Mr. Boston directs adventurous single men to mix one ounce coffee spirits with two of vodka and drown them in a fist of milk or half-and-half, and my father did, as adventurous as the tsarist aristos who’d given their name to his new girlfriend’s favorite drink. If they’d been as sneaky about their sedition as my stepmother was about how much she was drinking, they could have lived alongside the Reds for years, probably. The White Guard hid, when they hid, in big houses where my stepmother secretly drank cloudy cocktails. They sipped dreams no dialectic informed, intoxicated by the bravery of their refusals to give in. But the body rebels, too; after years of drink, punished blood slips from vessels the way Red Army soldiers broke the Tsarists’ lines, flooding the white spaces between my stepmother’s skull and gray matter, pushing her to her knees in surrender, and then to a death as final as any revolutionary council.
Matt Dube has had stories and essays in KQ, Boiler Journal, Essay Daily, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing and American Lit at a small mid-Missouri University, and is fiction editor for the online journal H_NGM_N. @matthewdube