From the second I wake up my phone is trying to get my attention. It buzzes, flashes, beeps, and even whistles at me from time to time. It never stops even as I attempt to put pen to paper. Phone calls, emails, texts, tweets, likes, downvotes etc. As enticing as it would be to know The 15 Reasons Why I Didn't Sleep Well Last Night or How to Get One Million Strangers to Read My Blog and Make a Bazillion Dollars at the Same Time, we all know that those black holes will keep me from getting any work done. It can make for a stressful day competing against the whole Internet for a spare moment.
When my wife gets home and after a quick smooch she does the Mr. Rogers and slips on her house shoes and sweater. I have usually started dinner, so she bobs and weaves around me to assume her temporary role as Chef de Partie. Even though she is the one with a culinary degree tucked in the back pocket of her work pants. During this time we ask the usual questions:
"How was your day?"
"Did that call go alright?"
"Did the train delay slow you this morning?"
"Did you see what the President tweeted this afternoon?"
We are talking but not really interacting. Our mouths are moving like munching on unsalted potato chips. Our focus is on prepping for dinner and keeping our finger bones connected to our hand bones. When everything has reached a holding pattern on the kitchen line I begin to make our evening pre-dinner cocktail. It is the first time that we can actually relax all day.
Assembling the Drink
All the parts are at hand and easy to bring together. The mixing glass and barspoon are where they sat to dry last night. The gin is in the freezer. Dry vermouth hangs out in the fridge door shelf. Orange bitters are on the bar cart in the living room. Most days she will grab the small glass bitters bottle for me and take a seat on the other side of the kitchen island. There is a creeping feeling of anticipation for both of us while I construct our drink. I can only allude this feeling to the infamous scene of Vincent Vega unzipping his worn black leather syringe case.
Mind if I shoot it up here? - Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction
Ice. Bitters. Gin. Vermouth. The tink-tink-tink of stirring is in time with the wireless speaker that lives in the kitchen. A little up tempo jazz tonight as usual. I pour the frigid syrupy liquid into two chilled crystal glasses and squeeze a lemon peel over them like I have done countless times before. The same care is taken as I would for a paying customer but she is my favorite regular. Taking my seat beside her we salute ourselves and take our first sip. Cold. You can feel it go AAALLLL the way down the pipes. Like an animated Pepto-Bismol commercial, except its clear and awesome and brings a different unique relief. A gin martini isn't time released-- the effect is instantaneous. Our buzzing, blinking phones are over there with our worries and gripes. We have the best seat in the house and our favorite company too.
It Can Wait
At this point dinner can wait.
Twitter can wait.
Medium can wait.
Instagram can wait.
Trump can wait.
Russia can wait.
Facebook can wait.
CNN can wait.
My overdue library books can wait.
The laundry can wait.
The bills can wait.
Tomorrow can wait.
Everything can wait.
It is all postponed. Until the last sip all we care about is ourselves. 1/48th of the day spent completely selfishly and juniper flavored. There is no news feed scrolling or page refreshing to do. We use this time to catch up. To be ourselves. To remove our daily armor and enjoy our own company. To be real people in a real place doing a real thing. No photos need to be taken to document this moment. I don't need to tell anyone how good the drink is or how much fun I am having. The rest of the world isn't invited to this intimate cocktail bar for two and they couldn't get a reservation if they tried.
Unplugged from anything digital we use this time to download our feelings on the day. I query and search through her thoughts. I add small invisible favorite stars and bookmarks to things she says that I want to come back to. She does the same for me. We never really talk about the drink. It is just the connection. The high speed link connecting us in a physical invite only Slack channel. When the download completes we can upload each others advice and suggestions. New firmware for the challenges of tomorrow. With our mental inboxes sorted, labeled, and moved to the correct folders we can get on with the evening peacefully.
You can't take the phone off the hook these days. Learn to make a good drink and download and upload your feelings with someone you care about.
Bar To Home
A simple translation from bar to home.