Monday, February 18, 2008

an object lesson, or a lesson in objects

The bottle is full, just opened. Settled on the floor with half a dozen of its empty cousins; impatient but waiting. Thursday afternoon is a rare time to be laying into scotch without garnering looks of disdain for the good citizens of the world, but in the dark dining room there are no judges, no spectators. It’s a chipped glass that he tips the long elegant bottle into, the neck just barely caressing the rim. He doesn’t need ice. He doesn’t have an ice maker or ice tray even. But he doesn’t need ice. He takes his scotch neat. He likes that: neat. It’s the opposite of his life but the description par excellence of his bottle. This new, clean, unsoiled bottle. Soon all of that will change. The bottle will become half empty like the rest of his life, fall to ruin like his marriage, his career, his health. But right now she’s beautiful. She’s whole. She’s perfect.

The bottle is full, just opened. The floor is covered in broken glass, the remains of six or seven bottles of liquor by the looks of it. But it’s Friday night and that’s cause for celebration no matter how bad your life is, how fucked up your job is, how shitty your sty is. So he tips the bottle into a coffee mug and fills it damn near the brim. Here’s to life. Here’s to booze.

The bottle is full, just opened. His eyes are bleary and he is uncertain of a great many things. But the whiskey brings clarity of a kind. He doesn’t remember what day it is, but that hardly seems to matter. He brings the bottle to his lips and tastes freedom, escape, oblivion.

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