Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published January 2012.

Web Exclusive: The Alcoholic Express

A chance encounter on a commuter train introduces a man to the idea of sobriety

I boarded the empty 6:30 a.m. commuter train out of Grand Central Station bound for Brewster to help my pops move into a new apartment. Settling into a seat with my tall cup of coffee, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for yet another sober Saturday morning, three years into working the program.

A gentleman plops into a seat to the left of me, across the isle, immediately attempting to strike up conversation. Bug-eyed, he asks me, "Do I look okay?" and explains that he had just gotten off work, tending bar, boozing hard amongst other things; gesturing a snort of dry goods off the back of his hand. "You're alright," I say, shaking him off, not wanting to engage in conversation, especially with a "low-life" like him. I reach into my bag and pull out Grapevine, open to a random story and isolate.

-- Paul S.

New York, New York

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