1.8. A Special Moment

For us, a new census category - people with Metastatic Cancer - everyday is special. Every breath is sacred. And for us who can still drink, every drink is an event.

Take Absinthe, as an example. Absinthe was the mythical "Green Fairy" that took the writers and painters of the late 19th and 20th century into their dream world.

We have 2 visions:



Supposedly it was Absinthe that Toulouse-Lautrec drank to drink himself into death.

(Maybe?) The drink was banned in the United States and in France because of the belief that it would produce madness.  (We have come to understand that all hallucinatory drugs produce madness, at least a madness that goes counter to the norms of the status quo.)

But why not try it? And so I did.

Of course I went to Pigalle, the Red Light district with the famous Moulin Rouge, where Toulouse-Lautrec nightly court, drinking his absinthe and sketching the now famous posters of the dancers.

My destination was a small out-of-the way hotel. The Hotel Royal Fromentin, I suspect, looks like it must have during the Belle Époque.

It was in “the quarter” where painters and artists gathered in to talk and write and paint and agree to change the world. Of course each one wanted to change the world as they saw it. All of this done in the fog of the Green Fairy.

I was the only person in the hotel bar. I sat at a table that had all the absinthe paraphernalia.

The barman poured the greenish liquid into a beautiful cut crystal glass. The rest was up to me. I placed a slotted silver spoon over the glass and carefully sat a sugar cube on the spoon. I put the glass under a silver spigot and slowly opened the tap of the crystal glass container of ice cold water. The water dripped over the cube and the sugary water dropped into the glass. I let it drip until I assumed the liquid had reached the recommended 4 to 1 (water to absinthe) ratio and closed the tap.

Not much left to do, except toast all who would share my Special Moment.