The Orion

My first time in the liquor store

Miles Inserra

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Illustration by Miles Huffman

I feel like I look my age.

Yet every cashier at every liquor store in town eyes me like I’m a student at Chico High as I roll up to the counter hands full of 32 0z Corona Familiars.

I want to act my age but Ray’s stink eye stimulates symptoms of Parkinson’s through my fingertips. My hands tremble at the thought of showing my entirely valid California driver’s license to the man behind the register.

I thought Tony’s display of fake IDs would cease to intimidate me as I made it to the golden age, 21. But my modern license is vertical and nobody trusts a vertical license.

It is guilty until proven innocent with these people.

At this point, I keep my ID on deck ready to hand it over before they ask to check. Except I toss it to the counter. If it remains in my shivering grip too long I face an inquiry as to my nervous habit.

“I just turned 21,” I recite each and every time the liquor store becomes an interrogation room.

Wait . . . maybe that is why they always question me . . .

I am a skinny student who appears skinnier due to oversized shirts. I always buy beer in my slippers. I have no facial hair. And I just turned 21.

OK. I understand their skepticism.

Touché Tony and Ray.

Miles Inserra can be reached at [email protected] or @m_inserra on Twitter.

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My first time in the liquor store