What Your Drink Says About You by Josey Rose Duncan

What Your Drink Says About You 


Your drink:

Swigs of George Dickel bourbon, straight from the bottle.

It’s August 23rd, 2005, just before midnight, and you’re at a Clarkie kegger in the Southwest Portland hills. And you feel like you don’t belong here because everyone is like, way preppier than anyone you’d normally choose to party with. Or maybe because you are uncomfortably high on speedy, stepped-on blow and your mouth feels like fucking sand, and you think beer is gross, and all you have to drink is this bottle of George Dickel bourbon.

But Kyle drove you and your boyfriend — who is from Florida and smokes like, actually, way too much weed, and subscribes to way too many newsletters about chem-trails, as if one wasn’t already too many. And who you should never have dated in the first place because he doesn’t really like you, either.

And, because you found a bloody molar on the floor behind the toilet in the bathroom of the place on Woodstock he just moved into last week, and no one else who lives there knows anything about anyone losing a tooth in their house. And you check, and all his housemates’ mouths are still full of teeth; so you ask them about the bloody tooth you’d touched, with the actual bare flesh of your hand, and they shrug, as if housemates’ girlfriends find errant teeth on the floor behind their toilet all the time.

And you don’t have a good time at the party, because no one likes your jokes. Or maybe because no one else is upset about the tooth and that makes you realize someone is lying.

What your drink says about you:

Look at you, social butterfly! You’re a rebel with a heart of gold. Get ready for a surprise invitation to that stoner ex-boyfriend’s new-wife-you’ve-never-met’s baby shower in 2020. And yes, you will feel a little bad about writing this.



Your drink:

An espresso martini with half a heart and Her first initial, “M,” drawn in chocolate by Her 21-year-old sister, who is a novice bartender at an upscale diner in downtown Pleasant Hill, which inexplicably has a full bar and specializes in espresso martinis. Which you pretend to like, because She brought you here, and it’s your first official date, which was your idea, when you were drunk, and which everyone seemed to coo over more than Her. And during which you each post a heavily-filtered photo of the two of you to Instagram (Valencia and Nashville, respectively), and then Facebook, and which elicits swooning awwws, and likes; and which makes you feel like a liar, because you know after your date She is going to spend the night at The Boy’s house in Santa Cruz, who she’s been texting this whole time, for a good reason you’d be a jerk to be mad about. But there will always be a good reason why she posts pictures of you on Instagram but still texts boys while you drink espresso martinis in the ‘burbs together. And you wonder: Whether you are getting more fucked-up off the corn syrup in the espresso liquor and the vanilla flavoring in the vanilla vodka, then the vodka itself.

And you wonder why you fall for straight girls. And even more than that, why they pretend to fall for you.

What your drink says about you:

You tend to go with the flow and don’t like to make waves. And what we mean by that is: After the first ten tabs, after that spaceship landed on Lake Lagunitas — the Earth whispered at your feet; wrote poems with smooth, shaking pebbles. And ever since then, you’ve been waiting for the lesson.


What does your drink say about you


Josey Rose Duncan’s writing has been featured in publications such as Unbroken Journal and The Huffington Post, and is forthcoming in the anthology Love is the Drug & Other Dark Poems. She’s read her poetry and fiction at many series including Litquake, Red Light Lit, Literary Speakeasy, and Bay Area Generations, and served six years on Quiet Lightning’s board. Josey grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives in Los Angeles. joseyduncan.com


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