From the January 2013 magazine.

January 2013: Train to Nowhere

Chugging along drunk for years, a switchman finally hits the end of the line

I have in many ways led a charmed life. Because I was born in 1933, I was too young for the Second World War, and the Korean War was over before I got out of the army cook school. I managed in three years to attain the rank of PFC and avoided being court-martialed by sheer luck. I acquired a wife and had a daughter in Austria. Even though I was drinking excessively, I registered my daughter as an American citizen and brought both my wife and daughter to America.

My wife divorced me because of my drinking. A marriage counselor suggested that I stop drinking and join AA, even though AA was 24 years old at the time and not all that well-accepted. He was a good man, but I managed to forget his advice to the extent that later, when he informed me that he had just joined AA himself, I remonstrated with him for never having recommended the program to me. I was shocked to hear that I had managed to completely suppress his advice.

-- P.E.

Merrillville, Indiana

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!