Act Three – Ingestion, and Postlogue
Raise the glass. Inhale. What you smell is cold, with a light scent of lemon, and maybe, maybe, a little sharpness from the alcohol. Your mind, in a conditioned response, sets off on its journey even before the chemistry catches up with it. My soul is past the point of no return. This is going to happen.
Sit down. No TV. No internet. This is not a beer you drink while you are doing yardwork. Sip, don’t gulp – shots are for weddings and funerals and honky-tonk bars. Don’t swallow right away. Hold it in your mouth. Feel the cold. Taste the tang of the gin, and the oily oddness of the vermouth. When it starts to burn, swallow. Smell and taste. The last two senses.
Here’s where the empty stomach comes into play. Our mouths and tongues are almost equal to our lungs in the quantity of blood vessels that course through them. Likewise, an empty stomach is a portal to the circulatory system. The alcohol will start to be absorbed before it hits your stomach. You’ll barely set the glass down before the world starts to soften.
Take about 15 minutes to finish the glass. In another 10 you will be there. Who am I to describe the high, when poets and bards have been trying for millennia? Why does it feel so light, so much like all is right with the world, for the next 45 minutes? Why is life so hard, that it must have such a remedy? Who is God to deny me that? An article in the February 2017, National Geographic posits that civilization began so we could grow grain to produce alcohol in quantities. And yet.
You only get one. Sometimes two, but you will be at least a little sorry, and of no use to those around you. Never, never have a third – you will from time to time, but you are on your own for that one. Like so many things, the question of what is good and what is bad must be answered from within. As I get older, the line blurs. God, are you still there? Can you forgive me?
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