Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day Twenty One

It is a day for a drink, as many days are now. We have passed a milestone of sorts, three weeks in quarantine in the Lost Quarter. Those weeks have seemed both unending and have passed in a sort of blur, each day bleeding into the next so that it has just been one long day marching every closer to the darkest night.

There are few pleasures left to us and a drink is surely one. These small indulgences are necessary at the best of times, now they are practically essential. One has to allow oneself the luxury of these moments, however small they might be. What else are our lives for in the end, if not to find joy where we can?

I am strongly of the opinion that there are few occasions that don’t call for a beer. Wine, leaves me cold. It all tastes much the same to me, one bottle or another. The range of flavor is very narrow, though fine enough if needs be. Beer, on the other hand, has so many varieties, each having its time and place. There are beers for summer, winter, harvest and planting. In these last interminable days of winter I find myself still drawn to the porters and stouts, the English ales and perhaps a heavy sour if I am longing for a suggestion of summer’s promise.

On those days, like today, when a beer doesn’t satisfy, I turn to the harder liquors. Generally I prefer darker spirits, left to their own devices. But in these unsettling days I have found myself returning to a cocktail of old. It was commonly drank amongst my people in the Lost Quarter, though it seems rarely spoken of now.  An old favourite I always come back to.

The rusty nail. A sweet honey liquor contrasting with the hard bitterness of the whiskey. I sip one and lean back in my chair with my eyes closed thinking of all that has happened in the Lost Quarter, but not of what awaits us. Those are thoughts for another day.

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