Absolut bottle, paper, ink. 2000
Text is read by turning the bottle continuously
which may induce dizziness.
You could say that I’m
a woman of substance. I’m sure
I am, I’ve read quite a few books,
been to college, studied social science,
even have a couple of advanced degrees,
went to religious school, travelled,
went to art school, volunteer my time,
even have a challenging job. I know interesting
people (they are like me, even better!),
I garden (well, not like some), adopt
animals. I have a family. Yes, I am certainly
in that category, I have a lot of things
going for me. I’ve been
told I have thoughtful eyes, even wear
glasses now, and that adds to the look.
You could say that I’m smart, can
put a phrase together. But, really now
that I think of it, it’s the eyes.
People seem to recognize them, think
I’m someone else, more insightful
than I really am. I remind them of this
or that person: someone who writes papers,
who carves soap, who was in Prague. .
. It depends on who they are who I am.
In some circles this means a lot. Say
in the right crowded room, with a quick
short phrase and a knowing look I fit
right in. It helps when you drink and
this is where the challenge is. Art and
science rolled into one. We all know
a certain amount takes the edge off.
we want. Enough to banter on and on and
on with strangers -- people you may actually
want to know, and people you know who
you wish you actually didn’t know
(and then there’s the category
of people you should know). That first
moment with the fluted plastic cup is
a calculated one, one with a studied
purpose. Displace a bit of pain. To be
and yet not to be just that little bit.
In the drink corner (aha!) you carefully
choose (in a matter of seconds) a palatable
yet potent combination. Drink Potency
equals number of people known divided
by number of people not known raised
by the exponential combinations of business
vs. pleasure (vodka and tonic? Vodka
and orange juice? Absolut straight?).
You raise the mixture to your lips, careful
in your anxiousness not to create a stream
of liquid running down from the corners
of your mouth; not too fast, you could
choke. Two drinks would be good, pour
a third to demurely sip from for maintenance.
These calculations of course have their
variables: Who are you? Where have you
been? I mean mentally. Where have you
been and where do you want to end up?
Gauge the behavior limits of the gathering
you are attending. Yes, you may be boisterous,
raucus, push someone a bit, and that’s
okay too, you are entitled to it. But
joy may not be found in total abandonment.
If need be, keep track of your intake,
keep a ledger, borrow a pen, draw lines
on the palm of your hand and note each
deposit. Yes, the idea is to keep both
feet on the ground and luxuriate in the
elegance of the moment! The science of
limits is a thesis unto itself! Early
on I was satisfied with rosé ,
a glass or two was the ticket, but 3
or 4 in quick succession would (depending
on other variables like food and desire)
take me to another level. Another level
of consciousness! (Had it been there
all along? Was it a good one?) Unconsciousness
or a state nearby is another level of
consciousness. To experience the floor
with it’s unpredictable risings
and fallings can be enlightening. (You
may think that you are not sure where
you really think you are). That’s
how it is and that could be a good topic
for conversation — or
maybe not. Now where was I? Oh yes, Substance,
a woman of substance . . . It says so
right here, on this bottle.