I’ll Be Your Glass Of Wine

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2016 taught me that I was a lot like red wine.

Like the Malbec you ordered at dinner last night to impress your client. Like the red wine that I let sit on the counter half empty for days because some red wines need an occasion, and I didn’t have one. Like the bottle you paid slightly more for, the bottle you placed ever so carefully on the candlelit table, so you could fool your dinner guest into thinking you don’t guzzle 1.5L of Barefoot’s eight-dollar cabernet on any other night. Like the red wine you poured ever so carefully into the wine glass with the word “cheers” marked across it that you bought on sale at target after the holiday season.

But more so, 2016 taught me that I was a lot like the red wine that stained your lips with an ever so faint faded purple.

The stain that you only noticed after the second glass, the stain that I could see every time you took another sip. You knew with every swallow that the purple color would deepen, go on to stain your tongue, and your teeth, and your gray bed sheets when laughter overcame you and the wine slipped out of your glass and dribbled down the side of your thumb before leaving droplets on clean bedsheets.

When you drink red wine you know it stains your lips, and your bed sheets when excitement disables you. You know that if you drink too much, the headache that ensues hours after is incapacitating, and when you wake up ten minutes before you usually leave for work with the stained lips, and purple teeth, and ruined bed sheets the memories transform. They turn from happy tears, and long swigs out of a well-designed holiday glass with good company, to a rush of blood to the head and a fifty-dollar expense occurred for new bedding.

The worst part about the red wine is that you know. You know that with each bitter swallow there is an inevitable outcome. You don’t notice it when the lukewarm liquid glides across your tongue and hits the back of your throat, you don’t notice it flowing down with each swallow like a waterfall of fermented grapes into an amused stomach. You don’t even notice it when your head starts to buzz around happily, when your mind jumps from endearing thought to endearing thought. You notice it when your alarm jolts your mind from a peaceful wine-drunk sleep to reality at 6 in the morning on a Thursday.

2016 taught me that I was a lot like red wine.

I would come along in a warm and tranquil and blissful way. I would stain your lips with kisses full of burgundy colors and mulling spices. I would lean in a little too closely, and when you laughed and threw your arm around me the wine would dribble out. It would trickle slowly down your hand, and then onto your clean gray bedsheets, and we would look down at the stains and with a teasing giggle lean in for one more lip-stained kiss. This faded wine drunk happiness that 2016 associated me with isn’t what bothered me. What bothered me was that when you awoke to that nuisance of an alarm, you were shocked that you awakened to an empty, wine-stained bed, a pulsating head ache, and a queasy stomach. What bothered me is that you blamed the wine every time, as if you had no understanding of your body’s tolerance for it. It was as if in your 26 years you’d never drank red wine before. As if you’d never heard your mom complain about her horrible wine hangovers.

As if you’d gone your entire life without knowing that red wine is one of the most difficult stains to remove from fabric.

2016 taught me that I, like red wine, would brush you with a blurred vision of happiness and leave you with confusion and misguided feelings. 2016 taught me that I, like red wine, would leave marks and memories and smells and kisses stained with sentiments all over you, and all over the world. 2016 taught me that I, like red wine, would cause you to wake up Thursday morning promising yourself that you would never drink red wine again.

2017 taught me that at dinner on Friday night, you’d order a glass of your favorite Malbec. TC mark

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