I went on my uncle's boat yesterday and we rode over to the Island. An afternoon of caramel apple martinis and conversation. It was really lovely, but I must confess the afternoon went a little like this: one martini, two martini, three martini, floor.
I put up a brave fight, dear readers, but I've become a terrible lightweight. My days of drinking double rye and waters of epic numbers are gone. It's the heat and the smog, I'm telling you! Honest to goodness truth! Somehow I don't think my declarations were all that convincing.
We passed a school of sailboats and I mentioned how I would like to do that sometime. "Sign up next summer," my uncle said, "and find a nice man whose parents belong to the club." Well, that sounds easy enough.
The conversation reminds me of Stevie Nicks' "Landslide" because it recalls the questions we ask ourselves (I ask myself?) about whether we'll fulfill all of our wild dreams, whether we'll find the courage within ourselves to move forward, whether we'll make it. "Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?" she asks, but we never know, of course. Judging strictly by the conversations I've shared with others while under the influence (!), though, I can't help but feel as though so many of life's answers can be found at the bottom of a martini glass, caramel apple or no, and that by discussing our fears with others we can somehow expunge them from our thoughts. Or something like that.
(I'll quit with the martini jokes, I promise.)
As Elizabeth Gilbert announces so candidly in Committed, "I went to Cambodia because I had to go. It may have been a messy and botched experience, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't have gone. Sometimes life is messy and botched. We do our best. We don't always know the right move." We just flat out don't know. Can I manoeuvre a sailboat? Can I succeed in this city? Can I learn how to bake a soufflé without burning it?
I think Baroque painter Caravaggio had the right idea. Even in the darkness, all of the objects that appear in his works are strikingly clear and visible. Perhaps if we're willing to open our eyes, the darkness has the ability to shine a little light -- however dim the light may be. And maybe if we're too preoccupied with the search for a bright, obvious light, we'll miss our chance to move out of the rabbit hole. Sometimes our wants come to look so different than we ever expected them to.
Thank goodness for that.
Caramel Apple Martini
2 parts butterscotch schnapps
2 parts sour apple liqueur
1 part vodka
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Pace yourself: it may taste like candy, but this drink is as potent as they come.