Thoughts after pastis

The birth edition,  Issue 02

 

 

Text by: Franziska Bachmann
Visuals: Dylan Spiteri

My dearest Spritzie,

I’ve wrestled with this for a while now but I cannot keep it from you anymore. It’s not easy for me to say this, but it’s even harder to keep it from you any longer—I met someone new in Paris. 

 

 

 

It happened a couple of weeks ago. A grumpy French waiter introduced us. I don’t want to fuel the French waiter stereotypes any further—I’m sure there’s some joyous ones out there—I’m just telling you how it happened. Anywho, I just observed, at first. I wasn’t immediately entranced or anything. I remember feeling quite skeptical at the idea, but I can’t lie… I was curious. 

It wasn’t long till I gave in. It seemed like the grouchy garçon tending to me couldn’t wait to indulge me. I asked for him and the waiter vanished. My heart was pounding. I felt like I was about to do something heinous, something I should be ashamed of. I remember, clear as day, putting my sunglasses on, hoping no one would catch in the act. 

But that’s not why my heart was racing. I was excited! The mystique of being in a foreign country; the thrill of being adventurous; the prospect of knowingly doing the wrong thing and being able to get away with it—it was electrifying.  Just as quickly as he left, the waiter brought him to my table and disappeared once more. My heart was still pounding but I was glad we were alone. Actually, the café was packed but I was so present—so in the moment—I couldn’t tell if the neighbouring patrons caught on fire.

His name’s Ricard. He’s a tall, blond, head-in-the-clouds-type Frenchie. I’m sorry to blurt it all out like that but, unlike being there with him, writing this is excruciating for me. I know I’ve done you wrong. You were always there for me with unwavering loyalty and we’ve been through so much together. Believe me, I’m so sorry to hurt you like this. I’m so sorry if you feel betrayed. I’m sorry… for many things… but I can’t say I’m sorry about my indiscretion. We went all the way. It happened more than once…

Everyone here calls him Pastis. A little shot of yellowish spirit in a tall glass. Add water to it and voilà. Almost magically the liquid turns cloudy. Milky. I was entranced as it was happening and intrigued as I finished pouring the water. Needless to say, I was eager to try it but I wanted it to be proper, so I contained myself and threw some ice in there before going in.

Upon touching my lips, I knew something special was happening. I wasn’t recovering from this. This was no crush. No puppy love. This was a full-blown, long-term commitment. Lustful and loving all at the same time. I hadn’t felt this way since meeting you Spritzie. Sweet at first. Then the anise hits and it gets a little spicy. All washed away by the refreshing temperature of the water. Sheesh! I put the glass down and I contemplated for a while what just happened. Indescribably delicious. Then I started overthinking things. Could it really be this good? Am I exaggerating? Is it Ricard or is it this moment that I’m falling for? So I went back in. It was not the moment, it was Pastis.

Guided by the tempo set by the 24-hour smooth Jazz playlist I continued drinking. It became my sipping rhythm. The cloudiness started fading and I could faintly see the bottom of the glass, but I was in a trance and nothing was getting me out of it. Or so I thought. That will be 2.50. Would you like to pay cash or by card? This was probably the defining moment in my relationship with the waiter. I hated this interruption. Maybe I was staring into the glass for too long and making people feel weird. I’m not sure. All I know is that I could still taste Ricard on my tongue. Another one, s’il vous plaît.

I just thought you deserved to hear it from me. Thank you for everything Spritzie. I hope you can forgive me. I’m sure we’ll meet again sometime and I don’t want things to be awkward between us.

Love,

Franzi

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