“Nothing lasts forever, not even diamonds,” a great philosopher once said. Which got me to thinking about the ephemeral nature of all things. Oh, wouldn’t life be grand if we could live to be 800, like Methuselah! One would think that with 800 years, one might finally get their shit together! “Boy, those first three hundred, all I did was party. And then I was a complete dick for a couple centuries! But the last two hundred, I think I’m getting a handle on this!” Alas, with four score and seven (if we’re lucky), we have to cut to the chase if we want
to be more than a body taking up space. “Tempus fugit,” my parents used to tell me when I was a boy. And then they'd add, "Old too soon, smart too late.” Again, a reminder of the transient nature of our time here onstage. And like in Shakespeare, we’re all goners by the end of the Fifth Act. Nothing is forever. Not strawberry fields, not love, not a Honda Civic (although the Civic might come close).
My parents were children of the Great Depression. Theirs was the first generation American born, of Polish and Russian immigrants. The first generation to take that glorious gulp of American air! To speak English! To believe in that storied, star-spangled, indefatigable myth of the American Dream! America was, after all, the future. They didn’t call this The New World for nothing! But as in all things, time devours and destroys. It can’t help
it. (See the BLOG entry Incoming: A New Cocktail to Beat Back Entropy) And if we’re lucky, we attain a bit of self-awareness so we can do something in spite of it all. We scratch our signature on those fire-lit walls and declare, “I was here, and it wasn’t so bad.” The Lascaux cave paintings live on, to that distant day when the sun winks out after 5 billion years. And by then, what meaning will be ascribed to our ancient philosophies? To our songs, our drawings and words? I recall these lines from Keats, on the magic of the moment:
Time’s sea hath been five years at its slow ebb,
Long hours have to and fro let creep the sand,
Since I was tangled in thy beauty’s web,
And snared by the ungloving of thine hand.
As for today’s drink, strawberries, both in and out. And a disarming flavor of far-off memories, with a peppery spice reminding us to apprehend the now.
FOR A WHILE
2 parts Stolichnaya Vodka
½ part Aperol
½ part Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
½ part fresh-squeezed Lime juice
1 medium-sized fresh Strawberry (muddled)
dash of Fee Brothers Grapefruit or Plum bitters
Shake over ice. Fine strain into a chilled cocktail
Garnish with a slice of fresh strawberry.
One for the road...