From the April 2012 magazine.

April 2012: Dear Grapevine

As she left the train, she said, "Goodbye my friend." I never knew her name.

Strangers on a train
This past April 20, I was taking a train from Seattle to a town in central Washington. I was in my usual stupor, hungover and sick. A young woman shared the seat with me and small talk ensued. We had a 30-year age difference, so topics were sparse. I mentioned having a drinking problem, but said I was going to quit for sure, soon. My binges were becoming more and more unbearable. The woman asked what my plan was to quit drinking. I told her I would try more sincerely this time.

Shortly before getting off at her stop she gave me an address, (the local AA meeting place in my hometown). The people at this address, she told me, could help me if I asked for it. As she left the train, she said, “Goodbye, my friend.” I never knew her name.

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