On the way to my grandmother’s wake, my father took me on a detour by his house. On his way to change, he said to me, “Why don’t you pour us a drink.” Removing his tie, he added, “Use the good glasses.”
I perilously removed my mother’s gleeming Crystal rocks glasses. In all these years, this was the first time I even touched them. My dad made his usual hand signal known as Igor’s Two Fingers. It kinda looks like a Rock On sign turned sideways to denote his desire that I pour “Two Fingers” of whiskey in each glass.
I should note this is different than bartending Two Fingers, which generally denoted the index and middle digit representing a typical ounce in standard rocks glass. No. Igor’s Two Fingers meant pour between the index and the pinky. Yikes. Ok. Wow.
I remember being so careful putting the ice in the fragile glasses. 3 half moons made by the freezer. Approximately 3/4 of an inch thick. I pulled out the barrel of Crown. Removed its purple sleeping bag. And I poured us both Two Fingers.
About this time Big Daddy returned, dressed more for the blistering heat, for there was about to be some smokin’, drinkin’, confessin’, and lamentin’ abouta go down.
He sauntered up to the table, and viewing my proximity to the Soda bottle next to me, he very clearly said, (with words I had never heard him utter), “You’re not gonna fuck that up with Sprite are you?”
With a proud but quivering lip, I boldly responded, “No sir.”
I trusted him without, beyond any doubt. I did not believe in any way, that everything he told me, was anything less than the way it should be. He was my God. He was my Buddha. And if he says don’t mix whiskey, well, I am not going to. In ten years, I never have. Funny enough, even though I rarely understood or fully grasped his lessons in the moment, I always find them to ring true in the long run.
We went on to the back porch. Smoked and drank. Cooled off. He lectured me on Liquor, but as usual, what he was talking about had little to do with what he was trying to teach me.
All I could think, was man, I am gonna have to get a lot tougher to do this man’s legacy justice. And I did. Even more so when he passed. What he taught me is to keep it simple. Don’t trade present sweetness for latter misery. Take it slow. Choose quality over quantity. Yes, all from learning how to drink whiskey straight.
Its funny how one moment can change your life forever. One curse word. Oh how I love it.
Bushmills, three cubes (depending on the cubes, of course) Two Fingers.