“Keeping The Doctor Away”

“Keeping The Doctor Away” @JosephJohnFull4 https://medium.com/@joefingas/keeping-the-doctor-away-58a994b230ca


Personalities Before Principles

The meeting was almost over when I pulled into the clubhouse parking lot. I stopped, turned off the engine and stayed in my Mescalade.  

I watched as the first trickle of folks left the building. Then, I got out of my vehicle and made a bee line to the coffee urn.

He was still seated at the end of the table closest to the refreshment counter. Surrounded by more than a few newcomers, he was gregarious and generous with his opinions.

He offered his hand, the one covered with a black medical brace. I shook it and said, “Good to see ya.”

I poured a cup, grabbed a box of popcorn, walked out the door and took a seat on the front porch. 

I placed my coffee and popcorn on the railing next to me. Then I pulled my phone from my pocket. 

I was scrolling through my messages when he walked past me. He tapped the deck with his cane. 

When I looked up at him, he said, “You’re strange.” 

When my eyes went back to the screen, he repeated, “You’re strange. You walk in late. You’ve always got your nose deep into that phone. I can’t figure you out. Can’t figure you out.”

I shrugged and said, “It’s not your job.”

“My job?”

“To figure me out. Not your job.”

“But why?”

“Why not?”

He shook his head and scuffled through the gravel to his car. 

I was responding to an e-mail when he shouted, “Why are you wasting your life on that goddamn phone?”

I shouted back, “Man, go home and take your medicine. You’ll feel better.”

“You judging me coz I’m using medical marijuana?”

“I don’t care about marijuana.”

“It’s pain management. It works for me.”

“And my phone works for me. The same fuckin’ way. It’s my medicine. My pain management.”

His final words before he crawled into his car were, “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

I stared at my phone another five minutes. 

I stood and walked into the clubhouse for another cup of coffee. 

When I returned to the porch, he and his car were gone.


My Headache

My skull was pounding earlier. The pain in the temple pulsing straight to my gut. It got so bad I thought I was going to have pull over and loose last night’s spaghetti.

Instead, I opened the window and took a deep breath. Everything started to settle after that. 

I bought breakfast. Picked up my grandson and took him to school. Then, I went to the meeting.

The topic was character defects and their removal. That’s when I thought, ” I could have a field day writing about this in my reflections journal.” 

Then I thought, “But I’d have to do my research. Cut and paste quotes to my liking. Become a hyperbolic, curmodgeonly parody of my worst self.”


I was worn out just listening to other people work their program.

I figured good ole not drinking complacency was enough for me this particular day at a time.

Still, as I left the meeting room, I felt like something was missing. 

And it took another fifteen minutes for me to figure out what I had left in the Alano Clubhouse, on the vacant seat next to me…

He Won’t Be Done Till He’s Finished 

He lets nothing go.

Obsessed with the dog a woman brings to meetings. 

He told me, “She gets away with this shit because she’s cute.”

“The dog?”

“No, the dog’s owner,” he explains. “She’s a cute blonde and all the guys. All of the predators. They co-sign everything she does because they want to get into her pants.”

I don’t want to waste any more time listening to his rant so I say, “I’ve gotta run. God speed as you go forth to slay the predators.”

He says, “Smart ass. But, you’re right, I’m not done.”

July 28

REFLECTIONS OF A SOBER CHICKEN THIEF- published by Nothing Changes Press

”  “-

Thought For The Day: I’ve got no time for quotes today. No time. I was called to speak today. Not called by God…by another person at the meeting. The topic was the Fourth Step. I don’t remember what I said but I don’t think it had much to do with the Fourth Step.

Reflection For The Day: At least three people walked out of the room during my share. Sons of bitches.

Prayer: Please keep their asses in their chairs till I’m done. Just coz I don’t know what I’m talkin bout doesn’t mean it isn’t divinely inspired.

July 24

REFLECTIONS OF A SOBER CHICKEN THIEF -published by Nothing Changes Press

” Our very lives…depend upon our constant thought of others…”-Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 20

Thought For The Day: This fellowship is filled with folks screaming, “Me…give Me what I want…give it to Me or I’m gonna die.”

Stick around after a meeting, walk over to that person sitting in a chair set against the wall, take both of their shaky hands in yours and, before you can say, “Call me,” I guarantee, some loud, selfish fuck will barge in screaming, “Where are my essential oils?”

Reflection For The Day: I could’ve sworn I put them in the car. 

Prayer For The Day: I pray that I continue to think constanly of others because, without them, I’d have no one to blame but myself.