From the July 1988 magazine.

Will It Work This Time?

I've got a birthday comin' up soon. Yup, a whole year booze-less. So what?

Now, hold on. Bear with me a moment. You see, I reside in a booze-less "society" for the time being; so the "success" must be qualified. There was a time when prison was as wet as any community of comparable size. No longer. Oh sure, there's an occasional "pruno" bucket or, rarer still, some of the real stuff. But the unavailability of booze and the proscription against its possession, with the concomitant dire consequences, are effective at fostering restraint. So, in this instance, a dry year isn't necessarily an accomplishment; the absence of choice doesn't indicate a successful AA program. Particularly telling is how quickly I did acquire a bottle when I was released from prison the first time. And the second time. And the third. . .the fourth. . .the fifth. The sixth looms large on the horizon: July 1, 1988, after which the Fourth is the nation's birthday and the Fifth is my belly-button birthday: my annual cause celebre, in or out of prison.

-- Shep

Walla Walla, Washington

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