From the November 1959 magazine.

. . . From the Notebook of an Alcoholic

I AM looking back to that day in P-- when I tried to put into practice that familiar admonition, count your blessings. But I had said to myself, I have no blessings. I cannot think of a single one. Oh sure, I'm alive. But what's the good of being alive? I have a deep hangover, I'm sick, I don't see any prospect for myself; no future but to go on drinking and drifting until it ends.

I try things. I have tried everything--patent medicines, patent diets, patent religions. Nothing works. A few weeks ago a friend inveigled me into doing charity work in the mental patients ward at the Veterans' Hospital. She goes there several days a week and teaches photography. I said inveigled but she really tricked me. She invited me to her house one afternoon when she was having some of the "good behavior" inmates over for tea and right in front of them she announced that I was going to be her assistant. They seemed so pleased that I didn't have the nerve to refuse. I would have been a real jerk if I had. So I've been driving the thirty miles over there three days a week. It doesn't make me feel any better. The only time I enjoyed myself was when I stopped at a bar on the way over and had a couple of martinis with lunch, got loaded and then I got on very well with the inmates. All my indifference and aloofness dropped away from me. I was at ease with them and they seemed to like me.

-- T. D.

New York City

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