First, it was the portrayal of drinking absinthe in Moulin Rouge. Then, it was reading about the drink in The Garden of Eden. Both descriptions fascinated me, and from then on, absinthe was this sort of forbidden, mysterious creature. I knew one day I would get around to trying it myself, but I wasn’t in any hurry, since my imagination viewed the possible exaggeration of the green liquid’s effect as something thrilling but also slightly terrifying. This combination could wait until the perfect moment.
Last night, that moment arrived.
I wish I could say it was everything I’d always thought–a little bit scary and a lot exciting–but I’m not in a movie and I’m not in a book, and so, it was as real life often is: nothing like I thought it would be.
Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy the experience. I should be relieved to announce the roof of my mouth going numb was the only negative side effect of sipping what seemed like something never meant to pass between human lips. I should be happy to report the drink didn’t instantly make me drunk, or cause me to pass out, or even inspire the faintest hallucination.
And I am. While I appreciate drama on the big screen and in literature, I don’t know what to do with it when it enters my own reality. So it’s a good thing that drinking the absinthe resulted in nothing more than a lack of feeling along my tongue for a few minutes.
Still, if I had had some brush with the absurd as a result of draining the glass of neon drink, it would have made a much better story.