From the February 2003 magazine.

A Dry Drunk's Last Stand

After white-knuckling it for weeks, another warrior comes in from the combat zone

On that particular Sunday, I was sober just about two weeks. Or rather, I hadn't had a drink since Tax Day, April 15th. I left my house at about 4:30 in the afternoon with the excuse that I was going to look for a newspaper. What I really intended to look for was an open liquor store. I'd never shopped for booze on Sunday, nor did I take notice of the fact that liquor stores in New York State are closed on Sunday. When I bought my stash, it was generally on a weekday after work, or in the morning before work. I never went to the same store at the same time of day to make my purchases, because I wanted to make sure not to be waited on by the same clerk and be labeled a drunk.

Usually, I bought a large, two-liter bottle of scotch, since that would last longer, and I was able to dispel the guilt I felt about making more frequent liquor purchases. My modus operandi was to leave the large bottle in a cardboard box in the trunk of my car, and sneak it into the house later to fill up the smaller bottles in my kitchen, basement, or wherever the liquor was kept. Being the good alcoholic that I was, hell-bent on maintaining the purity and almost sacred nature of a strong drink, I couldn't see filling up those smaller bottles with water as I've heard so many of our fellows do. That would have been, well, sacrilegious.

-- Steve S.

Douglaston, New York

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