A Glass of Wine: A Timeline

This is not my first, and nor will it be my last glass of wine. I have been abstaining for several weeks, and I thought it would be interesting to jot down a timeline of the effects. It may be uneventful, but if nothing else, it will be a solid descriptive writing exercise. Let’s commence. 

Time: 5:50 P.M.

Location: Hollywood, MD

Wine: “Josh” Cabernet Sauvignon

5:50 P.M. (First Sip) I am sitting at my writing desk. Grains of white sand are falling effortlessly through the hourglass which is “set” for approximately thirty minutes. The wine has a rich, bold, and flavorful taste. It would be paired well with a nice, juicy steak. The stereotypical cheese and crackers would be an acceptable addition as well. I must be hungry…

6:00 P.M. The music I am listening to sounds more intense, and I am picking up on notes that would typically go unnoticed. I have a slight tingling sensation in my forehead, and my mouth is producing extra saliva (possibly still from the hunger). I have only taken a few sips. About to take a few more. Ah, dhude…

6:05 P.M. The last few sips brought the smell of the wine into my palette with more force than the initial taste. Music is much more enjoyable. Body is starting to warm slightly. The sensation in my head has amplified. Can only describe it as an enjoyable lightheadedness. 

6:10 P.M. The warming sensation has intensified. I feel more relaxed and have unconsciously taken a few deep breaths. The stress of the day seems to be melting away. My eyes feel slightly heavy, and the taste in my mouth is slightly acidic. I find my mind wandering to thoughts of the absurd trends in the past few years….people eating Tide-pods, killer clowns, Pokemon Go, Kylie Jenner lips etc. Ah, people. My favorite species to study. 

6:15 P.M. Rereading the last entry has made me sigh a few times. The internet has given us an unlimited supply of abstract data. The average person consumes ten and a half hours of media per day. Ten and a half hours of zeros and ones convincingly disguised on a screen. Unreal. Literally. I got a haircut today (went to the people groomer’s shop). Not a single person in the waiting room was doing anything aside from looking at their phone. I was reading a “Wired” magazine part-time (which was fairly interesting), and the rest of the time I was people-watching. It was fascinating. Fascinating and depressing I suppose. 

6:20 P.M. Feeling the effects much more than I expected (probably due to my low tolerance from abstinence). Chipper yet somber feeling with thoughts of humanity’s ineptitude. 

6:25 P.M. Looked for the Puritan word for abstaining from drinking. Stumbled upon an article about “drinking in America.” In 1790 Americans were consuming 5.8 gallons of pure alcohol per year. In 1830 people they were drinking 7.1 gallons per year. Craziness. Have begun to chuckle unexpectedly. Mood is less somber than before (may have been guilt from indulging?). Slow down man, one glass of wine. Party animal. 7.1 gallons of alcohol per year….on average. Comically ridiculous. 

6:30 P.M. The view is called “temperance” and apparently this era brought about social reforms. Until 1862, the United States navy had a ration of a half pint of rum per sailor per day. Thomas Jefferson (author of our D.O.I. was notorious for importing European wines). The average American drinks only 2.3 gallons of pure alcohol per year compared to 7.1 in 1830. Oh, how the times have changed. 

6:35 P.M. Being a “teetotaller” means abstaining from alcohol completely. I don’t think sobriety makes you any “better” than other people, although I must admit it can provide some much-needed clarity and continuity at times. FDR apparently had strong cocktails every day with his staff. The reality, to me at least, is that people are fundamentally animals. We intoxicate ourselves with fermented grapes and fermented hops and grains. How utterly silly of us…yet, how enjoyable. Unfortunately, Nietzsche’s concept of becoming “the over-man” may never come to fruition. At least, not in my lifetime. Would self-sacrifice in terms of temperance save future generations from using and abusing alcohol? 

6:40 P.M. Probably not. If not alcohol, then some other substance. The human consciousness is hard-wired to seek distortion and alteration. Or maybe just the majority of us are? I’m not sure. What I am sure of, is that this glass of wine has made me do some exploring and some thinking at the very least. Overall, I would deem it a positive experience. It was enjoyable. It helped relieve some stress, made me feel more relaxed, brightened my mood, and adjusted my perspective for the better. Two glasses of wine in the past 5 weeks….I can’t even imagine drinking 7.1 gallons of pure alcohol over the course of a year. Really can’t. Any way, I think I’ll have another glass and call it a night. Cheers. 

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