Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tropics on Ice

What is it about the tropics and alcohol that goes together. Is it the searing heat, the humid nights, the persistent thirst, a boredom with water, the thin brown girls, the restless advance and retreat of the tide, the effusion of sweat, the languid hours that bathe upon the breeze? Or what? Is it a rest, a way to relax, a reason to sit, or something at least to do while sitting. Is it all the waiting that goes on for nothing, no reason or need Exactly what?

Or is it just me? Is it me?

For I have a history, you see--hardly a stranger to the spirits. My cup of tea was vodka, vodka in the morning coffee, vodka to get me through the day, vodka after dinner to cleanse the palate, vodka with a cold to kill the germs--vodka to face the latest trouble, vodka to kill the latest pain, vodka for heartache, vodka for joy, and vodka . . . well, vodka just for vodka’s sake.

For some ten years I drank, then I did not. Then I started again (divorce being the convenient reason), then stopped again (married again). To what am I addicted? Alcohol or women? And which of the two satisfies best?

But of course this is different. Any practiced drunk would say so. There is the sun the day, the night still and hot, the rarity of the cooling breeze and the time in between one breath and the next. We surrender to the grace of the surging sea, to the womb of the tropics, to the fragrance of what we cannot touch or see.

Drink, drink, drink up and be merry. Meat for the belly and the belly for meat, and then something to wash it all down.

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