From the May 2013 magazine.

May 2013: The Dreaded Job of Making Coffee

An old-timer remembers how washing cups taught him to laugh again

When AA found me in that prison cell, I did not consider myself an alcoholic. After all, I knew what an alcoholic was: my father was one. I remember thinking the guy across the bar was, the guy at the party was, and, at the end, it was the bum on the other side of the river. It was never me, always the other guy.

It was not the first time I was in jail, but this time was different. For the first time in my life I cried out, “God, help me,” and not, “God, get me out of this one and I will quit cussing or chasing married women.” It was just, “God, help me.” This time, there were no deals.

-- Les L.

Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada

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