From the October 2007 magazine.

Mr. Fix-it

A drunk finds a spiritual toolkit

My first drink was at the age of two. I was found in a stumbling state at one of my parents' parties from sipping all the drinks. That started my many years of "becoming a man" with the comment, "What a man he'll be! He's already started to learn how to drink." Well, I didn't sit down to write about my drunkalog, so let's just say that I was a very slow learner and did not find out the real truth until the age of forty-six. That's when I would like to start my story, when my new life began.

It was just before Mother's Day weekend in 1999, and I was still on the mend from my last severe car accident in November 1998. I was "controlling" my drinking by hiding it from even my closest drinking buddies. After all, since they didn't understand or have any problems, they might think I was insane to be drinking and driving--again. Well, it was Tuesday and I came home in my normal state of mellowness after drinking since 4:30 A.M. Everything would have been fine, except that I needed just one more touch of vodka and didn't expect my wife to come into the garage so quickly. Yes, the garage--where else do you keep your vodka but under your workbench? In my haste to hide the bottle, it started leaking all over the workbench. When my wife asked what all the water was, I told her it was a leaky pipe. That might have worked if there were any water pipes around. Life, as I knew it, ended that moment.

-- Tom K.

Frederick, Maryland

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