All those Natty Bohs became another place for Alex to pour his genius. Even in a world where drinking health-center cough medicine from a crystal Champagne flute seemed the norm, Alex's drinking worried me. Staying up late enough for breakfast, shaking cans abandoned on desks or behind bunks, looking for a little more left behind-he sought a vessel to drain, leaving a bit of himself in its place. A perfect dad doesn't drink the beer with the cigarette butt still in it. But a perfect dad doesn't stand up in that place the way Alex did. When Alex quit drinking, I felt a displaced pride. Now, looking back at a young man not yet 30, seeing his truth, raising himself above that bottom, I am awed. The strength he drew, the fight he won, and the life he lived afterward are inspirations to me and I'm sure many others.