Love and Tolerance

Charlie showed up regularly to one of the meetings I went to when I was new. He had a nice appearance and a good smile. Charlie didn’t sit in one of the hundred or so folding chairs, organized theater-style for our podium meeting. Charlie sat on the floor half-in and half-out of the door leading to the outer staircase. Like all of us, Charlie battled inner demons, but Charlie’s demons wanted to talk during the meeting.

A few times each meeting, one of us would be sharing at the podium and Charlie would start talking. No one could figure out what Charlie was talking about.  He wasn’t drunk. He didn’t rant or rave. He just talked out loud, diverting everyone’s attention from the speaker. The room fell silent until Charlie finished. Then when he was done, the speaker continued on. A couple of times when Charlie going real good, one of our group’s old timers sat down on the floor next to Charlie. This usually this did the trick.

As I newcomer, I could not understand why no one asked Charlie to leave. Today I know why.