Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. ~ From the book “Alcoholics Anonymous.”
Drake sat at the table, in the conference room, staring at the stack of client charts. The Policies and Procedures manual (P&P) had been a boring, dry read. P&P’s are required by the state as there where many dos and don’ts from a wide range of concerned interests when it comes to treating adolescents for addiction. The P&P was boiler plate doctrine, rules and policies written by low-tier functionaries of the state mental health departments, based on some Ph.D.’s hypotheses of what some faulty governmental empirical data means. Mostly, he considered it bureaucratic bullshit written by people who don’t have a fucking clue about addiction.
Drake laughed at things such as the state mandating that treatment centers prevent their adolescents from smoking. As far as the state was concerned, underage smoking was a crime and centers that allowed it would get shutdown. Not smoke? Drake thought to himself, what the fuck? Smoking will be the least of their problems.
He was also interested to see how much the staff actually adhered to the P&P. Drake smiled inwardly thinking: there are the rules, the laws, the shoulds, the musts, the oughts, and then there is how things really are.
Drake opened the first client chart and read the name: Stephanie. Closing the chart, he placed it to the side and picked up the next chart. The name on the second chart was Robin. Drake frowned, seeing that all the charts had female names on them. He left the conference room and headed to Anna Man’s office.
Anna slowly turned to face Drake, who was standing in her office’s doorway. She looked at him for a minute without speaking and then turned slowly back toward her work area. Anna said, “come inside, close the door.” Drake took a few steps into the office and then closed the door. Anna was perched on an odd- looking chair in front of a vintage computer, smoking a long, skinny cigarette. The room was dimly lit and incense was burning in two separate places. There was the low sound of chimes gently ringing. To the casual passerby, Anna’s office appeared messy, but anyone who entered her domain would realize that it wasn’t messy so much as it was ancient. The office appeared small because the light was centered around Anna’s work area, but it was actually rather large. As Drake entered her office, he remembered how frightened most were to go in and why they called her, “The Old Lady.” He wondered if perhaps he should be afraid, but he felt no fear.
“Anna, you mistakenly gave me female clients charts”, Drake said nonchalantly.
After a few seconds of silence, Anna spoke in a calm rich voice saying, “There’s no mistake. The girls are why you are here. I have a theory, or call it a deep feeling. The basics of it is this: we need a male to break through their defensiveness. We need a breakthrough that will allow us to make contact with the real person living deep inside each girl. Their ego is projecting a false persona and is hiding in fear from the horrible pain the real person is suffering. For there to be healing, thereby recovery, we must break through their denial and reveal the truth.”
Drake interjects in a quiet voice, “The Tyrant.”
Anna continues, saying, “That’s right. Just any male wouldn’t do, it has to be the right man and I feel that man is you. You will most likely do lectures with the boys now and again but your primary work will be with the girls. I am going to give you a lot of leeway to teach the AA program. I am going to let you teach as you will.” Anna paused and then asked, “Is working with girls going to be a problem?”
Drake stood staring at Anna’s back and considered the situation. Anna moved her left a hand across the key board striking keys without making a sound. She closed her eyes and smoke gently exited her mouth as she said, “you never said anything Drake, but…I know this is a difficult path for you to choose. But if it feels right, then perhaps it is right. Why not take the chance?”
Drake was lost in memories and emotion. There was something just at the edge of his minds horizon. It flickered and shuttered, but he had no idea what that was. It would be easy to get lost in the emotions and memories, but he returned to the moment instead.
Teen-aged girls, he thought with chagrin. The cruelest creature in creation. Women, as a general rule, hate me shouted out from within his mind. He pushed all those thoughts aside and reflected on the Path and remembered the amends he owed, would always owe. The only open doorway leads to this moment and the door behind him just closed, he thought. The decision had been made, he didn’t feel tricked or fearful. It is what it is. These were his marching orders, he knew; there simply was no doubt.
By your command, Drake thought, but abruptly spoke, “No ma’am it will not be a problem. In fact, it is most likely exactly as it should be, Anna.
She turned quickly to face him, smiled, and said, “Ok”.
Drake returned to the conference room and began reading the female clients’ charts. A few minutes passed and Mike came into the room.
Mike leaned against the door smiling big, “So how is the reading coming? Anything I can help you with? What do you think of your clients…the girls?”
Drake responds without looking up, “Oh, it’s going great Michael. I think it will be very challenging. I’ll let you know if I need your help.”
Mike frowns, “So, the fact that they’re girls doesn’t bother you?”
Drake answers Mike with a cheerful tone in his voice, “It will be different, that’s for sure. But no… I don’t think The Old Lady would’ve given this to a man she didn’t trust completely or to one she didn’t think could handle it. I feel really complemented. You know what I mean, Michael?”
Mike moved himself to a flatfooted stance with his arms crossed, “I didn’t look at it like that.”
“Yeah, it’s obvious that she didn’t have any candidates she felt like she could turn it over to, until I got here. Robert was correct in more ways than one about me being the solution.” Mike stood there grinding his teeth, considering what Drake had said.
Drake looked up from the charts towards Mike, “Soooo, I got to get back to reading these charts, I want to get through them all today.”
“Right, I’ll get out of here and let you get back to it,” Mike said. He paused for a moment and said over his shoulder leaving, “and it’s Mike, you prick.”