5:46 p.m. — That I have been considering this stately single malt before me, just sitting there like a dog yearnfully waiting for its owner, means that I must relieve it of its expectant torture. Of my 8 hr a day work-induced seared nerve endings, I need not the balm of an absurd smoothie or the languid waters of grandma-ish tea, but rather what the Scotch etymologically refer to as the “water of life,” and what better way to inaugurate an evening of single life than a peaty single Islay malt, whose redolence is of stepping into a wet forest at dawn after it has burned down. Yes, that smells so good. I think I may have a double.
6:11 p.m. — I’m a little thirsty now, perhaps a tad dehydrated because I’ve had three cups of coffee today, a diarrhetic whose color’s consistency with its expulsion I’ve always found endearing. I believe there’s some 6-pack still in the fridge, maybe 2-left, a blonde Stella Artois for all the blondes I didn’t copulate with in high school — yah, seems like addiction is a surrogate relationship in place of unrequited ones, of past and present. But I am indeed parched. I could have water, but I don’t want the beer to expire. Wow, look at that head.
6:38 p.m. — I need to open this ’09 Cabernet Sauvignon since I’m braising the lamb shank. The recipe calls for it. It’ll be good to acclimate to its black current notes and subtlest bouquet of vanilla by having a glass while I’m cutting up the vegetables; then of course a glass, or two, obviously, with the wine rendered shank itself. The iron-y (not ironic) tannins are necessary to clean one’s palette, to “grip” the oil and fat from the shank and pull it down the throat. I don’t make up the rules. This is how one eats in a civilized world.
7:23 p.m. — It is a soft line between being buzzed, drunk, and wasted. I feel merely in the former category, and still able to perceive, rationally, that I may indeed be — as my therapist so gently suggested with a set of intricate rhetorical questions — a “functional alcoholic,” whose psychological dependency is carefully sustained without immediate dire consequences, save the chronic depression it accompanies, thus able to continue and chew away at one’s soul. My floor is 4º askew now, that is okay. A 180º condominium is over-rated.
9:12 p.m. — Seems like the reason I agreed to come to this bar is because I don’t have a reason not to. Does that make sense, in some grimly logical and existential way? I’m a “path of least resistance” kind of guy, and I suppose her text “at lone palm come overrrr” is a fairly resistantless path, the honking river of traffic slower than the pedestrian gait with which I walk to the bar. The martinis are really good here. “Hendricks Martini, up” I say, which I hear myself saying one or two more times. The bartender is quite attractive, though it’s rude to look at women when you’re with one. I suppose the reason I came here was for her, the endless never arrived at horizon of so many hers, all of them lined up as a faint line in the distance, my worrisome advances precluded by the most cordial of rejections. The path of most resistance.
11:43 p.m. — My condominium is spinning. I may have vomited a little bit inside my mouth on the 17º walk home, which I intuitively swallowed like some money shot in the ongoing auto-erotic porn of my life. A general rule is once I open a bottle, I like to finish it that night. Obtusely stuffing the cork back in seems primitive and vaguely sexual in ways I’m too limp now to even consider. My insides are soup, my outsides the hell of this world. I’ll just pour what remains in this glass, swirl it around, and let it breathe, let it breathe inside me, its dark fingers coursing through my arteries in its journey towards the numb edges of my body, soon to find the blurry shape of a bed, inside a familiar dark empty room, onto which it falls. Good night.