My friend Bryan asks  me to lead the huge Monday night meeting held at the cream colored, concrete church or Rodeo Drive.

I agreed to address the cult.  You know how I feel about LA AA.

I spent the larger part of the day at home, packing.   I bought a coat from RRL.   A beautiful navy pea coat with brass buttons and a dramatic pleat in the back.

At lunch time I have a conversation with a financier and discuss tax credits.

Before the AA event I nip into Venice where I meet an actress.  We drink hot chocolate and discuss the script.   She has good ideas.

She has good casting ideas.

She is generous and interesting and interested.  She doesn’t get recognized.

I drive with the Little Dog to Beverly Hills.  Outside the church I notice people I know from the past… smoking.  People with small amounts of recovery.  Limited time in AA.  People who can’t stay sober for longer than a few months.

Leading the meeting means that I have to direct the format of the meeting as written then tell my story.  The story divided into three parts: Experience, Strength and Hope.   How it was and how it is now.

Well, you are meant to have a great story.  I don’t have a great story.  Not this year.

Inside the hall my mouth dries, I can see the bloated face of a gay film producer who just cannot stay sober and will die drunk.  His equally incompetent sober friends will mourn his death.  They will say things like, ‘Peter struggled so hard to stay sober’.

They will cry for the duration of the memorial then they will scamper like hairy children to another miserable dying addict who can’t stay clean or sober.

The same people are found laughing at the back of meetings.  Unable to take anyone seriously other than themselves.

Peter has four pitiful months.  He mocks my struggle or the struggles of people like me because he has never had more than a few months clean.  He will never know what it is like not to drink for a decade or more or what tribulations that incurs.

I didn’t tow the party line. I told them what was going on.  A public flaying.

I flayed myself.

What am I doing here? I thought.  What am I doing here telling these people my secrets?  What the hell do I do this for?  I sipped at my bottle of water.  I wore my new spectacles.

On the way back to Malibu I listened to NPR.  They were playing Bridge when I got home.  Eating marzipan mice.

The speaker of the Ugandan parliament has promised she will pass the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill in the next two weeks — she called it a “Christmas gift” for the Ugandan people. 

How will she achieve that?   There’s one born every minute.