From the January 1999 magazine.

The Earlybirds

Step 1 - We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable.

The bartender poured me another shot of whisky and placed another bottle of beer on the bar in front of me. It was 6:30 on a Friday evening and I was nothing but an earlybird to her, trying to get a jump on the weekend celebration. Little did she know I was about to step across the threshold into another world--a world of sobriety and AA.

The bar had a pool table, and I fancied myself a sharpshooter. Unfortunately, my game lacked a little after a couple of beers and I couldn't seem to sink anything but the cue ball. So I'd sign my name up on the chalkboard along with the other earlybirds, slide up to the bar and order another shot and a beer, waiting for my turn to play again and lose. Then I could sign my name up on the chalkboard along with the other earlybirds so I could play another game and lose. It was like walking on a treadmill, round and round.

-- Anonymous

New York, N.Y.

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