From the December 2017 magazine.

Every chair matters

Thanks to his buddy Kevin, the meeting before the meeting became a beautiful thing

I arrived 25 minutes early to my first City Group AA meeting. It was in midtown Manhattan. I had 19 days sober. It was the third Friday in February. As soon as I walked into the meeting room, I met Kevin, a man in his mid-70s, quietly setting up the chairs in the basement of the church. I asked if I could help him and he enthusiastically replied, “Sure. Welcome to the 20-20 club.”

After we finished setting up the chairs, Kevin took me aside and told me this seemingly cornball story about him picking up a drink in his early sobriety and losing his marbles. At the end of the story, Kevin gazed up at me, looked directly into my eyes and placed a marble in my hand. “Michael,” he said, “don’t ever lose your marble.” Within minutes, the basement filled with AA members and every chair was taken.

-- Michael S.

New York, New York, USA

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