Sunday, March 6, 2016

A toast for all occasions

My friend JoJo and I went out to a bar near Taksim Square for theatrically-prepared cocktails with clever names tonight. We talked about riveting relationships, proliferating travel plans, noxious narcissists, and our homesickness for America. The jazz on the stereo was Bill Evans. The ingredients of my cocktail were redolent of cocktails I'd kicked back on previous occasions on other continents. The spirit rarely moves me to drink spirits, as I am a steadfast red wine lover. The bartender made our drinks one at a time, giving me mine first, so I forgot to make a toast after JoJo received hers. Making a toast is an essential way to launch an evening out, and when I mentioned the absence of a toast, JoJo raised her glass and said, "Better late than never." Her sentiment became the subject of our toast and we clinked glasses. Our next stop, at a Thai restaurant, Cassandra Wilson came on the stereo twice, once with “Harvest Moon” and then “Love is Blindness.” Whenever I am exceptionally moved by music in a way that makes me feel like an oddity, I remember my guide book, “The Highly Sensitive Person,” and how high I ranked on the quiz at the beginning of the book. According to the quiz, one of the distinct features of a highly sensitive person is being bothered by intense stimuli, like loud noises and chaotic scenes. This one doesn't characterize me as such, or else I couldn't live in Istanbul.

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