In the early afternoon yesterday I really wanted an extremely stiff drink. I counted the minutes to cocktail hour, but fell asleep on the sofa just past five and by the time I woke with cricks in my jack-knifed knees the moment had passed.
I awoke this morning with a slitty-eyed determination. A Manhattan would be mine as the almost-spring parma-violet sunset dusted itself liberally over the roofs and the birdoole chipped frilly fragments of post-it off the mothernote.
Cocktail glass into the fridge, along with the cocktail shaker that Opera Singer gave me in Berlin because he and his husband had three. Four Roses, Angostura and the bottle of Byrrh that The Poet and The Novelist gave me for my birthday. On the card The Poet noted that it made a superb negroni. Its application to Canadian bourbon was thusly inevitable, like dinosaur erotica.
I watch back-episodes of Hannibal, because for some reason I didn't tune in when the season opened last year. It is squickily, moodily, gravely comically superb, and Mads Mikkelsen may yet carve out the C-bouts of the most riveting Lecter ever.
Six bells, cocktail-hour klaxon, Melody Gardot pegged up three notches. Out comes the chilled glass. Cocktail shaker on the bench with the jar of Xtin's Own Homemade Maraschino Cherries with Actual Luxardo and None of That Red Shite. Also, the twisty liquorice-strip of a cocktail spoon that the bartender at The Vaults gave me in 2008 because I liked to watch him mix drinks. But maybe also because I was unnecessarily opinionated about my Perfect Manhattan. He had a jar of his homemade cherries in the fridge. He taught me how to make my own.
For the love of god! There is no ice!
I stare into my ridiculous little drop-front shoebox of a not-at-all-deep freezer like a pithed rabbit. This cannot be happening. I have tweaked and replaced and substituted and hacked lo, so many things I have poured into a glass or a baking dish or a muffin tin but a room-temperature Manhattan is not to be contemplated.
Forlorn Xtin-gaze lights on the frozen peas. Tink! Well, if they're good enough for a black eye. Swishy slish, klish klish as the frost appears on the shaker. Glip, glip, two cherries and a sativamous fragment or three. Cold as the grave and perfect as eternity.