Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Flame shot

He liked his scotch neat. Sometimes straight up. He would let it stay around, talking, grabbing some munchies, gradually letting the alcohol absorb and building up for subsequent rounds. He let the molecules play with his taste buds, almost like a long conversation happening every time the glass left his lips. There was some heat, yes, but this is what every other drink could get him. He is always looking for something that can engage him, keep him guessing. Every time the back of his throat burns, he loves the way it almost starts a wildfire in his heart. He himself has no idea what the next sip would bring. The first sip may remind him of his first kiss. The one he stole sharing a piece of chocolate with his cute crush back in grade 7. While his nose is all absorbed in the citrus vanilla aroma, his soul is doing somersaults in the chocolate haven mouth of his. And then it descends down the throat and burns like a hundred suns, a million heartbreaks all at once. "Where's the orange?", he thinks to himself 'cause there is a subtle tangerine-ish tingle to this burning. He lets it trickle further more, like the first set of tears when she left him; this is one cascade he controls. Oh the taste! There's a party in his heart and a bonfire in his mouth. His voice slurs a little saying her name, his eyes could put embers to shame. Smoke! It's finally hitting home, he presumes. This should be the last taste it will leave him with, the smoky sweet caramel gift to the palate, the warm fuzzy love-like at heart.

She liked her tequila neat. Never in a cocktail. Never staying on the table for long. If it's here, it will be sculled down, with or without lemon slices. Food can wait. She never had the time. She never really gave it much time or thought. Her pointers were clear: the instant numb, the meteor-in-my-throat burn, the vanishing memories, the light-headed happy she. Don't laugh when she begins to define it as "evolved" instead of "aged". The more evolved the drink, the more unevolved she begins to act, which mostly involves translating Spanish names on the Tequila bottles to English followed by crazy uncontrollable laughter; "Casa Noble AƱejo" is an old/mature noble house. Depth of flavor eventually comes around. It hits you like a truck in the middle of freeway. A few such happy accidents and she is practically floating mid-air, refusing to be normal, rather questioning normalcy.

It was one usual day at the bar. They stepped in to escape the rain. She was cold. He was nervous. It was just the two of them today.

He ordered his usual. She ordered her usual.

"Wanna try something new?", he looked deep in her eyes and asked.
"Sure", she said, passing her shots to him in exchange.
"Remember, this is not a shot. Take it slow. Give it time", he smiled.
She smiled.

It's been three years and now she understands. She didn't just switch drinks that evening. She switched the way she loved things, people. She became what he is with his drink: patient. What was always head-first, urgent and sculled down, with or without lemon slices, became almost like a long conversation happening every time his eyes met hers. She now waited to let it grow on her for she knew what followed was a party in her heart and a bonfire in her soul. This should be the last feeling in her heart before it stops beating, the warm fuzzy love-like one.

© 2015 Neha Choudhry

Image source: Google Images

2 comments:

rajatarora said...

You have no idea how much this has 'hit' home! At the back of my head I have this wish of marrying someone who likes her tequila neat.

Meanwhile, what happened to the guy? Did he start taking on things head-first and urgent?

~Rajat

Neha Choudhry said...

Rajat, hahaha let's get you hooked eh? ;)

As for the guy, after months of contemplation, he jumped in head-first and asked her out that evening :)

She said yes.

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