A shot of Fireball

adriana suriano
3 min readOct 5, 2022


When i was 16 1/2 my parents would go to the bank every Friday evening. That was when banks had people that worked there for years and would answer all banking questions until 8 pm on a Friday. My parents loved going to their bank. My parents were local celebrities. They paid all their bills at their bank. Cashed their paychecks there. Maybe talked about how tired they all were for working hard jobs for little pay.

When my parents were at their bank, I was at our house opening their liquor cabinet to find a few bottles of grappa (smelled like gasoline, some red liquor from Italy that was in there for years, and a random bottle of Fireball. The kind that tastes like big red cinnamon gum. It tastes all cinnamon and sweet until you are just about to swallow. the artificial burn hits the back of your throat. depending on the week i had in high school is whether it was very awful or mostly awful would determine how many shots I would drink. most weeks were very awful so i would let the first one burn my throat and quickly take another. i would shake it off, put the shot glass in my purse. As soon as my friend pulled up I lit up a Marlboro light. I never got too far away from a shot of Fireball. It was cheap popping up at college parties. Work events always had someone pulling out a bottle. It’s been a while I thought.

After my 7 am call with my father and a follow up email to Father Anthony about our lunch date, I walked to the bus stop. I was visiting a client today at his home. On an earlier phone call, he tells me he is in all kinds of deep shit. With the legal system. With his property manager at his apartment building. With people on the street who try and take advantage of his sharp tongue and small stature.

Darin doesn’t quite see me, so I try and see what he is doing outside of his building.

“Hey Darin. I am here for our 10:30 am check-in.”

“Listen we gotta walk this way. I got the box on my ankle so if we walk one block the other way the thing goes the fuck off and I’ll get locked up.”

“No problem.” I ask him if he’s hungry and leads me to the nearest Mcdonald’s. he switches places with me, so he walks closest to traffic. he tells me that if a there is a drive by, he would rather die than see me dead. so, we switch places and i tell him that is very sweet.

“Well, you know the world already thinks I am a piece of shit. So you know. better me than you.”

I tell him to order whatever he wants. He orders a couple double cheeseburgers with bacon but no fries. “The fries at McDonald’s aren’t worth shit.” I order a bottle of water.

“You aren't eating miss lady?”

“Darin it’s 10:30 am. I cannot eat a double cheeseburger with bacon.

“I am going to save mine for later.”

“Alright Darin, so tell me everything.”



adriana suriano

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.