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, “Welcome.” Now I’m stuck, I thought. How do I get out of this one? “You must be new,” she said. I had no idea how to spin a lie, and for some reason I didn’t want to, so I went in.

-- Anonymous

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