with a splash and a twist,” she called approaching the bar. The cocktail was waiting for her by the time she’d slid her tray on the deck. That’s how it was done back-in-the-day. The “day” was the night, Glendale, Colorado, 1975. The Warehouse Dinner Theater. She was from Texas. And I wonder still …
As she made the call I reached for a heavy-bottomed rock glass, neatly stacked to my right on the bar. I snatched the glass and flipped it to my left-hand as I scooped up the silver, slick, ice-scoop with my right. Filling the glass with ice and setting it on the brown, rubber spill-guard, my right arm dropped to the speed rack and throttled the neck of a bottle. Dark, Kentucky whiskey.
In a flash I poured an ounce and a half over the ice, plucked the soda-gun from its holster with my left hand, then tapped a button and splashed a dash of water into the drink.
Subsequently, I snatched a twist of lemon from the garnish-tray, twisted the lemon tightly, rimmed it ’round the edge of the glass, then dropped that twisted lemon into that dark drink. Finally, I took a barber-poled, swizzle-stick from a high-ball glass and slid it between the ice.
Iced-cubes chilling whiskey. Nice. Neat. Cool.
Sweet. Ready. Next.
She landed softly with a smile. I nodded. She raised her eyebrows, picked up the drink, and slid away into the fog. A dark, smokey room I couldn’t see.
On the stage, Waylon Jennings plucked the first strings of his guitar. Honky Tonk Heroes.
Later On (October, 2022)
I wonder about her. What might have been? If “things” were different.
When I drink dark whiskey … sometimes I think of her.