It is warm today. Bright sunshine. Buds on the maples and elms. Crocus are pushing their little yellow and purple noses up through garden soils. Chickadees and grackles, bluejays and cardinals flock to our birdfeeders. Squirrels and chipmunks race along the ground for falling seed and suet. Beetles chirp on the trees. A golden butterfly hovers, says hello, seeks out a flower. A small, brown rabbit lifts its head from a patch of still greening grass. It’s a day you can sit outside and not feel Winter even though Spring is still a few days away.
I get a lawnchair and folding table out of the shed and sit near the feeders – close enough to hear the birds flutter and far enough to let them dine – and face our woods, away from the street. Turning my back on the world, so to speak. Back inside, I get the last half of The Inheritors, a current work-in-progress, and a red pen from my desk. Back in again for two-fingers of #CaolIla in a @GlencairnWhisky glass and separately a tall #Pelligrino (both neat, as taught me by aon a’ mo meantiorreann, Calum), grab a @Drewestatecigar Kuba from my shelf along with cutter and wooden matches (always use wooden matches. Lighters spoil the taste), music, and go back out.
The sun warms my back, pulls the day’s anxieties, worries, and woes from me. The cigar is delicious. I bring the #CaolIla to my nose, close my eyes, relax, inhale deeply, and feel the peat rise in the scent of the #scotch, the heat of it. The music on low, background, so I can hear the birds, the insects, the squirrels and, deeper in the woods, turkey and opossum, coyote and raccoon. Alex de Grassi, Peter Grabriel, Al Di Meola, Peter Frampton, and Chris de Burgh are cradlesongs in the afternoon air.
It would be grand to share this with some friends.
And I’m an author. I make things up for a living.
Suddenly @FireRenaissance, @FromGreenhills, and @GGGenge are with me. We raise our glasses to each other. We tell lies about our pasts and laugh. We share our present passions. We wax on possible futures. @FromGreenhills I’ve read and @GGGenge is on my list. @FireRenaissance sips his #Scotch and smiles. We talk about where our ideas come from.
@FireRenaissance listens to my music and asks, “Is that one of your Thanks (D’s-G’s)?” We laugh, sip our scotches, enjoy our cigars.
We play a game I remember from childhood: telephone. I make up a line. @FromGreenhills adds the next, then @FireRenaissance and onto @GGGenge and back to me. The story evolves with each go-round. The #Scotch and the warm sun work their magic, the cigar smoke gathers us in its cauldron.
The game’s tone shifts until we’re laughing so hard we can’t get our lines out. @GGGenge‘s lines are bawdy (did you know he does a riotous Tom Jones impression?). @FireRenaissance delivers his lines straight-faced and we practically fall out of our chairs laughing. He looks at us with a “What?” expression then can’t hold it and collapses himself. @FromGreenhills starts his lines in a Windsor Castle English and ends in pure Liverpool slang, the Queen interviewed by a gang member.
We can’t catch our breaths from laughing.
And then the #Scotch is gone, the cigars go out. My Brothers return to the mist.
But the music remains, as does a small part of each of them in my heart.
I make a note to bring out the bottle next time. And my humidor. Let the good times last.