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Grapevine : October 2011
I used to be a professional woman who was too good for the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. I had a suc- cessful career in education on both state and national levels, a doctoral degree from a Big Ten university and the respect of my colleagues na- tionwide. But by the end of my drinking I was nothing more than a morn- ing, noon and night blackout drunk. I had to drink to relieve the insan- ity, the fear, the shame. I made daily runs to the store to buy alcohol, sometimes twice. Paranoia set in that maybe the cashier knew what I was up to and I began using a circu- itous route to buy alcohol at a differ- ent store every day. I was afraid my drinking would be found out. Fear and insanity set in that I might be asked to leave the store and never return. So on Monday I went to the Angel in the liquor store Ph.D.s don't matter if you can't get enough box wine Monday store. On Tuesday I went to the Tuesday store, and so on. One afternoon I was at the Wednesday store. I had left my of- fice early and got there around 4 P.M. I was feeling very dignified with my tailored work suit on, my Ph.D. in my hip pocket, and my leather atta- ché case that I put in the shopping cart. I walked down the wine aisle alone as usual. Very few people are in the wine aisle on a Wednesday afternoon. At that time, I was buy- ing the huge cardboard boxes of wine because I could just open the spigot, lean my head back and be deluged in alcohol. For some rea- son, the Wednesday store had those cardboard boxes high up on the top shelf. I reached up to get my stash for the evening when suddenly I smelled something absolutely foul. It was the most putrid smell I'd ever known. Around the corner walked a 40 October 2011