It was six weeks into a summer script workshop, and I had finished with a full-length script. Producing a story so close to you and so personal, and so quickly, is a sickening endeavor. It’s all rush and no relish. They say the real pulp of anything ever written comes from the editing. Which I have to agree with; there has never been so good a writer as to produce a classic anything without much excoriated readings and hours spent in front of a desk rewriting the damned tale.
Ernest Hemingway once said to “Write drunk; edit sober.” There’s a simplistic brilliance to this that only a writer can fathom or appreciate. How lonely, dark, isolated, self depreciating, moody, and bleak the life of storytelling can be. Yet, there you are, in your own world, exploring only what you have trekked before; but not just what you have experienced before, instead intertwined with a cacophony of innumerable other experiences and situations that all spiral down into you and your story. This is why every story, no matter if it’s been told time and again, will be told differently. You must wrangle it to perfection. You wrangle yourself.
It’s all enough to make a guy thirsty for a fine drink.
I found myself in the corner of the workshop’s room, inches away from the table and clutching my plastic cup firmly. I stood and pretended to listen once again to the basic formatting rules, of which I’ve known for years. It’s simple to come off as attentive and interested; you must simply keep eye contact and bob the head now and again. All very easy to do when sampling a wine, a delicious wine that’s as easy as Elvis’ “Sweet and Kind.”
Mouton Cadet Rothschild 2010, Bordueax – $10
– Inky like squid oil, red on the fringe of the cup.
– Smelled of game and leather and raspberry rolled together by soggy paper.
– Antiquitous with its plum and date flourish. Pepper in the back and leather in the finish, like liking a boot. Upper class boot, mind you. The wine gave a strong linger, not wanting you to forget its name before plummeting down.
Overall: Worthy. I expect this type of structure, finesse and saline quality from a twenty dollar Bordeaux, not a ten dollar bottle. Sturdy and true and aching to be drunk now.
After finishing this first glass, and another for good measure, I checked on the class. My head was nodding in beat with theirs, to my amazement. Wine, the great vibe synchronizer, I thought. That’s my cue for another bottle and another poor, minding the scowling look from one of the other writers. Jealous? Religious? Was it her wine and I was taking too much of it? The ceaseless wonders.
Jeriko 2011 Pinot Noir, Mendocino California – $18
– A frightening hue of amber and sick red with a mixture of water that’s been soaking in a piece of bark. This wine tends to be lighter, like a runny, true maple syrup.
– Smells of a fall romp. My excitement increased ten-fold. Game, Autumn mold and cranberry was also present.
– What a different pinot! There was a first initial scratch-ing of sweet that gently folded into a spicy mixture of holiday spices: cinnamon, peppermint and clove. I found myself transported to a young me sitting and watching the wood burning in the fireplace of my childhood home near christmas time. The sweetness soon escalated into a more serious, dilute sherry that turned out not at all cloying.
Overall: Worthy. I can hardly attest to this being called…a pinot of all things. But what other name shall it go by? “A Rose by any other name,” indeed. Suffice it to say, this is the Jerkio take on pinot and, hell, it is a lively number. It’s only weakness may lie in the sugar balance, a tad too sweet. I would not hesitate to pick up a bottle for myself.
Two young writers, whom I’ve noticed becoming suspiciously close to one and other over the last fortnight of workshops, stumbled in late. They looked like the climax of coitus personified. I didn’t mind the interruption, one of them had a bottle in hand! a large one! But I saw the label and sighed a little, even died a little. A Gallo Family wine. It was called “Sweet Red.” Cheeky. No list of grapes used. It may have killed me, but I was on a quest and I would try it at any rate. Intoxicated-evocation of the wine gods be damned!
Gallo Family Sweet Red, no vintage – $12
– The wine was pink. PINK!
– It had a candy smell.
– It tasted like a lollipop laced with cocaine and melted, viscous 7-11 slurpee syrup.
Overall: I don’t even need to tell you. My, God.
Quote of the evening:
[preceding a very odd look]
“This wine is so good I could jump out the window, get up, and keep going.”
“What? Doesn’t mean I’d do it. It’s just worthy of a good ole’ jump out the window. Surely you’ve had one? No? Really? Truly? You’re quite odd…”