Saturday, July 07, 2007

On Living Sober In San Francisco:
por Peter S. Lopez {aka: Peta-de-Aztlan}

On Sunday, July 1, 2007, my Cousin Mark, his girlfriend Sister Valerie and I drove to cool San Francisco for a few days to check out the sights and scenes. San Francisco is an international city with a high level of energy. The streets of San Francisco are always alive as an intricate living mosaic and ever-changing maze of kaleidoscopes.

We started out by going to an AA Meeting before we even secured our room at the Aida Plaza Hotel on Market Street by the notorious Tenderloin District. The truth be known, our real security was ultimately in our living sober by working on our continued recovery. Sobriety empowers us to do real community education work.

After the AA Meeting I was given a copy of The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions that I will treasure, then, we went and checked into our room. Our room had two queen size beds on the 1st Floor above the entrance/lobby floor and our window overlooked Market Street. We were able to see the comings and goings of the people. Throughout our stay it became our base of operations. Fortunately, we were able to have a secured parking area underground nearby for the car, but we spend a lot of time just walking up and down Market Street checking out The City. I felt that I was able to easily fit in with my outward appearance and did not seem any stranger looking than many of the other people walking around.

After we had unpacked our bags and stuff we went to another AA Meeting. We had found out there was a Living Sober AA Convention going on at the Billy Graham Convention Center which we attended. In fact, during most of our stay when the three of us were together we mainly went to AA Meetings, drove around all over San Francisco and usually made it back to the room exhausted by the day’s events and activities.

The next day was Monday, we went back by the Convention and I saw a musical. Plus, I went by the Main Library, then, walked around the Tenderloin District for a long time. In the streets I was able to see the plague of street drug addiction that had crumbled some of the street people who had nothing left after getting stoned out except a piece of dirty spitted on sidewalk to sleep on where they finally collapsed at night and fell prey to street vultures. When we could we usually checked out another AA Meeting and that helped to keep our morale up.

On Tuesday, I took the time to check out a few Salvation Army posts, including the Harbor Light Rehab Center. Plus, I stopped by the Golden State Division Headquarters. Later my Cousin Mark and I checked out the County Animal Control Center and the SPCA. Mark’s dog, our AA mascot Arnold, needs to see about an operation for his cataracts. In the late afternoon we went to the Fisherman’s Wharf area, checked out a maritime museum, strolled around, then, walked around the lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts.

Our last full day there was Wednesday, July 4, 2007. We enjoyed our Independence Day simply by living sober, enjoying being alive and being independent of the harmful effects of chemical dependence, especially the disease of alcoholism. We dropped by the Alano Club where they had a little potluck. We attended part of a Crystal Meth Anonymous Meeting, watched the DVD-movie Independence Day with Will Smith, then drove out by the Marina area. The vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean and its hypnotic waves was beautiful. Later on, we went to watch the intense fireworks display over San Francisco Bay and there were thousands of people checking them out. I took some pictures of our time there with my HP digital camera {click link below}.

Finally, we went to our room close to midnight, then, we woke up around 5 AM and drove back to Sacramento where the day was hot and hellish as it peaked out at 108 degrees.

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