I am surrounded by the sodden bodies of my erstwhile compatriots. My men, my young stags, roaring and bellowing me on to my wedding… Did you notice, oh young companions, and older scholars who should know better… that I have watered the wine in my cup? I am not so drunk as I appear, perhaps from the wafting fumes of breath from no longer attentive companions, overcome with the best of Mikas’s Great Experiment.
Your first wedding, you dream of one last run with the stags... the second, one is likely to wonder if one is at a point where one will be stuffed and mounted over the mantlepiece like one -- serving as more of an ornament to fertility, than an actual producer of same. Not that a flash of tail goes unappreciated… but with the rack goes a modicum of decorum. What looks spritely on a yearling, looks foolish on an old bull.
I nearly thought ‘does a modicum’. Even in my inebriated state do I note that Fradas, the couch philosopher, somewhere rules. Fradas… the God-talker who could draw out satyrs and cannibal centaurs out of infested people’s minds as they lay upon his couch -- instead of on the city walls -- and then slew them… Some said he was a man and the creatures he slew were illnesses and not real. I suppose there is a cruel fate for those who would encapsulate the acts of the Ten as those of human frailties and foibles. The Gods punish them and transform them into philosophers, or book critics, or gourmets… or just let them grow old in times too interesting for their ancient bones. What a bounty to place on another’s wedding, what a burden to chain to a fellow partner in a harness more suited to the young.
The young companions put under the table, by so little drink, and those more my own age parallel sharing their dreams with so much… I am being the spectre of philosophy at my own wedding night before party…
A practical man would note this of his companions, and make sure the fine wine the next day was perhaps a little more watered down... THAT is a second wedding. The new lioness should have roars, not snores. She might forgive the enthusiasm of cubs, but why should an old lion have to apologize on their wedding night? In a second wedding he should know better… and I do. Oh indeed, I am not as inebriated as I seem.
Else I should not be able to pronounce the word ‘inebriated’.
Did you know, oh Spark? Now Spark Elect… that the difference between inebriated and intoxicated is usually merely the price of the liquor one becomes impaired upon? You very well recalled my last attempt to instruct you in the appreciation of Risae’s Disgust and Mikas’s Great Experiment, as you quoted it back to me.
I’m drunk enough to be repeating myself. At least somewhat. Let us hope the rest of the audience will be too drunk to remember my redundant soliloquy tomorrow, including yourself, oh Spark.
We praise the vine. We even praise the hops and the grain. Yet we so seldom declaim odes to spirits of liquor, touched with fire, touched with ice. Perhaps they are too earthy for such poesy. Spirits. Such as these last, two, tiny glasses filled with liquid fire. The finishing touch to the ancient art of making the groom too hung over to do more than be steered about the chapel floor next morning so he not embarrass his bride, the wedding party and guests; yet not too hung over to hurl evidence of his belling staggery the night before over the prelate’s slippers.
Too often the young horn themselves, with this. And yet. As I’ve said. I’m not so drunk as I have been before. I am, in my age, used to the late nights of lost sleep, but rather than lost, because of my age, merely temporarily displaced with my spectacles.
What injury this drink can do me, is slight, when considering the battery and assault each year has inflicted. The drink is rather now an old, consoling friend, poking one in the shoulder, rather than the rough treatment each year brings to mug another chain of time from one’s ever thinning purse of life.
Enough maudlin philosophy! Before you fall upon your face, oh Spark, let us cap the night and you may roust me tomorrow with as much cheer as your role demands! I shall be surly. I shall complain as is required, when I and Trathila shall, with much amusement, watching our young attendants keep every moment of tradition clearly, painfully and unnecessarily alive for us, clasp our hands inside the ring box; as if it were not merely a formality.
Are you aghast? Oh Spark, you are young. Let me advise you. When the thug of time comes calling faster each year, you no longer waste what chains of time you have. Enough again!
To the wedding! To my wedding. To our wedding. And I hope that forzak cat is minded to let me sleep in the same bed as my wife…
Again, thank you Kevin for all the lines and all the help!