and I've been to heaven more times than I can count. So you want to tell me about God? Give me a break. Try dying a few times before you act like you know jack shit."
He just nodded, his hand also grasping his chin like he was considering philosophy or some shit. "I can see you've experienced pain, Kenny. 'Try dying a few times….' Wow, such striking words. I think we've all felt like that before, haven't we, everyone? Like we've been to hell and back, or like we've used up another cat's life. But that's what these meetings are about. They're about living the fullest with a higher power to guide you."
I don't think my lungs could handle another sigh. "Look, I don't care what higher power you believe in, but stop trying to drag me into it. I'm here because the judge told me to come. It was my first offense, it didn't involve a car, and I'm not going to do it again."
"We all tell ourselves that. 'It won't happen again.' 'I'll only have one drink.' 'I'll only suck his dick for crack money once.'"
"But these things happen over and over, Kenny. You can't escape them without help."
"Okay." I rolled my eyes. "My name is Kenny McCormick, and I'm an alcoholic. There, happy?"
"I think the question is, are you, Kenny?"
"Well, I just smoked a fat blunt before coming here, so yeah."