I was standing outside Oak Street, finishing up a cigarette before the AA meeting began. I saw a red sports car pull up and out of the passenger side stepped a woman. The car sped off as she crossed the street to go to the meeting. She was all dolled up, make up applied, hair just right, you could tell it was her first time at an AA meeting.
It’s easy to tell when someone is there for the first time they are either beat down mentally and often physically, they shake and they are full of shame or they come strolling in as Kristen did put together extra well. Yes, they will go to AA as they were court ordered, but they will make damn sure it obvious that they don’t belong with a bunch of drunks. I liked her right off the bat and she and I, with time, would become close friends. She asked where the meeting was, I pointed through the doors, she smiled, took a deep breath and walked in.
She never could stay sober; she’d get a couple of months and then go back drinking. She died in June at the age of 28. Between the alcohol, drugs and the eating disorder her body just couldn’t take it. Her family had a closed casket, because her body and face showed signs of the struggle. Some of her friends were bothered that it was a closed casket. I, for one, was glad they did it. Kristen liked to look good, she wouldn’t have wanted us to see her any other way- of course maybe that’s what killed her.