Tater found Kent on the sofa, curled up with his knees to his chest. Anyone else might have thought he was sleeping, but Tater knew him better than that. He could see the slight hitch in the rise and fall of Kent’s chest.
It had been a long day. The Falconers had a long weekend off, but the Aces had played two in a row, including that night. It was Thanksgiving. Tater had been in the States long enough to participate in the tradition of over-eating, and a lot of pie, and people watching football and family arguments.
Kent had been dragged by several players over the years, from Snowy’s overly-enthusiastic family who spoke mostly Greek, to Thirdy’s family get-togethers which made his six bedroom house seem small. The year before Alexei had been invited with Jack to what they’d lovingly described as Hausgiving, the hockey player frat house with mostly pie, a small turkey, sides, and a lot of strangely flavoured liquor which was, of all things, green.
This year, however, was different. This year Tater was in love, and his boyfriend had invited him across the country, “You know, like…if you feel like it. I mean if you have plans, I totally understand and…”
“Kenny,” Tater interrupted softly, “I’m want to see you. I’m book ticket right now. Come spend night with you.”
“No one really needs me,” he says, and there’s no self-pity in his voice. It’s true his family doesn’t need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me. “I do,” I say. “I need you.”
You hadn’t started off that night aiming to get drunk, but when Charles and Erik had left the mansion- leaving the lot of you alone- then Sean had discovered the liquor cabinet and…well here you are.
Someone suggested at one point that you should play Spin the Bottle. After an immensity of drunken arguing, the lot of you (Sean, Raven, Hank, Alex, Angel, Darwin and you) had finally decided to play.
It was Darwin’s turn now, and everyone was watching the bottle spin.
Judging by the intense fascination of the blurring glass, everyone else was pretty tipsy too. But it seemed Hank could actually hold his liquor pretty well, because you’d made sure he drank just the same as the rest of you and he was still rather with it. Sean on the other hand…well…
The bottle finally started to slow down and the neck of the bottle was pointing at Angel.
With a shrug, Angel pulled herself up to her knees and pulled Darwin in by his neck, locking his mouth in a kiss.
It didn’t last long and before you knew it, everyone was looking at you for your turn. Dutifully, you reached for the bottle and spun it.
Either there was someone up there looking down at you or the world was just out to get you. Gods, you had the biggest crush on the stunning boy, but how awkward would a kiss be? You’d only just managed to claw your way into an easy and comfortable friendship with the ex-con.
But, almost nonchalantly, the particular leant forwards, slid his hand into your hair and captured your lips in a kiss.
It was nice, chaste.
Well, until you let out a small groan and he delved into your mouth with a passionate tongue. You felt his teeth graze along your lower lip and sucked on his tongue as you felt his long, deft fingers card through your hair and grip tightly.
Letting out a little gasp, Alex broke apart from you for a second, gazing into your eyes with his steely blue irises.
If Raven hadn’t pointedly cleared her throat uncomfortably, you might have lost yourself in those stormy blues…
As the game continued, he stretched behind you to grab another bottle of beer, whispering in your ear discreetly, “We’ll be finishing that later.”
Ah I was just thinking you know how NYC was supposed to get a blizzard this week but it ended up being not as bad? What if it was opposite and it wasn't supposed to be that bad and ended up a blizzard and you and Niall were snowed in together in your hotel room...ah I would love that
that….would be amazing and wonderful and maybe a bit scary but niall would be there with you and omg you’d be SO bored and you’d fuck so many times bc literally there is NOTHING else to do and he’s like “eh well now we can try out that new little thing you wanted to do, yeah?” and he’d wake you up inthe middle of the night to make love to you even though you literally havent gone two hours without him being inside you, but at that point its almost a need for him and its just all room service and naked cuddles and rented movies and lots of liquor haha what a dream.
One night I bought some scratch tickets at a liquor store
She was sitting in the passenger seat, looking torn up and beaten down by the biggest adversary we all come to face – reality. She had picked up and moved two states away from her family as well as everything she had ever known. She was living her dream until she had to face the real world, where money isn’t easy to make and everything costs more than we have. It killed me to see her so low. I would’ve done anything to make her smile, to see those pale blue eyes light up again. I pulled into this parking lot, a liquor store up the hill from my house. I got out and went inside, told her to come with me. I walked up to the case where all of the scratch tickets were kept and said that we’d each get one. She chose ‘The Price is Right’ and I stuck with 'The Lucky 5’s’. She asked me why we were doing this and I told her, “You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.” We went back out to the car, turned on the overhead lights, and began to scratch away. I made back my money plus $5, but she wasn’t so lucky. This didn’t make matters any better for her, so I decided we’d give it one more try. She began scraping away at each spot on the card. $5, $10,$15, all the way to $50. She looked up at me and smiled. The most sincere smile you’d ever see, filled with such gratitude, joy and excitement. Her reaction would’ve made you think she’d just hit the jackpot. And in her mind, she did. See, that’s one of the qualities that made me fall for her. She can find happiness in almost anything, even when she’s at rock bottom. After she had claimed her prize, I drove her home. On the way back we listened to our favorite songs, our fingers perfectly intertwined. Even though everything seemed to be going wrong at the time, it felt like nothing could touch us in that moment. All that mattered was that we were together, and that thought made it all seem okay.
One night I bought some scratch tickets at a liquor store.
Love today feels closer to the lotto than the corner liquor store parking lot at 4am high off the touch of your skin. To think I would’ve even voluntarily been awake before the sun feels closer to that anomaly too. And then I meet you. I grow closer to you. And I fall and I fall—trying so hard not to, trying so hard not to pave a path for any more hurt—and then I pick myself up for you, every time. With a braver heart I never knew I had, with a ‘try again,’ begging from my back pocket. See, because you smile and I forget everything but your lips. You smile, and it breaks into mine and all of a sudden I am laughing and holding you and I am not afraid of anything. For the first time. Love today feels closer to the sleep-warmed angel beneath my hands while we rest than any game I’ve ever tried playing in the past. Here with you, love today feels like the biggest win of my life.
okay! I’ve been stealing bottles of alcohol from grocery stores for about a year and I think my tips could be useful
1• be familiar with the grocery store. please do not walk into a store that u have never been in before and try to lift. this is just not smart for anything.
2• have a buddy. it’s comforting to have a friend with you for moral support and a second body can make a useful blind spot. liquor isles usually have a lot of cameras so this is ur best bet.
3• be quick! SAs notice almost right away that teenagers are probably planning to steal bottles when they are in the booze isle. so u can’t be too picky with what u get. just grab what isn’t capped usually this would be Smirnoff or McCallibers. leave the store as fast as possible with out basically sprinting out. be calm and casual because if u are still in the store they will find, chase, and bust you.
4• Have a way to hide the bottle well. if your a girl a purse is of course and option. if ur a guy or u don’t have a fit purse/ purses don’t fit ur gender normalities my friend wears a sweat shirt/hoodie (not as sus in fall and winter because it’s cold anyway) and tucks the bottle into his waist band of his pants and hides the bottle under the sweatshirt
5• Make sure the store your at doesn’t have an individual small liquor store. I know some grocery stores do like Hyvee (this store might be exclusive to my region) and some Krogers. honestly Krogers is the best best bet but make sure that you know for sure u won’t be approached.
Good luck and Drink Responsibly!!!
You had planned this for weeks now. Practicing every night Sonny wasn’t at your apartment or when you had enough free time to do so.
During one of your girl’s nights with Bella, she mentioned that Sonny’s birthday was coming up. As this would be your first birthday you celebrated together since you started dating, you wanting to make it special. So you asked her what was some of Sonny’s favorite dishes were. She happily listed them off for you, giddy that you and her brother were getting along so well.
You decided on the Lasagna Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce for the main dish. Bella had mentioned that it was a favorite of all the siblings when they were kids. And dessert would be Italian Rum Cake because Sonny and Bella’s Nonna enjoyed cooking with liquor a lot.
But there was one major problem with all this.
You were a terrible cook.
It was a miracle you made it this far in life at all with your bland cooking skills.
Which was why you practiced as much as possible. You read magazines at the local bookstore about cooking techniques (even bought a few books), watched several dozen YouTube videos, and maybe, just maybe, attended an Italian cooking class or two to get the basics down.
Even though you had tried night after night, your results were less than spectacular. The outcome was okay at best. But you had to admit, nothing was burned, and it was cooked all the way through but it didn’t quite look right and didn’t probably taste as good as Sonny’s mom’s cooking.
If you didn’t accidentally give him food poisoning, he’ll still love you. He had to.
Though the real problem was that blasted Italian Rum Cake. There were so many steps. Like, a ridiculous amount. Sponge cake, pastry cream, pasticciera cream, rum syrup, corn syrup, gelatin. And those were all separate recipes just for the ingredients!
So you folded. And called Sonny’s mother.
And she was ecstatic and told you to come to Staten Island for a personal tutoring experience. But by the time you got to the rum syrup, you broke down and started gushing out how you could never live up to this and there was no way you could do this without her.
So Sonny’s mother did the next best thing for you: she used the ingredients you had made so far and made the cake herself. And that you were to take it home and say that you made it with no help.
If Sonny ever asked to marry you, you were going to be extremely grateful that this woman was going to be your mother-in-law.
Once Leap Day came around, you called Sonny and told him to come to your place after work to celebrate his “ninth birthday.” Sonny laughed at your terrible joke and agreed to be there as soon as he could.
“Are these lasagna rolls, doll?” Sonny asked excitedly. “I haven’t had these since I was a kid.”
“Well dig in, birthday boy.” You said even though your nerves were standing on end.
Sonny did as you said. After his first bite, he gave you a big smile. “This is so great! You made this all by yourself?”
“Yeah. Does it taste good?” You asked again, wringing your hands.
Sonny paid attention to your body language a bit more after that question. You were nervous. You didn’t think the food was up to his standards. “Doll, the food is amazing.” He answered honestly. “And the fact you made it, makes it even better. What more could a guy ask for?”
You visibly brightened at that and finally dug into your meal as well.
Once done, you took the plates and told him there was dessert too. “There’s more?” Sonny asked, pleasantly surprised.
“Of course! And it’s the most important!” You answered, carefully placing the rum cake in front of him, nine candles lit up on it. “Buon compleanno, Sonny.” You said still standing up. You bit your bottom lip while looking down at him. “Ti amo amore mio tanti. Tanti auguri.”
Sonny looked at you in wonder. You made him an Italian meal, complete with dessert, when you had very little cooking skills and even memorized some Italian for him. What had he done to deserve someone like you? He stood up, ignoring the cake in favor of grabbing your face to kiss you.
Pulling away, your face had turned a pretty pink. “You’re suppose to blow out the candles.” You quipped. “Unless I said something completely different than what I thought.”
Sonny grinned even wider at you. “No, doll. Every you’ve done tonight was perfect. Thank you.”
You giggled shyly, looking down not being able to handle how lovingly he was looking at you. Sonny moved you both down to sit and blew out his candles. As you cut the cake Sonny made a mental note to thank his Ma for helping you make the cake. He recognized that frosting anywhere.
Jim Dingilian is one of those rare artists who stretch the limits of creativity with their amazing creations. He uses candle smoke to paint picture-perfect images on the inside of empty bottles.
After laying a coat of soot on the lining of the bottles, the artist wipes and etches away with skewers and needles to construct the meticulously defined landscapes.
“The miniature scenes I depict are of locations on the edge of suburbia which seem mysterious or even slightly menacing despite their commonplace nature. The bottles add to the implied narratives of transgression. When found by the sides of roads or in the weeds near the edges of parking lots, empty liquor bottles are artefacts of consumption, delight, or dread. As art objects, they become hourglasses of sorts, their drained interiors now inhabited by dim memories” Jim Dingilian says about his art.