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The Sun Magazine

Body and Mind

Addiction and Recovery

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Queen of Hearts

Rule #20: Never bring a book to work. It makes the customers think you’re better than them. It doesn’t matter what you’re reading. It doesn’t matter if you’ve finished cleaning all the glasses and it’s a quiet Monday afternoon — leave the book at home. You’ll know this when your father comes behind the bar looking pissed and tells you to come into his office.

Fiction

Recovery

Jeff is getting ready to start the meeting, pretending since I walked in that he hasn’t seen me. I don’t blame him for that, but I feel like telling everyone that most of the shit they spout in these places isn’t true. If it were, Jeff wouldn’t be ducking me; he’d be taking me on in front of everyone and forcing the Truth. Where’s your Fearless and Searching Moral Inventory, Jeff?

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Missed Call

It’s 7 AM, and I’ve finally come back to my car. I force myself to check my phone and assess the damage: four missed calls — three from Rebecca, my girlfriend, and one from my father. I’m parked at a Pavilions grocery store on Melrose in Hollywood, a few blocks from the gay bathhouse where I’ve been since yesterday evening.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Peanut

The goat became my charge during my third week in rehab. My counselor, Victoria, suggested I browse the stuffed-animal collection at the clinic gift shop and select one to represent my inner child. “Care for it,” she told me. “Keep it safe. Treat your inner child as you would a baby bird that’s fallen out of its nest.” She cupped her hands, as if to cradle a tiny chick.