Can't Hold The Whiskey

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Man is sitting at the bar, debating whether or not he wants to keep drinking.

Submitted: September 19, 2016

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Submitted: September 19, 2016



It's Monday night.

Early in the week. Bad day at work. In fact it was pretty awful. Boss decided to start yelling that the company is falling behind in sales and revenue. Decides to highlight people he feels is responsible. Who does he point at first?


Says I haven't been up to par lately. I have had what he calls, "A good run of bad luck." Knows that I have the potential and have succeeded before numerous times. Wants me to do it again. Asks if he thinks I can handle it. Me. I can handle it. I am the best salesman in the company. I have outsold everyone 12 to 1. Hell, I have even taught the boss all he knows. That bastard asks me if I can handle it.

Screw him.

I get home in a foul mood. I figure I can see the Wife. She might cheer me up. In fact, I know she will. She is the greatest in the whole wide world. If anyone can cheer me up, it's my one and only special gal. The greatest in the whole wide world.

I open the door and see she's upset. I pause for a moment, waiting before I respond. She looks at me. Asks if I have anything to say for myself. I look at her. She waits. We are at an impasse. After five, maybe seven seconds, she tells me what is wrong. It is that I haven't been home at a decent hour. I shake my head. Same old arguement. I look at her and smile, trying to bury the foul mood. I ask what exactly is wrong. I mentioned that I told her I was working late tonight. What is wrong?

It turns out that I forgot about Couple's night. 

Couple's night. What an awful concept. The wife and I pal around with a couple from the neighborhood. It is awkward in the suburbs when couples interact with one another. There is a silent competition that goes on between the men and women, respectively. You never can identify a winner. I look at the wife, apologize and try to come up with some excuse. I go with an old standby:

I thought it was next week.

She glares. She gets ready to yell. Well, I am not gonna listen to it tonight. I can usually put up with it and do, but not now. Not after how the day was at the office. I turn around and head for my car. She is stunned for a second, but follows me. Starts asking where I am going. I turn and look at her. I love her and want to be honest. But for once, I am not gonna play by the rules. I just get in the car and drive away.

I look out the mirror and see her standing there. Stunned and in disbelief. Doesn't that mean the same thing? It doesn't matter. I drive for a while, listening to the music on the radio. Most inappropriate song is on, due to my mood. "Life's Been Good" by Joe Walsh. I shake my head, but don't bother changing the station. I continue my drive until I find the closest bar. Ten minutes later, I pulled into a bar called "Big's Saloon".

I got out of the car and made a beeline for the door. I hurry in and find a stool. The bartender is a big biker looking character. He looks at me. I say Coors. He walks over and grabs a bottle. I hand the money and tell him to keep the change. His attitude doesn't change. I drink the bottle and take a look around. I walked into a biker bar. It was tough and brutal. The scent smelled of testoterone and bloody knuckles. 

I sat for a while, drinking and drinking more. I didn't want to pace myself. It just didn't matter. I wanted to erase the day. I pounded back Coors like I was back in College. Through the hazy eyes and slurred speech, I could kind of detect a crowd around me. It didn't matter. I just kept going. 

After an hour, I asked the bartender for a bottle of Jack Daniels. He nodded and grabbed a bottle of Whiskey and handed it too me. I opened it and poured some into the nearest glass. The whiskey had a strong scent. It gave me goosebumps all over my body. As I took a sip I felt my body start to shake. The whiskey was strong. It almost felt like a wakeup call. 

Why was I drinking like this? What was I trying to prove? I clearly wasn't a young man anymore. So I had a bad at work. There had to be a better way for getting over a bad day than drinking. But here I was. Pounding them back as if I was in a Fraternity party. I put the whiskey down and stared at the glass. There was still half a glass worth of whiskey left. My focus was hazy and I started to feel wobbly.

The bartender is saying something to me, but I can't hear him. I start to stand up, but my balance isn't there. I see a couple of people walk over and start to carry me. I feel them lift me and the strange sensation that life was moving in fast forward. I felt the fresh air as they sat me down. After I sat for a few minutes I heard a car pull up close to me. The noise was too loud and I covered my ears. I heard a door open and I started to yell. I felt someone standing over me.

It turned out to be my wife.

She couldn't believe that I ended up in a place like this. She tries to pull me up. I start randomly singing. I could hear her start to laugh. I was still woozy and wobbly. I ended up in the car. Still singing and wobbly. Buckled up. All though I couldn't say it, I was thinking that tonight was not the best idea. I knew that it was OK to cut loose, but not to over do it. If you stick to beer, you are usually gonna be fine. But when it comes to whiskey, nothing good comes from it. 

© Copyright 2018 Robert Logan. All rights reserved.

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