From the March 2013 magazine.

March 2013: Payback

An old-timer remembers the best bargain he ever made

When I was living on the street I learned how to steal. It was what I had to do in order to survive. I became very good at stealing. However, when I no longer needed to steal the habit was set.

After I got sober in AA, I was working at a diner in the heart of Boston. My duties were to open the diner at 5 a.m., serve breakfast, and get ready for lunch. When my counterman came in at 10 I could then go in the kitchen and make lunch and dinner.

That particular Sunday the breakfast crowd was larger and noisier than usual. I had no time to think of anything but what I was doing....

-- C.B.

Bristol, Pennsylvania