Jewel awoke with a start. She knew better than to move too quickly after last evening. “Not again,” she thought, stretching the kinks out of her stiff muscles. The sky was just getting light, a little past 6 in the morning. Her companion, David, was apparently already out, tired of dealing with her difficult starts.
“Damned, noisy neighbors” she grumbled to herself. “Why don’t they sleep in. It’s not like they HAVE to be up at this hour, like I do”.
Needing to quench her urgent thirst, she set out for breakfast. As she settled in for her morning meal, a welcome, soothing coolness filled her burning throat.
“I must find a way to stop. It really is going to kill me one day”, she thought. Her friends and family knew all about it and usually she paid them no mind. It was always easy to dismiss their concerns when she was flying high. It was only in the mornings that the guilt and worry punctured her calm exterior.
If nature had not intended me to partake, it would not have provided the opportunity, she reasoned. “No, no it’s out of control. I must stop.”
So, feeling a bit stronger, she swore to herself that today she would seek guidance and help. She knew there were others, she had seen brief glimpses of them before. They, like her, were always cautious, always scanning for potential trouble.
As she arrived at the meeting place, she searched their faces more closely and saw something familiar. The first to rise called for silence and began to speak.
“My name is Merlin and I am an alcoholic hummingbird. I know i must accept my powerlessness over alcohol and keep away from the feeder on the corner of Walnut and Willow. The human who puts it out has been away for weeks (likely locked in the bin again, the crazy bitch, he mused to himself) and nature, yeast and the sun have conspired to ferment our precious sugar water into the poison we all seek.”
“I know that one day our human will return and in time remember to change the feeder. Where will i be if I can no longer visit that crimson container for my forbidden treat?”, he asked.
“I admit I have hurt my friends and neighbors, I have caused them to be concerned for me and on more than one occasion, I have awakened in a shrub miles from my home.”
“I am truly sorrow-filled and ask most sincerely for forgiveness.”
As he fluttered to a nearby branch, Jewel blushed slightly, feeling his words echoing in her head. She knew it was her actions he could have been describing. She was no stranger to the feeder on the corner. As others spoke next, she nodded her head in agreement and understanding.
At the meetings’ end she was given a tiny piece of silk wrapped lichen upon which were written the Avian Alcoholics Anonymous (AAA) 6 Steps to Recovery.
It read :
1. I will admit I am powerless over alcohol.
2. I will admit that I am not a mammal with an evolutionary penchant for alcoholic drink.
3. I will turn my will over to our human who, in times of clarity, provides all that we truly
4. I will take an honest inventory of myself and my deeds and try to make amends to those I have wronged or worried.
5. I will be prepared to let our human remove the source of my obsession.
6. I will practice mindfulness in all I do and strive to share its’ messages with others.
As Jewel tucked the parcel under her breast feathers and headed home to David, she smiled inside and believed that tomorrow could be different.
Just fucking around. Doc