From the October 2010 magazine.

Down the drain

One last binge ends a Navy medic's drinking days

May 13, 1981. I got up, packed the suitcases and got down to the hotel lobby with my 2-and-a-half year old, Tom. The night before I had been annoyed. We didn't get to the hotel in Singapore in time for me to arrange for a sitter, so I didn't go out with the other wives for drinks. We had just finished a 10-day visit in Perth, Australia, with our husbands, whose U.S. Navy ship had docked there.

I hadn't done much drinking in Perth, either, since I was driving a lot. They drove on the right, and I had been driving on the left in Japan for about a year and a half. I didn't want to screw up because I was drinking, so I just didn't drink.


Albuquerque, N.M.

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