The wine glasses clinked in unison, the cheers reverberating around the flickering candlelight in our small dining room. My mother, her boyfriend and I had bought this bottle of wine together when were in
I placed my nose carefully near the inside of the fluted crystal glass. The red wine moved in a jaunty pirouette around the diminishing inner curve. I held the glass away from me, admiring the deep color in the light and then put it back towards my nose.
I inhaled deeply. Once, twice, three times. It was there; a scent was lurking in the back of my nose. A dark aroma of the outdoors, a cloudy fruitiness, a jarring tang. It cascaded down my throat. Brief, muted, but there all the same.
I looked up to find everyone staring at me. My family and Becca were watching me closely, simultaneously, wondering if I could smell, if I could taste, if I would hold it against them that they could. My surprised smile seemed to elevate their sympathetic anxiety.
I took a sip. I could taste the fruit; the thick sweetness of the red wine coated the roof of my mouth with its intensity. I could taste the acidity, a twang in the back of my throat as I exhaled again. The flavors were intense, wonderful, and jarringly separate. There was no melding between the sugar and acid. It had a strange echo of the familiar taste, but an overwhelming jump to the oddly split unknown.
When Becca left on Sunday night for her long trek back to upstate
I have been existing in a strangely dissected world. I am recovered and strong enough to regain important snippets of my life. I took myself off of painkillers in order to remove the fog that I’ve felt continuously enveloping my mind. I can think clearly; I can laugh with my friends; I can move around hobbled only by my need for crutches. I grasp at my old social life, my old movement and taste. I am just beginning to smell a light waft of that deep sweetness, normalcy. It is constantly countered by that intense acidity of frustrating confusion, however. I am not beyond the immediate effects of my injuries, no matter the delicious progress I have made.
And so sipping my drink that night – my first taste of wine in months, finally off of my pain meds – it felt familiar in its strange dissociation of taste. My taste, my life, are torn between a happy sweetness of recovery and a dull tang of seeming impenetrable injury.
But I certainly think our bottle of Brunello was put to good use. The sweetness and acidity of the wine, however separate for me at the moment, are integral parts of its makeup. Eventually they will meld. Eventually everything will come together.