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The last time I saw my grandfather he asked me to pour him a drink. Scotch he said, pointing over to the bookshelf. He was propped up on his bed, pillows under his back, his lank arms dangling. It was dark. The nurse had stepped out for a smoke. My older brother wouldn’t be here for another hour. I was scared. I knew my grandfather, knew he was a kind man but had a temper, knew he had attended AA since before I was born. I overheard him once, talking about how booze was for the weak. Called it a wicked sauce for wicked fools.

Right there, he said, third shelf down. I reached behind the blue spines of a set of Prousts and pulled out a bottle of J&B. It was half full, the green of the bottle dusty, the label brittle yellow. By the time I brought it back my grandfather was sleeping. I poured some anyway into his glass. I thought about how some thirsts are insatiable. And I had my first drink and hopefully my last.