(Photograph by Deb Lindsey)

Neely Tucker
49, Bethesda
, Washington Post reporter

Bourbon, bourbon, light of my life, sting of my tongue. My sin, my soul. Bour-bon, bour-bon, taking one-two icy steps down, one-two, stopping, at two, on the tip of the taste bud: bour-bon.*

Bourbon and branch, that magical pair! Lennon and McCartney, Lerner and Loewe! Rodgers and Hart, Ashford and Simpson!

My bourbon, my all, my very self.**

Born in a barrel, bred in a barn, bought in a bottle. Life: beams of amber, welling at the bottom of the glass, splash of the cube, starburst on the lips. Silk, tickets on a train, Chanel, the sound of the rain, the lights of New Orleans, caramel, the way she called your name after, dusk.

Basil Hayden’s, its most perfect expression, as we read in the scripture of the Church of My Back Porch. Smooth as a baby’s bottom at 80 proof. Autumn, tumbler in hand: leaves, children’s laughter, football, whiskey, the grill, darkness falling faintly, faintly falling.***

Billy Faulkner drank his bootlegged or bought, neat or with a cube. He said, “Civilization begins with distillation.”

You wonder what the light in August was, do you?

Why you looking at me?

(Pretty sure Nabokov,* Beethoven** and Joyce*** drank whiskey, too.)

Tell us about what you treasure and why: E-mail 250 words or fewer to wpmagazine@washpost.com. Please use “MINE” in the subject line, and include age, city and job.

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