From the January 2000 magazine.

3-8-97

1-5-97

Thinking about that first drink of beer. The sound of air escaping the bottle. The smooth kiss of its glass lip. The warmth of its amber tongue sinking into every cell of my body. It isn't far from this thought to the nearest convenience store. Two years of sobriety are flashed down the toilet in fifteen minutes. I drink a six-pack and go to sleep.

1-6-97 4 a.m.

Wake up in the sweat of my own fear. I go to an AA meeting without telling anyone about my relapse. I resolve to try what has never worked in the past: quitting drinking on my own.

-- Ishmael H.B.

Carlsbad, California

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