From the December 2015 magazine.

Getting Back on the Plane

I was a heavy drinker but never thought of it as a problem. I was in and out of detox several times, but wasn't everyone? The day they took my father to a nursing home, I lost myself in a pitcher of manhattans—even though I had no use for my father.

The next day I was nowhere to be found. My niece thought I was at my job in Rochester. My kids were scattered around, so they didn't much miss me, but my niece was worried. She had a right to be. At that time, I was in a blackout and on my way to New York City. For two and a half days I wandered around some airport, stopping, I learned later, at every bar. I came out of the blackout sitting in some bar and not knowing where I was. I called my niece, and after talking with her a few minutes, told her I thought I was in an airport. She said to ask someone what the name of the airport was. After a while, we decided I was at JFK. Then after more conversation, I was instructed to get a flight back to Rochester ASAP.

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