Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Roundup - Day Two - Dawn til 5:00 p.m.

I got up early, probably around 5:30 which is only 45 minutes later than my usual wake-up time. So I made some of that dreadful hotel room coffee and settled in to watch something on The History Channel.

Speaking of which, Edward Herrmann has my career, you know? There was a time in the early 80's when he and I would always turn up at the same auditions in New York. We would glare at each other, in a highly professional manner, of course, while sitting in the waiting rooms. Eventually, though, I blinked, got a job on Wall Street and he wound up with my career in show business... including the gig as narrator/host number one on The History Channel.

But I digress. Often.

I fixed myself up and wandered down the hall to the convention area and mosied up stairs to "the hospitality suite", where I fell in with a couple of roving lesbians and one extremely handsome man, all from Norfolk, Virginia. We started chatting and, in no time, were best of friends for the next hour. So we wandered out in search of breakfast. We had a lovely time in our little boardwalk front restaurant, over scrambled eggs, rye-toast, bacon and coffee. One of the lesbians was a former Naval officer who'd risen out of the ranks to become an officer. She and I related a lot to each other. The other lesbian works for some defense contractor, re-designing interior spaces on board naval ships. The guy also works for some defense contractor doing something I could tell you about, but then I'd have to find all of you and kill you.

I was interested in more than just the gentleman's career, though. Unfortunately, although he claimed to have 19 years of sobriety, the last 10 of them had not been spent actually "doing" anything to keep his sobriety and, in fact, was living with a lover of 13 years although he maintained that it was "all over.... which I told the cops the other night when they showed up."

I left skid-marks escaping from that one.

The rest of the morning past quickly in various workshops and meetings and, rather than have a lunch, I took a quick nap before the afternoon sessions began.

I went to one workshop on Al-Anon issues (the flip-side of being an alcoholic is being RELATED to an alcoholic... and that's a whole other can of worms, believe me!), then I plopped down in one on "Aging Gracefully in Sobriety."

I have to admit, I was concerned that the workshop had the potential to slip into a "poor me" party over lost youth, lost fortune, lost opportunities, etc. But instead, it slowly evolved into one of the most spiritual events of the weekend, wherein people started talking about how, through God's grace, they'd been given a second chance NOT to "relive their golden youths" but, rather, to have a newer, higher, purpose in life... to remain sober and to help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

It was wonderful.

I also got hit on by someone in the meeting as soon as it was over. He prefaced it with, "at the risk of sounding like I'm hitting on you, I really admire your sobriety."

At first I misunderstood him, and thought that he really wasn't hitting on me. It wasn't until much later, during that evening's dance, that he said it to me again in a much more... ahem... "direct" manner.

Having missed an opportunity for quick, dirty, raunchy sex, I went back to my room to take another nap and to prepare for that evening's banquet to be followed by disco dancing until all hours!

Where things got even MORE interesting!!!

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