by Gloria Garfunkel
The Sobriety Group met at four every Wednesday night, just in time for the seven members to get a good table at Patrick’s bar to drink beer by six.
“Beer’s not really even alcohol,” laughed one and then all.
This had been going on for nine months, since they were all sentenced for driving under the influence with daily AA meetings and a weekly therapy group.
At the group meetings, they claimed remorse over all their losses: relationships, family, finances with a young female therapist who clearly knew nothing about alcoholics and was easy to fool. They drew straws who would cry and do the blubbering that week. They called themselves screw-ups, failures, fuck-ups, assholes and she gently empathized and soothed.
Only three more months of this charade and Larry, driving home drunk from the bar, hit and killed a nine-year-old girl on a bike.
Gloria Garfunkel has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University and was a therapist for thirty years. She now writes full time flash fiction and published forty stories in a variety of journals in the past year.
"Sobriety Group" is published in the anthology barcode (Pure Slush Vol. 8, 2013).