Drinking It All In by Doris Dembosky

At 6-foot 2-inches in her stocking feet, Mildred was noticeably tall. In her stacked heel Oxfords, she was taller yet. By the time I met her, Mildred was angular, hard-edged, and in her late 40s. She wasn’t one for friendships, but as her next door neighbor, I knew her better than most.

Mildred was not much of a drinker. Maybe she’d have a sip of sherry before lunch just to stimulate her appetite. Maybe she’d have a tot of whisky before bed to help her sleep. Maybe she’d have a social drink over the holidays, but as she often said, “I really don’t drink.”

When Mildred did drink, she was a lot more fun. Her flushed face seemed friendlier; her judgmental eyes kinder; her brittle self… softer.

Just one sip and Mildred was ready to shrug off her ever-constant cardigan and smooth her dress down over her hips.

A second drink would see her reaching out to strangers, drawing them close and confidentially cooing, “Call me Millie.” Her tight, beauty parlor curls seemed to have more bounce. Her blunt hands appeared more girlish.

At two drinks, anything was possible. Kneeling at the altar rail, she was liable to wink at the priest as he served communion. Later in the church fellowship hall, she’d be quoting the New Testament instead of the Old.

Dancing by herself to music only she could hear, Mildred seemed to grow shorter as she floated away in a haze of soft and pretty.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Drinking It All In by Doris Dembosky

  1. A nice, feel-good, story presented through great detail and character.

  2. Len

    i love how the title and each segment augment each other all the way throught till the end. good job.

    • Glad you liked the title. I have a heck of a time with titles – I use wordplay alot – feels a bit forced. If you have any advice on writing a title, I’d be glad to hear it. Doris

  3. I liked the way this flowed from her uptight stoicism to her floating away on pretty…

  4. I really loved this, some of your sentences are just stellar. And a great character sketch, made me want to know her better.

  5. Kim Hutchinson

    I can see her floating away on a haze of soft and pretty. Nice story, and nice take on the theme.

    • I think it’s tough to be tall. Not that I have big boobs myself (hardly!), but my friends who do have big boobs tell me that having them is a major handicap as well.

  6. Very good that she doesn’t drink..ha!

  7. Love it all, especially that last line. Gorgeous. Peace…

  8. Pingback: Week #34 – Floating away | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  9. Stella Cattini

    I love your Mildred and her gradual alcohol induced unfoldment! It’s as if she has a wee inner radiator which slowly melts her facade. I wish drinking would make me smaller too…it simply makes me forget how tall I am! xx

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