Whisky always tastes better on t.v.
Amos closes his eyes as he raises the glass to his lips. He inhales deeply, letting the whiskey fumes fill his nostrils and lungs, savoring the slow burn in his throat and the charcoal residue. He tilts his head back and lets the bourbon wash over his lips and tongue, and for a moment there is nothing but heat and spice.
Amos doesn’t really care for whiskey. He and his brother used to sip Everclear on the roof of the double-wide. Rather, Amos relishes that first sip because it takes him somewhere far away; to a place that’s always quiet and warm–a place that isn’t here. It makes him think of his mother and the way she would sit on the porch in the summer, making charcoal sketches on big sheets of heavy white paper. He would sit beside her on the steps, watching her as she drew. She always worked in silence and sometimes hours would pass with hardly a word uttered between them. The pictures were always the same–detailed sketches of the day’s laundry, hanging on the line–a pair of jeans or one of Aunt Dot’s frilly slips, drying in the sun.
“Why do you always draw clothes?” he would ask.
“Things are prettier in my head,” she would say, her eyes fixed on the paper.
Amos never developed a hand for art but he could lose himself in that first sip of whiskey. Bourbon brought him to his mother’s smoky, charcoal-stained fingers and the stillness of those summer days. Whiskey brought him silence but for the August breeze rustling the trees or the distant bark of a dog.
It never lasts though. When he opens his eyes, Hattie is still there, chewing on her pencil. Twenty years of marriage hasn’t taught Amos much about love. He’s learned plenty about hate though. He hates the way she plays word jumble at the dinner table, while a cigarette burns in the ashtray and her dinner grows cold, and how her shit always smells faintly of coconut. He hates how she warms her ice cold feet against his legs when she crawls into their bed and the feel of her dry, calloused fingers on his cock. And he can’t stand the way she blathers at him while she’s brushing her teeth and her long searching looks as he descends the basement stairs to work on his dioramas. But mostly, Amos just hates himself, for not having decency to tell Hattie how he feels or the courage to leave her.
Hattie slaps her hand against the table.
I got it!” she exclaims, her eyes still on the newspaper. ”Serendipity!”
Amos reaches for the bottle of Old Grand Dad as he gets up from the table and walks to the basement door.
©2017 gibson grand