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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 2, June 2015


Glenn G. Coats
Prospect, Virginia, USA


Twilight. My father is asleep on the couch when I open the cabinet above the stove, careful not to clink the glass as I take down one bottle at a time. I pour a little Johnny Walker into the jar, some Jack Daniels, a splash of Seagram’s 7 and Canadian Club. He will never notice the difference. I seal the lid on tight and hide the jar outside.

An hour later. My father is awake on the couch. I tell him that I am going to the dance at Turntable and I am spending the night at Chris’s house—his grandparents don’t mind.

Chris and I meet halfway between our houses where each of us has a jar of blended whiskey. In the shadows of trees, we chug down every drop then walk to the highway, try to hitch a ride. “Don’t open your mouth if someone picks us up,” Chris says. “They will know for sure.”

Midnight. I am out on the dance floor with Nancy when someone taps my shoulder and says my old man is here. I see him near the door—tallest man in the place. Chris and I get in the backseat and my father tells us that he ran into Chris’s grandparents and how our stories didn’t match up. He knows about the liquor. At home, he tells us to sit outside—think about what we have done.

wet snow
I cup my hands
around the match



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