1. Wake up from your post-lunch nap that turned into a pre-dinner sleep. It’s 30 minutes before Jake’s Friendsgiving party. You said you would make fall cocktails for everyone. You’re a “master bartender.” Shit shit shit.
2. Talk self out of panic weeping.
3. Google “best fall cocktail.” Get 42 recipes for the same brown fluid. The whipped cream ones look gross. 20 options left.
4. You’re pretty sure Jake’s girlfriend is allergic to cloves. Five options left. Stare at them until one makes you salivate. None of them do. You hate fall cocktails.
5. Remember Jake’s apartment is 20 minutes across town. Shit shit shit.
6. Grab whateverthefuckliquorthisis and immediately call an Uber. Throw on tie and jacket. Your costume this year is an adult.
7. Cradle miscellaneous liquor bottle under coat like a breastfeeding mother. Launch into Uber.
8. Hi, for Steve? Yes, that’s me. Haha, yeah this is alcohol. I’m headed to a party. I’m like a master bartender. You should try my fall cocktail. (Why do you always do this? Make note to investigate later.)
9. Greet Jake at the door. Explain why Uber guy is joining.
10. Greet partygoers then scatter to kitchen like a wounded cockroach.
11. Produce bottle from coat. Whiskey! Success!
12. Half empty! Failure!
13. Interject into conversation between Jake and clove-free girlfriend. You have to step out because… your mom just called from the hospital? Yeah that works.
14. Exit. There’s a bodega around here somewhere. “Ricky’s Food and Liquey?” Perfect.
15. Collect milk, whiskey, cinnamon (for color), cinnamon sugar (for taste), nougat, uh, cider and a pack of candy corn. Why not.
16. Take inventory of shopping bag. Drop $40 on this sugar-spangled cornucopia of faux-fall ingredients.
17. Return to Jake’s apartment. Enter kitchen while wiping fake tears and actual sweat from face. Mom sounds like she’s getting better, but you never know with bone spurs!
18. Pour new whiskey into… saucepan? Sure. Turn on the heat because fall = cold so drinks = warm, by the transitive property.
19. Let whiskey cook slowly until boil. Add reckless spoonfuls of cinnamon until brown haze floats over liquid like a haunted fart.
20. Pour in cup of milk. Check expiration date. Shit shit shit.
21. Pour out saucepan. Repeat steps 17-18 and 2.
22. Nougat is the aroma of autumn. Add enough until kitchen smells like inside of a pumpkin stem.
23. Invite Uber guy (Kyle—he’s getting along with everyone) to taste.
24. Kyle gags into sink. 5-star rating is ruined.
25. Pour in rest of whiskey. New goal of cocktail: no one remembers it.
26. Pour whiskey, cinnamon, and nougat concoction into any glasses you can find. “All different shapes! Just like gourds!” you joke. No one heard you. They’re playing Jenga, sober as gargoyles.
27. Garnish each drink with a single candy corn. Watch them sink as far down the glass as your heart is in your pelvis.
28. Open Jake’s fridge. Locate whipped cream. Fuck it.
29. Take inventory of drink lineup. Twelve different configurations of sugary alcoholic autumnal tumult. Jesus, you’re sweating.
30. Present drinks to guests. Say you’re headed to the bathroom. Dip like Batman.
31. Return home in shame. Post-party sleep turns into an intro-insomnia anxiety palooza. Doze off after three hours.
32. Wake up to a call from Jake. Drinks were a hit. You’re on for the Christmas party.
33. Shit shit shit.