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Grapevine : March 2011
ImetJackatmy first AA meeting in 1985. The meeting, in a Detroit suburb, was packed with people. There were a dozen tables, each dedicated to one of the Twelve Steps. So, depending on the Step you were working, you could sit at the appropriate table. I was scared. I sat in the parking lot, building up the courage to go into the meeting. I pictured a room full of men in dirty clothes, smelling of The angel at the table NEWCOMERS Twenty-five years later he's still passing on what a mysterious stranger offered him urine and bag ladies with all their be- longings in shopping carts. I was sur- prised to see that everyone looked like me. They were just regular people. Desperation drove me to that meeting. I had been an occasional drinker, then a binge drinker, and fi- nally, for a year and half, I drank ev- ery day, not stopping until I threw up or passed out. I somehow managed to keep my job. I had to keep my job. Work was the only thing I had that PHOTO BY JOHN J. 46 March 2011