by Paul Germano
Roy Samanski loosens his necktie, pours himself a Bourbon on the rocks and downs it so quick the ice never gets the chance to melt. He’s got one year, seven months and eleven days to go, before his eligibility kicks in for full Social Security retirement benefits and he has no intentions of applying early and collecting less. He’s put in the years and he wants every cent he’s entitled to.
Roy used to practice the gentlemanly habit of nursing his Bourbon, savoring the flavor as it chills over ice, taking slow, almost erotic sips of the dark brew. But not anymore, not after day-in and day-out with the asshats he works with, one more stupid than the next. He pours himself another glass and downs it in a New York minute.
His wife walks in, surprised to see him. “Didn’t hear you come in, how long have you been home?” He grunts an answer and refills his glass; the ice cubes are still solid. She watches him gulp down his drink and raises a disapproving eyebrow. “Rough day?” she asks, already knowing the answer. He sours his face.
“I didn’t have much fun at work today either,” she says in a sympathetic voice. He offers to pour her a glass. “No thanks, got the tea kettle on the stove.” She twists her lips. “You can always opt for early Social Security. At this point, it’s not going to make much difference moneywise.” He grunts, pours another drink, downs it quick and stifles a burp. In the distance, the tea kettle whistles. She pats his shoulder and leaves the room.
Roy pours more Bourbon, draining the bottle dry. “Goddammit,” he grunts, glaring at the empty bottle. He downs his drink in a hurry and starts chewing on the ice.
* * *
Paul Germano lives in Syracuse, smack dab in the center of New York State. His fiction has been published in roughly 40 print and online magazines including Boston Literary Magazine, The Drabble, Flash in a Flash, Foliate Oak, Free Flash Fiction and Microfiction Monday Magazine.