The Feeding

(Hour 1):

           I order wine on the plane. I have not been drinking. That is, I have not been drinking on a regular basis. This trip home, to Texas, I had a glass of red wine at my sister Karen’s dinner last Friday night. On Tuesday, during dinner at  a Mexican restaurant in Austin, I had half a margarita, split with Karen. I have had several Sharps, a non-alcoholic (.05% alcohol) beer. The visit has made me thirsty, as visits home are wont to do.

            I am reading Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice. It is mesmerizing and perhaps has me somewhat spellbound. It led me to buy, when I visited Book Woman, an Austin bookstore, a book called Daughter of Darkness, a collection of lesbian vampire stories.

(Hour 2):

            I knew I would order the wine as soon as I settled in my seat on the plane. I knew It would be red wine. I knew I would drink it slowly, savoring the redness as well its bitterness. The thought of the dry red wine teased me long before I ordered it. When finally, the flight attendant brought a small bottle of Sutter home to me and set a plastic glass on my tray table, my heart quickened. I unscrewed the cap (how uncouth, such an anticipated experience blemished by mediocre red wine in a screw top bottle, to be drunk from plastic!). But anticipated it was, nonetheless, and I watched with calm as the claret liquid filled the plastic glass. I drew the glass slowly to my lips. I closed my eyes and let the cool red run into my mouth, not a deep drink, just enough to taste the tart warmth I’ve missed these months. I set the glass down, not wanting the experience to end too soon. I ate the chicken dinner, perhaps too quickly. It wasn’t something I enjoyed, really, simply something I must do so the alcohol would not affect me so harshly. Having eaten, I drank from a glass of ice-water I has also ordered; this in hopes of diluting the effect of the wine while not entirely diluting the experience.

(Hour 3):

            I read some more from the book. Nearing the finish, I read almost feverishly, stopping periodically to savor the wine. I stretched the experience as long as I could. Once, I rolled the wine within my mouth, letting the liquid become hot against my tongue and the inside of my cheek. As I looked down, the juxtaposition of the red wine against my pale hands with their bright red painted nails holding Interview with the Vampire, did not escape me. I was fully conscious of how I savored the wine, a long-lost need, waiting patiently, sensuously for it to fill my veins. I made love to the edge of the plastic cup, from whence flowed the heat I needed to fill me, knowing that I would need it again and again. Knowing that, left to my own devices, I would take it, again and again. Knowing, I am not so unlike the vampire.