From the November 2012 magazine.

November 2012: Under a Sixty Watt Bulb

A stranger helps a newcomer by shedding a little light on HP

By 1981, I was defeated by a life of drinking and debauchery. I was a worn out husk of a human being. I had no moral values left that I could live up to. Fear ran my life, as they say—and thirst. It drove every move I made. I wasn’t even aware of the thirst because I lived within it. I kept pouring in what it demanded. I lived my life from liquor store to liquor store.

I didn’t choose to quit drinking. I had to quit. I couldn’t keep the booze inside me. Every time I drank in that last year or so I vomited until my stomach was empty. Its brackish taste still lingers in my...

-- Tom G.

Silver Spring, Maryland