Jacob knew better than to order whiskey on the rocks in this city, but he'd ordered it tonight. In no time, a stubborn layer of water floated above his booze, swirling lazily where the two liquids tried to blend.
(more) In a clearer moment, he would have admitted to himself that he liked his whiskey cut with water, that he always let the ice melt.
But the point of whiskey was to eliminate clearer moments.
A bead of condensation slipped down the cloudy glass and settled into the napkin. The air in the city this time of year was thick with moisture desperate to find purchase on a rocks glass. It was the only time of year something was thicker than the desperation.
Jacob toyed daily with the idea of leaving the city for ... somewhere else. Anywhere else. He could apply for papers, say he'd found work across the bay -- hell, he'd sneak out if he had to. It wasn't as if he planned on coming back. There was nothing here for him but whiskey filled with water.
He swirled the glass, forcing the water to invade the whiskey in slow tendrils. He took a long sip; the water stopped it from burning.
And that was just it. The air hanging heavy over the city kept it from burning. It hadn't burned in a long, long time.
Jacob pushed aside what remained of his whiskey and left a few tattered bills in the ring of damp that had seeped through the napkin. Outside, the humidity clung to his skin instantly.
He pawed it off of the back of his neck. Not anymore.
He headed north, toward his apartment. He'd pick up a few things and head for the border station .