by Gregory Kane
I sip the first. Bourbon, neat. Oak and caramel, swirling amber against glass. I sip and mingle, savoring the burn. I exchange pleasantries. I say, How have you been?
The glass empties.
I sip the second. A spirited conversation. Can you believe it? I kiss wife on the cheek, smile, wink. I glance at my glass.
I sip the third and fourth. Perhaps sip isn’t right. What’s larger than a sip but smaller than a gulp? Swallow? Swill?
I gulp the fifth and sixth. Funny looks from the guests. I slur a story. I try to slow down, pronouncing each word just right. They come out wrong anyway.
Another. Wife whispers I should slow down.
I lose my temper. Throw my glass to the floor.
She lowers her eyes.
The party stops. They all look.
The spotlight. Again.
My solo always comes in the second act.
Gregory Kane’s short fiction has been published in Apiary Magazine and Philadelphia Stories. He lives outside Philadelphia with his wife and daughter. Follow him on Twitter: @GregoryAKane.