By Thomas B.
Nick hobbled into the AA meeting, shuffling his cane, serenely drunk again, lobotomized by Ripple. He gazed about him, quick-moving darts of blurry eyes, as if uncomprehending fully what he saw.
Stumbling he found a seat — gratefully empty — and heavily sat, marrow-achingly tired. He shivered, huddled, small within his over-sized coat, both hands clutching the top of his cane that unsteadily propped is scruffy chin.
He stared —stared with guilt, stared with isolation, stared with alienation, trying to focus some semblance of meaning out of the wet-brained fog of his gut-twisting, bowel-shaking, throat-burning wine belches, while forgotten spittle dribbled down the stubble of his scrubby beard onto a mud-splotched coat.
I watched him with mild derision, soul briefly stirred with gratitude — but for the grace of etc. and all that. I stayed rooted, however, in complacency, turning my attention to fragile fantasies of maybe some tomorrow’s erotic embraces with the lovely young object, sitting demurely across the room, who sternly ignored my random glances.
Looking back at Nick, I saw with him Huey, a blond-mustachioed, blue-eyed, big-boned, strong-jawed man’s man, who is as virile, as beautifully male, as any model on any cover of any GQ or Soldier of Fortune magazine.
Huey was gently holding Nick, stroking him tenderly, assuring him, letting him just be him, and loving him, loving him so heart simply.
A burning tear slid down my cheek, as I watched with awe Nick’s streaming tears steadily flow through the gray bristles of his dirty beard, missing the coat to puddle on the floor.