Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Nana's Basement

There was a parachute down there you know. I thought it was the real live remnants of a monster all throughout my childhood. Fast forward 20 years to my first glass (two plus a cosmo) of veuve cliquote (not that that’s a thing to be proud of) in a closed restaurant with wooden floors, metal hanging dividers and a light fixture shaped like a vagina with a water snake hanging out of it. Imagine me, bright red lipstick blaring, understated black heals that I teach in, just finishing up a day that started at 7:00 am and spanned through intercultural communication PhD freako teachers to myself being transformed and deciding to take on the identity of a freako teacher bluffing like I know a thing about conjunctions, brainstorming and cardiovascular disease. The culmination of this day was in said closed restaurant sipping champagne and asking to be shown the private wine cellar/ chef’s table room. As soon as the descent into the cellar began I recognized the wood paneling and that half moon turn to the right and could not help but to flash back to so many holi and random days spent around that pool table in the Chamblee basement of my nana and pa’s home. Pa that passed away not too long after letting me in on his watch-collecting secret that he kept in the nightstand by the bed that he died in. He let me pick which ever one I wanted except for a few that were going somewhere else. But that was not where I was tonight. Although I half expected to see his cluttered workroom, instead there was a delightful wine cellar filled with precious gems of bottles. I entertained ideas about bringing my love here and which friends could come with us, if any. I knew he would love it. The whole time though I was enveloped by the familiar dusky half-moldy smell of GA basement. I miss Pa. it sucks he had to go and I don’t think any $600 night in that wine cellar / imitation basement of my childhood will bring him back. However, it would be still be nice to taste some of that wine. I could dress up like I am actually a civilized person who knows how to swirl it around in the glass and stop before I am buzzed (yeah right). SO here’s to Pa (and nana) and here’s to my last semester before I become a real person that doesn’t feel guilty about every move I make that isn’t connected to study or work. And here’s to my mother and my sisters all of whom I love and adore with all of my heart. Thank goodness for no boys in the family, because saying the women of my family is so much easier than saying the men and women. Not to rule out my uncles who each own a little piece of my heart just for being them. Here’s to my grandma who would bask in the glory of a dusky wine cellar and portions that were overpriced and way undersized. Here’s to the wild sea bass, French champagne and two different desserts that I had for $7 at dinner tonight. I am emotionally raising that glass of champagne to the pretty boy bartender and his wide-eyed boyfriend who sweetly made it all possible and here’s to my friend who I have watched grow and change light years in the past two years. I know I may sound a little drunk and that I am virtually toasting all over the place. But tonight was one of those brilliant nights that everything just happened to work out and I just happened to be there.

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