Just before Christmas I made a trip to the liquor store to pick up a few special gifts. While I stood in the fine wines section contemplating the choices, my eye drifted down to a bottle of Amarone. I quickly averted my gaze. This was the season of giving, I reminded myself, and I was pretty sure that didn’t mean giving to myself. I made my selections then moved to the single malt section. Again, my eyes wandered over to fine wines and again I admonished myself. I then proceeded to the everyday wine section and picked out my favourite house wines.
When I got to the check out, I waited courteously in line. The entire time, that damn bottle of Amarone called my name. “You’re going to need me,” it taunted. I ignored it. “Soon. You’ll see,” it chanted. “You’ll regret not having me ‘on hand,’” it said, humming Adele’s, Don’t you Remember.” I hummed along. “When will I see you, again…” I sang. The gentleman in line in front of me gave me the hairy eyeball, reminding me that I shouldn’t sing in public. His order filled a shopping cart. No one had that many friends, I thought, uncharitably. His bulk order gave me lots of time to re-think my virtuous nature. Who was I trying to fool, I rationalized? So, while he was yanking out his credit card, I skeedattled back to fine wines to subdue that bottle of Amarone and drag it back to my cart. “Next time,” I said to it, “sing P!nk’s, Sober.”
It’s been about a month since that fateful trip to the liquor store. The days have been filled with bouts of guilt knowing I’d hidden the Amarone in a closet just around the corner from the kitchen. I faked wide smiles while distributing pretty bags of ‘fine wine’ to my friends, knowing all the while that a bottle of Amarone languished in the dark.
Late in the evening when I’m plucking away at my computer, it taunts me from its cradle. Every morning for a month I’ve said, not yet, Il mio amore. I’m not done,” and then another night of passionate typing ensues. I persevere at the computer, day after day, night after night, moving inexorably forward. It’s become a pilgrimage.
But tonight was different. Tonight something monumental happened. The clock struck six p.m. (nine p.m. Eastern Central Time) and I finally fessed up about the Amarone. My better half didn’t blink (he knows my nefarious nature well). He lassoed that plucky bottle of Amarone and uncorked it. “What’s the occasion?” he sang out happily, pulling two glasses from the cupboard.
“Soon,” I said. “It’ll be done soon.”
He went back to the news and waited patiently. At seven, he returned to me and my trusty computer, peering over my shoulder. “Ready?” he asked patiently. (I had to say that because he’s listening). Another long fifteen minutes passed and then finally, I gave him the go ahead. “Pour,” I said, and he did.
And now, here we sit, enjoying a very fine glass of Amarone; a glass fine enough for a celebration. One the Amarone itself foretold before Christmas.
Congratulations, it said and we raised a glass in toast. Congratulations, indeed, I agreed, savouring the rich, thick notes of a perfect bottle of wine.
And that’s what it tastes like to type “the end,” at the bottom of the last page of the third book of a trilogy. What a ride!