Thursday, September 16, 2004

The Green Fairy, PT 1

“If you’re going to sin, sin well”

Normally, when one sets out to do something “taboo” they do so quickly and silently. Out of fear and guilt they go about the act with out taking the time to relish the moment, to enjoy the forbidden nature of the act. To revel in the lawless nature of the moment is an intoxicating thing. So when Dancer stated her desire to try Absinthe, we both agreed that if we were going to try this “forbidden” pleasure together we were going to do it right. This was the drink of artists and poets; they say that this was the drug Mary Shelly took the fateful night she set the tale of Frankenstein to paper. This is a drug with history, a drug with ritual… a ritual that we too must follow.

I’m thinking that perhaps I have a bit of a fetish for presentation…

When I arrived on her doorstep for our night of forbidden pleasure I was well prepared. Under my arm I carried the wooden box that only days before had slipped through the borders from France. Nested inside the pale wood, a vintage bottle of Absinthe. The same brand they say Hemmingway drank. Along side the deep green bottle, crystal glasses bearing the maker’s mark of the distiller as well as the proper spoons. Again, the ritual demands that you use a proper, slotted spoon. And one cannot deny the power of ritual.

Some elements took a bit of creativity on my part. You see, you cannot just pour the stuff into a glass and drink it. No, doing that would be a grand waste of very expensive alcohol and a terrific way to get sick. There is a certain way it must be done, a time honored ritual. A small measure of the fabled drink is first placed into the glass, next the slotted spoon is balanced on the glass’s rim. Iced water is then poured over a sugar tablet that rests on the slotted spoon. This pouring needs to be a slow act such that the sugar properly dissolves into the drink. Before its ban in the US, many a parlor and artist haunt housed special glass decanters designed for this task. These works of art are now antiques and very hard to find. Not the sort of thing one can dash down to the mall and obtain. The bag over my shoulder held the answer to this dilemma, a glass decanter made for just this purpose. Crafted of bronze and glass, this little item took me more than a few days, quite a bit of creativity, several trips to the hardware store and several glass carafes before it was perfect. A pillar of glass with 2 antique brass spigots at it’s base such that both our glasses could be filled at the same time.

As I set about to place all these items on Dancer’s parlor room table I had to smile, she too took this presentation ritual to heart. The table, draped in a deep gold covering was adorned with flowers and candles. The lights of her great home turned low and Dancer herself was dressed for the part. Her wondrous frame wrapped in a slinky deep green velvet dress, so deep that it seemed almost black. Running my finger along the thin straps of her dress, I stop to admire the shape of her collarbones. Of all my lovers, past or present, she would be best suited for partaking in this ritual. We share a unique bond that way.

After setting the decanter, now filled with crushed ice and water, on it’s pedestal at the center of the table we are now ready to begin. As it often does when we are together, time slowed and the world outside faded away. At that moment we could have been artists in 19th century Paris… if not for the French pop playing in the background and the video camera.

Measure poured, spoon balanced, and sugar tablet placed all was ready. All we must do next was to turn the brass spigots and release the chilled water. We sit close, our fingers caressing the other’s thigh, and together reach out our free hands and rest them on the spigots. Taking a deep breath we each give our’s a slight twist and begin…

To be continued.