From the March 2018 magazine.

Holding my breath

The scene she witnessed at the checkout line was hard to swallow, but it made her grateful she was sober and free

One day I ran to the pharmacy to buy floss for my 7-year-old daughter. “The dentist said I need to floss every night, Mom,” she had insisted. Good luck with that, I thought, while I promised to go get her some.

In front of me in the checkout line at the drugstore was an older man, about 60, with gray hair and glasses. His clothes were worn but neat and clean. He was purchasing only one item: a small bottle of mouthwash, not much bigger than the sample-sized bottles they give out at the dentist. My heart ached for him as he attempted to be nonchalant with the cashier.

-- Elizabeth J.

Shrewsbury,, New Jersey, USA

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