Breakfast in bed (mountain edition).
Breakfast in bed (mountain edition).
- Philip Pullman.
Well, that and my mother.
[Extra points to anyone who catches all the drink names written into this.]
“Write drunk, edit sober,” you know the old adage. Fancy yourself a drinker, fancy yourself a writer; Hemingway bubbles reliably, obediently, to the surface. Clever metaphor, you’ll think, as you idly watch spheres of carbonation climb in tendrils, along beaded tracks, to pop and fizz within the amber refractions of your cheap plastic glass.
You’ll be sitting, about as reliably, before a laptop screen in your postgrad apartment. Old enough now to booze without the thrill of a party, to booze quietly on a couch alongside your computer because that’s intellectual; because it loosens the words that come to your fingers as once loosened your morals. Those days refract to you too, through an amber filter—sepia, more accurately, now, because you’re a deeper thinker, a darker thinker; pensive with a purpose, a writer in your own right. Those were lighter beers, sweeter whiskeys, cheaper metaphors. You’ve grown wiser and more worldly, sharply analytical of the world—whirled—around you, with help from the whorls within your glass.
You could make a world in its own right within that glass, you realize. You could envision a world peopled by figures perched upon those bubbles, who ride those tracks, who meander along those carbonated tendrils. Different worlds within each different glass—worlds next to worlds crowded on a shelf, bottled in refrigerators, and hurtling along tubes and nozzles to splash within a glass; worlds brewed in giant casks, worlds carefully distilled in helices of glass tubing, worlds fermented in chipped bathtubs and born of the stomping of stained scarlet toes. Every local bar becomes, as you see it now, whole universes that contain worlds within worlds: some ice-cold, others vividly-hued, some thick and viscous, others fizzy and effervescent.
The things you could be, the places you could go. The worlds come with names and labels already affixed—you know because you’ve ordered them before. Imperiously. What would it be, though, to live them? Empirically. To become a dark and stormy night, or a flying dog; to rough-and tumble as sailors, captains, and krakens; to hold court as wise men, apocalyptic horsemen, and green fairies? To wear cloaks of kings and queens, royalty, rogues, and superheroes? To cross borders of nations and eras, crashing steins with barmaids, tankards with American revolutionaries, swords with Tudor Marys? To travel to Siberia, finding white Russians, black Russians, Moscow mules, hop czars, and, for the hell of it, a taste of backyard Russian water? To perambulate, old-fashioned, in Manhattan, strolling a world steeped in old Americana, thronging with girl scouts, peppermint patties, and barbershops; to explore natural worlds rife with exotic fauna: grey geese, yellow-tails, blue dolphins, salty dogs and greyhounds, landsharks? To exist, for as long as you like, in the aching beauty of a world suspended in the brilliant hues of stopped time, cast and set in the radiant layers of a bottled sunrise? What a world it would be.
The bubbles of your drink rise less often, now, and don’t travel nearly as far. The amber surface sits lower; the tide has receded, your imagination meanders as the screen dims. You’re not as jaded as you think you are, triple-fisting potion and pretentions and prose. You’re not as old as you think you are. You’re sitting here, coaxing bubbles up a straw and dreaming of the worlds to which they could carry you away.
THIS IS MY HOME!! @Imcomingcolorado contributed most of the gratuitous mountain-porn on my dash until I moved to Colorado…and this is where I moved! Never thought North Routt and the Home Ranch it would make its way up there.
- M is for Magic, Neil Gaiman
- Anaïs Nin