by underswansea


He stepped closer like the four one one he was going to give me was not just important but privileged. His breath was full of booze; bad booze. His stubble rolled like a graying prickly field over burnt land that wobbled and gobbled down his gizzard.

He said, “It won’t be long now. They are coming for us, you know.”

“Who,” I said.

He stepped back and raised his voice, “The pioneers of the cosmos.”

A good name for an electronic dance music disc jockey, I thought.

“What’s you drinking?” I said.

He lifted the jug and passed it: Andres Canadian Medium Dry Sherry.

I hadn’t had a drink for a while. But never said I quit.

The first slug brought back memories, sweet syrup with a kick. I remembered back when we were kids we used to lift it off the drunks when they were asleep. Sometimes the caps were off the bottle. Wasps and bees used to get in and drown in the jug. We would dare each other to eat the bugs after we’d drained the bottle. This was before we even imagined there would be a worm in mezcal. Booze was easy after that.

I gulped again.

“The pioneers of the cosmos are coming,” I said.

“Fucking rights,” he said.

We were on guard. The only two who knew. And for the first time in a long time, everything was right with the world.