Chapter 19

(2007)

I was standing outside the church, smoking a cigarette, and once again, George showed up in his sweatshirt and jeans. I felt a surge of gratitude for him. Knowing I could call him had kept me sober for these few days. As he shook my hand, he looked me steadily in the eye with his grey-blue eyes as if he had nothing to hide. I had to look away.

“How are you coming along?” he said.

“Actually, I feel pretty good. Staying sober.”

“That’s great, James. A lot of guys feel good right off the bat…for a little while at least. This is not the time to let your guard down. This is a devil of a disease, something you must take one day at a time.”

“To be honest, I’m not even sure I have a problem. I feel like this should be harder.”

“You’re really the only one who can answer that, but can I ask you something? What made you come to the meeting yesterday?”

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