The American Caliban (substitute) wrote,
The American Caliban

The Tragedy of the Commas

The other day at D’s a woman came up to a group of us at the end of the evening and asked for our attention. First, she asked if we were “Program” which made sense, since a lot of 12 step folks show up on that night, but we weren’t. Then it was time for the presentation. She gave her name and then launched into a prepared story. She told us that she had spent years on alcohol and drugs, and was also HIV and Hepatitis C positive, and had no doubt given the disease to many people.

Everyone else was uncomfortably silent and I said “Uhh.. Uhh.. I’m really sorry to hear that.” Hard to say what to do.

She then went on to say that she had hurt us all and she wanted to apologize to us for this. I understood what she meant but thought “shouldn’t you be apologizing to people with AIDS or Hep C?”. Not going to say anything though.

She then went into a hard-core fundamentalist Christian conversion script. Unfortunately the script called for her to put people on the spot, so that she turned to me and asked me what I believed, and waited. “That’s kind of personal”, I said. She asked me “Are you positive, though? Do you have a positive belief in your heart?” I had to tell her that was personal, too. There were three or four more questions like that, to which I kept giving the same answer. Finally she blessed us all and left, after warning us that the end was soon and the fire, etc.

I heartily wish her well, not least because she got herself into such a nasty medical situation. And I do understand what she was about, mostly. The canned religious script was really hard to hear, though. It felt as though she couldn’t just go and apologize to the world for the things she felt guilt about; she had to win something too. And in this case, winning meant being right about God and being the deliverer of the Message.

I still don’t know what I think about it, really.
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