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The Sun Magazine

Body and Mind

Addiction and Recovery

Fiction

Step Nine

I knew early on that Max was special. She was a taut-bodied pit-bull mix but without the meanness, even in appearance, that her breed is known for. She must have been the kind of dog who rolls over as soon as she sees you so you can pet her belly, like in the photograph on your flier.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Last Call

I was lucky. I didn’t have a physical dependency on alcohol. I just drank to be like everyone else at the party. Faced with a choice between dying young in a tangle of smashed things or pulling it together to have a regular life, I chose the regular life. I traded living on the edge for just living.

Fiction

Imogene’s Prayer

The pills are about the size of a bing-cherry pit in diameter and are a faint green color, like the eggs of some songbirds. On one side they have a deeply inscribed SZ, on the other, the number 789. They are Ritalin, the ten-milligram kind. Imogene knows them by sight because occasionally patients admitted to the psychiatric ward where she works as a nurse have containers of assorted pills, and she has learned to spot the ones that will get her high.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Still Life

He stood on the threshold, holding an apple in both hands and smiling. I was thirty-eight years old. It had been a good while since anyone had stood at my door like that. And now here he was: a messy blond-haired man who looked as if he hadn’t slept; a neighbor; a man offering an apple to me.