Lany, the assistant director of our treatment center, seemed oblivious to the fact that other people might overhear her if they’re standing next to her. I’d been editing my 1st step all morning. A 1st step is a lengthy AA assignment and we were asked to complete one during treatment. By the time I realized it was lunch time, I was already late. I made a bee-line for the lunchroom just in time to fall in at the end of the short line that was left. Most everyone else had already started to eat. Irritation gnawed at me from two sides – being late to anything isn’t cool and I couldn’t seem to word my assignment to my satisfaction. Every time I reread it I found something new to change.
As the line inched forward, and I chided myself for having edited my work so many times, someone behind me bumped my arm. I turned to see who it was and Lany apologized. I hadn’t noticed that she, along with several staff members, had stepped in line behind me. I smiled at her and faced the front of the line again. Staff was allowed to eat our food, but they weren’t allowed to eat it before us. Our fees paid for the food and staff etiquette required that they eat last.
“Can you believe these people?” I overheard her say behind me. “The amount of food they put on their plates is astonishing. It doesn’t look like there’s going to be much left.” She concluded. I turned to face her again and her back was to me, not 18 inches away. The woman she was speaking to said, “I know and I’m starving.” “They’re pigs.” Lany answered.
When the woman speaking to Lany averted her eyes to look at me watching them, Lany turned to face me. I watched the blood drain from her face as her eyes widened. I could tell that my expression conveyed my thoughts perfectly: Yes, I heard everything you both just said.
The above is a short excerpt from my book, Saturation, A Memoir
To be con’t…