Story Shots: Tequila

A shot of tequila is always served with a little something on the side. Before the bartender pours the shot, he or she usually pulls out a saltshaker and puts a slice of lime down on the small square napkin on the bar in front of your seat. The bartender can now concentrate on pouring the perfect, one-ounce shot. The perfect one-ounce pour is four counts with the bottle at a sixty degree angle. One, two, three, four, and then the bottle is turned upright. If the bartender is fishing for tips or not very good at counting, you might get an extra half second in there, which means you get a little more bang for your buck. But tequila comes with more than salt, a napkin, and a lime. Tequila always comes with a story or two. In the length of that four-count pour, memories start to flow just as the amber liquid escapes the bottle, landing in that tiny glass.

(Credit: Mike’s Liquors)

     “There’s a worm in it.” I tap the square bottle tentatively.
     “Yeah, all good tequila has that. That’s how you know it’s good,” she tells me as she takes a swig. She passes it to the supplier and he takes a gulp. Not to be outdone, I take the bottle and gulp. I nearly vomit, but manage to swallow the hot liquor with stomach acid. We sprawl out on the blanket she packed and watch the clouds form blobs in the sky as our eyes become crossed. We laugh as we light up a cigarette to share and ask each other to share personal secrets. He scoots close to me and I slide away. She takes my place. Before we finish the last drops of hell, the bell rings.
     “Crap. I gotta get to my AP Bio class. I’ll see you guys later.” And I depart.

By Nicole Neitzke

     As my mind began to catch up with my waking, achy body, I remembered small parts of the night before; I remembered taking at least two tequila shots accompanied by salt and lime, but however many consecutive shots—three, four, five…who knows–the limes had run out, and I was chasing them with shots of soda. In England, a lime shortage didn’t stop our consumption of tequila, and one pound tequila night at Chilli Whites was always extremely drunken for all in attendance; no one ever remembered Thursday nights. Most mornings after drinking were difficult, but this morning in particular was exceptionally painful. I rolled over from my stomach to my back, and as I did so, a throbbing pain overwhelmed my entire body, but started at my bum. I rose from bed—with difficulty—and walked to the full length mirror across the room. When I pulled my pants down to see my bare bum, I had to put my glasses on to see the shockingly wild colors I could make out across my bum. With my glasses on, I saw the watercolor painting bruise that spread across the entirety of my right cheek, and the memory came back in a drunken whirl: I had fallen down the stairs at Chilli Whites–not just once, but twice. It felt like a dream, but the bruise on my bum proved it had indeed happened.

By Allison Bellows

     “We don’t have a blender or ice,” I pointed out. He wanted to make margaritas. We had the tequila—and a hell of a lot more—and the mix. I told my parents I was at church camp, and we all pitched in to rent a cabin in the mountain.
     “Hang on,” he replied. “I have an idea.” He opened up a nearby cabinet and reached inside, grabbing a mixing bowl. I followed him as he headed out of the cabin, where he dumped the bowl, face down, into the snow. Careful to avoid twigs and dirt, he scooped the ice into the bowl, packing it down with his hands. I returned to the living room, where Aaron and Tyler sat watching Family Guy reruns and passing a joint back and forth. I joined them. The fire roared nearby. I forgot for a moment where we were. Really, we could have been anywhere. We could have been back at home, sitting in our own living rooms, but I couldn’t picture it. Not this version of us. After a few moments, Chris also joined us, holding a cup in each hand. One for him, and one for me. He turned toward Aaron and Tyler. “There’s margaritas in the kitchen.”
     “What kind?” Chris looked back in my direction and smiled.

By Melanie Figueroa

     Every messy divorce story I know is laced with tequila. He was my friend from the internet. Yes, one of those kinds of friends. We’d go to concerts together. That night was a Bad Religion concert—one of my all-time favorite bands, and that night was also his last night in California before he left for Texas to get married. He had had too much tequila. We had been invited to the after party by the bass player, Jay Bentley. I was excited. My friend had thrown up on the bar right after the concert was over. The bartender wasn’t happy. We got kicked out. Jay Bentley wasn’t there to save us. A few years later, my internet friend came back to California. His second marriage didn’t work out. From what I hear, she’s still really angry. While my internet friend was still off in Texas being married, I had two friends from high school that were getting married. They were the slower kids, but very pleasant to be around, and kind. The father of the bride and I drank a lot of tequila together. He had an open bar at the reception. He drank because he was happy. He drank because his daughter had married her high school sweetheart. I often wonder if he drank after their divorce, when the groom came out of the closet and the bride decided she didn’t want to live a lie. They were catholic. Her father thought she’d be married for life and they had split up after only a few short years. He probably wishes he hadn’t shared so much of his good tequila at the reception.

By Amanda Riggle


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