Magazine

From the May 2018 magazine.

I'm in

An old-timer in New York shares some experience about fitting in and belonging

Back in the early 1970s in New York City, I drank at a restaurant in lower Manhattan. The owner often stood near the entrance, casually checking out those who entered and occasionally turning away a would-be patron. The famous and soon-to-be-famous in the art world drank at this establishment, I was later to learn. Then there were those like me, in the category of never to be famous. It astonished me that I passed inspection, as I was distinctly not a member of the cool crowd that gathered nightly. If I stood out at all, it was as a gangly young man wrapped in solitariness sitting on a stool, glass in hand.

The bars were an inevitable destination for an isolated and wounded individual such as myself. Alcohol was a great equalizer. After a number of drinks, it seemed to place me on the same plane with others, erasing all the barriers of difference that kept me apart, even as it took me further from people and myself, let alone any semblance of a conscious contact with God.

-- David S.

New York City, New York

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