In 2002, a winery in California’s Russian River Valley called “Joseph Swan Vineyards,” bottled a Zinfandel. Surely, they bottled others, but we are not interested in their lineages — no, we are gathered here, today, to discuss the one bottle, a lucky one I would argue, that made its way from kind purveyors “K&L Winery,” $15.99 later, to my humble condominium some 2.5 miles away, where it had no fucking chance. In less than four hours, the purple fermented love potion which had been trapped for over 8 years had finally been exorcized into a glass, briefly, where it swirled as a miniature gentle hurricane — and then was emptied into my mouth, down my esophagus, where such swallowed Gods resided in my stomach, softly rippled by the faint beat of my drunken heart. At this point I was on the couch already, a heavy head pushed backwards by this earth’s unflinching pull.
And I saw a mountain, or parts of mountains, their far horizons collated into one view. A place to climb towards, like some unhappy monk who had this idea of “happy” in his mind, if only he could walk far enough, to foot-blister prove himself to God or something. But the mind, as mine goes, is not a happy place or thing, but a vessel of daily wounds slowly aggregated over decades into a tumor of pudgy sighs. And so, there on my $900 leather douchebag “bachelor pad” black couch, I stared at the ceiling — or more accurately, the ceiling eclipsed my view into nothingness. Still thinking about the Chinese Sumi ink mountains I saw inside my Zinfandel, formed at the bottle’s “shoulder” by almost 9 years of sediment. I wanted to be there, to have that view, to purge my mind off the ledge, and forget the things that happen to a person, those small sad meaningless things which yet causes a person to not want to wake up in the morning and not want to go to sleep at night.
And in between this morning and night there is this day, a sieve of time and light through which I, we, are barely not falling. If there is such a thing as an honest prayer — detached from want, need, confusion, and fear — then I want to say it, not with my mouth or heart, or any precious body part, but with my balls, the last thing a depleted man still has. I’ll be what the kidz 2day refer to as “buzzed,” tonight, again, on my couch, the internet and/or tv going puff puff in the background, each light bulb in my condo fighting off the universe’s eternal night. I bought another bottle, from another year, another vineyard, another world. This one has no mountains, and no prayer, just some Chinese guy walking towards something, looking at his feet, wondering how the other one knows when to move next.