This bottle. Oh, this bottle; how you've haunted me.
I've had this bottle for at least five years. I don't remember the date that I got it but I do remember the event. As the head server at a long-defunct semi-fine dining establishment, I was dragooned into working the Executive Chef's wedding reception rather than being invited to it, such is how French chefs view their floor staff.
My payment for the evening was fifty dollars, a box of gourmet leftovers and two bottles of the wine the chef had ordered from his home town. When I got home that night, I cracked one bottle and drank it in small sips with my then-roomate as she listened to me complain about how much I hated working for French chefs.
The other bottle I tucked aside. I was saving it for a special occasion, something important, some life milestone. I'm not sure I knew what I had in mind, my engagement, a graduation of some kind perhaps? I've glanced at it a number of times, snug in it's corner of the cabinet where I'm not likely to see or think on it. On nights I've made dinner for lovers, I've wondered what it would taste like and whether tonight was the night to find out. I've done plenty of celebrating and looked at it furtively in mornings and said, 'If only I thought of you last night."
Well, I'm at that age when life milestones rarely announce themselves in advance and tonight is a night for goodbyes and remembrance. So, tonight, I will open this bottle that I've been sitting on for a third of my adult life and I will take a sip of what I've been anticipating the-anticipation-of for all this time. I will do this because we spend too much time and effort on plans and regret. I will drink this bottle because it's Sunday in Georgia and I want another glass of wine. I will drink this long-awaited bottle, not because I'm commemorating some occasion, but because, any time you go to something that is so long-awaited, it is an occasion unto itself.
We don't get or acknowledge nearly enough such days I won't dare feel bad about it.
Here's to the next however many years, to the next however many milestones and to the next however many tokens of things done and undone.
As I've written this, it's had just enough time to breathe. A votre Sante!