“ Even the most perfect diamonds are flawed,” Andrea Kuda says while sitting in the corner of her couch with her legs curled under her body. She is slightly entangled in the worn grey lace fringed pillow and an earthy toned crochet blanket. Andrea inhales a loud sigh. Though she is drinking water right now, she will switch the liquid in the white mug for whiskey a little later in the day.
When she was twenty-nine years old, after doing office work for five years, Andrea finally got her flight attendant wings and started traveling the world. Fifty-eight now she says, “I’ve done it all. I have done it.”
Andrea met Frank Appelgate, a former New York doctor who lost his license, at a friend’s home on New Year’s Eve a year ago. Frank has been in Moberly just over two years and is trying to salvage his job. After living successful lives worthy of remembrance, Andrea now battles alcoholism as Frank tries to piece together his broken career.
Andrea Kuda, 58, gets dressed for the day in her bedroom in Moberly, Missouri. Andrea has struggled with alcoholism throughout her life. Growing up in an Air Force officer’s family, she watched her parents drink socially, but has had trouble keeping her own drinking under control. While Andrea was young her mother would have one drink every night and two martinis on Saturdays that would cause her to get tipsy. “But they would call it cute,” she says.