From the October 2007 magazine.

Butcher, Baker, Troublemaker

All are welcome

I was once a homeless man. I lived on the street and on the couches of a few acquaintances. All of my belongings were packed in a suitcase; I carried it everywhere. I seldom had a place to shower, so I stank worse than a dead animal--but this did not matter to me, because I was drunk. Before being homeless, I was in jails and prisons for over fifteen years of my life. I was a liar, a thief, and I cared for no one except myself. Self-centeredness ruled my way of living. Either people did things the way I wanted them done, or I had no use for them. I had no true friends. My own family had finally given up on me after years of hearing how sorry I was. It did not help to say I was sorry when I continued to be a sorry excuse for a human.

Today, I get to my AA meeting a few minutes before 7 A.M., having strolled lazily from the bus stop, enjoying the fresh morning breeze. Jerry, Monty, and a few others are milling around the door, waiting for it to click open. A few men and women are homeless, and want a warm, free cup of coffee.

-- Donald M.

Des Moines, Iowa

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