You may have found you can get away with knowing nothing about wine, that you can call mulligan on that one and still get by. But liquor feels different, and so you pick one drink to order everywhere you go, like you’re James Bond or a cowboy. And you look down the bar and your ten-year-old self is sitting there shaking his head at how much of a phony you’ve become, and you want to say to him, You don’t understand; it gets complicated. You want to explain that adulthood is something of an insult that prompts the whiskey in the first place. Who knew that you had to live with yourself in your own head for such a long time? Alcohol seems to soften the intensity of that fact. Great writers have articulated this same truth, and have dealt with the condition by turning to drink. So you look at your younger self and shrug. He’ll understand soon enough. And who let him in the bar anyway?
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