For Wine

01 May 2016

Bina has a baby. She’s not allowed to drink wine, apparently, even though the child is already out and about. I guess because of the intimate relationship between mother and baby during breastfeeding the risk of alcohol still remains. On this particular day, several of us were drinking wine together. Bina took Gigi’s glass from her and drank it hurriedly. It was how she drank it that seared the moment into my mind.

The wine sat still in a plain glass with a long stem. There was certainly caution in her; She took only a few gulps and did so quickly. But those few gulps were big. She was aware she could only take a few and made each of them count. She took the dark red liquid like it was cool water on a sweltering day. Just a few sips though. It was just to taste it again. After months and months of the most intense moment of her life, birthing her first child, she desired the familiar burning sensation of wine to coat her mouth and her throat. It was a visceral thirst. It was not how we thirst for water, which is a biological necessity and thus understandable to drink in such eagerness. It was for wine. It was for warmth and liberation. It was a thirst for an escape. It was a thirst for youth and its carelessness. It was for her past and for her present. It was for wine.

Published on 01 May 2016