Friday, June 5, 2015

In Vino Veritas

"In Vino Veritas," she said, as though it may be a spell from her Harry Potter books or something.

I waited a second simply to see whether magical stuff would begin to happen--you know, lights and special effects. Then, as I realized there was nothing in her words, I just burst into this horrible laughter. Laughing, directly in her face. "I'm sorry," I managed, between slivers of cheer (sometimes patting my chest just to remind my heart that it would need to beat faster in order to keep the pulmonary system chugging at point), "I'm just. I'm just Dumber, I guess?"

"You're what? Dumb?"

"No, Dumber," I smiled. I gave her a trinket from Chinatown that had made me think of her on an off minute.

"It means that when you drink, you speak the truth," she said coldly to me.

The sun then died and all the pyramids of the world became cones of peanut butter ice-cream. "Who the fuck is Vino. Are you cheating on me?"

"You said you are sick of me!" she cried. "You drank, and then you said you are sick of me!"

"Yeah, that must be the real truth!" I accused her, instead. "You know what--in my Vino, it's YOUR veritas. When I drink, I suddenly find out who the fuck YOU really are!"

"Yeah, you know what, that's the Veritas in Vino Veritas."

I switched off the tape and started a new one. This one was called "She's Your Je Ne Sais Quois".

As time poured down the funnel of my mortal existence my mind slowly evaporated with that thought. My imagination became as vapor, thinning itself to the very world that surrounded me. I became my imagination, and it sat in my stead.

"So now you're a fucking noun," she said. "Imagination. The noun."

"Is this the warning about showing versus telling?" I asked, smiling.

She nodded.

"You see, in Vino," I explained carefully, choosing each movement of tongue, "for me, it is not Veritas. It is merely the layout of a playground."

"More lies, huh?" she sulked. She was wearing something. A 'hoodie', I believe they call them. It was pink and clearly a comfort garment.

"You look cute in your hoodie," I told her.

"You're grossing me out right now, just shut up," she said.

I knew there was no way I could possibly shut up, given the expanse of ruminations at the time, so I veered off to a different direction. I began to think about space. I contemplated the way it seems that space grows infinitely. I thought about the human journey, from the beginning of speech and storytelling to the gradual objectification of perception. I imagined I was blind for a lifetime, just walking around the Earth without the amenity of sight. Just touching things, smelling things as I walked around the Earth. Hearing. They made a tv show on Netflix based on comics that some of the instructors would read me on my travels. Daredevil. And then I began to lose the sense of taste. That came as a shocker, because I really loved to eat food up to that point. I laughed and figured, "What better time to switch to protein drinks?"

I was reminded of the story of the poor man who would simply smell the rich man's food and be happy eating gruel. That was a real kicker of a story right there. Began to live on $2/day in New York City just ordering pints of rice from any Chinese takeouts I could find as I walked around. Even if I was strolling through Mars, it would still be these $2/day pints of rice from New York City Chinese takeouts. At least I could smell everything around me, and imagine that I was experiencing a feast. At least, for a little longer. But then, even the smells stopped.

"What next, my sense of touch?" I rolled my eyes...and started noticing I couldn't tell whether or not I was rolling my eyes. "SURELY THIS IS A JOKE" I typed in caps all over the 'Internets' (by that time, I was probably just making light impressions on tissues or walls, or whatever else was around out there--I couldn't tell, you see--t that's kind of the point).

I began to feel really paranoid. Because I could not see, hear or taste or smell or touch.

"You ever sit down at a sort of outdoor establishment, get a coffee, you know? And smoke a cigarette?" Enjoying the environment around you, contrived as it is?

I didn't think, and just said out loud, "You mean, like, it's a fairly warm day. The sun is out. It's kind of hitting your dark skin. You have the option of sitting either at an umbrella table or one without an umbrella?"

"Yeah, you know? You just had a fight with your girlfriend and she's going to leave you soon, and you know it. But you're sitting there having a coffee and smoking your cigarette. In the sun."

I smiled. "I've been there," I said. I took a drag off the Dunhill. "Though, I'd like to think that I've kind of advanced a little, you know?"

"What do you mean more advanced?" asked the young man.

"Like, I'm at the point where I'm in a relationship where she knows I can be really impossible sometimes, so everything is cool. It's much better than when you're younger, and everything is a fucking drama, you know? Sure, we fight, but everything's fine, you know? It's not like she's a three year old. What's the big deal?"

"So the fights mean nothing?"

I smiled. "Sure, you know, you hear about all these hotheads out there trying to fight for something. It's like someone told them there was a game that they need to fight over, and now, over time, they're just fighting over this...really pointless shit, to be honest."

"And it doesn't really matter because you can always go back to your girl?" said the young man.


There was an idea of sunlight and the thought of dragonflies, and a small stream.

"Which girl again?" except this time I realized it wasn't the young man saying it. In fact I could no longer perceive him.

"Young man?" I asked out. "Young man, what do you mean by that?"


Where had this started? Which girl again? Why? "Vino?" I emanated. "That's your name, young man, Vino?

Vino, please!"


To be continued.

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