From the October 2013 magazine.

October 2013: The Laughingstock of Queens

It's bad enough he's in AA—what a loser. Now he has to set up chairs?

The first time I went to AA, I felt like a prisoner on his way to the gallows. I had been given a meeting book and was told to make a meeting close to my home, but I dreaded that idea. What if someone saw me going in there? Neighbors talk, you know. I’d be the laughingstock of Queens. As I walked to the meeting, my eyes couldn’t look any higher than the next square on the pavement. I’m an alcoholic, I thought. What a loser.

The door to the meeting weighed a ton, like one of those castle doors. I expected it to be locked, but I pulled and it opened. A woman smiled and said,...

-- Anonymous