Thing 14: Chase the green fairy

I haven’t done much rebelling in my life. I worked just hard enough in high school. I went to a Christian college. I loved my job at the church. I got married when I was 19, which some may call rebellion, but when you do it because you’re in love and starting a life in a new state and preparing for graduate degrees together, it hardly seems recalcitrant.

So when I went friends to an absinthe bar so cool it doesn’t have a sign out front and ordered this mysterious, fairly-recently-legalized drink, I felt rebellious.

Absinthe was sometimes referred to as The Green Fairy because of its high alcohol content and its alleged hallucinogenic properties. That was why so many writers and artists drank it—it was said to boost creativity. The drink was legalized in the US only after proving the spirit was free of thujone, the chemical compound responsible for absinthe’s psychedelic effects.

(Can you smell the Wikipedia in that paragraph?)

The bar, creatively named Absinthe, is marked only by two glowing green lights. It is obnoxiously dark. We were the people that used our cell phone lights to read the menu. The bartender did not appreciate this. He poured us what he said was the traditional way to drink absinthe, over sugar and water. The only enjoyable part of the licorice-tasting spirit was the presentation, because fire.

The bartender lights the sugar cube on fire then it dissolves into the liquid. I think.

I didn’t have any creative breakthroughs or sudden urges to cut off an ear. Perhaps those require more than the one drink I could choke down or maybe the cell phone light scared the fairy away.

I left feeling like we had wasted a night with a babysitter and frustrated that the Uber couldn’t find us because WHO DOESN’T HAVE A SIGN and thankful that I never have to drink absinthe again.

Thanks for coming with me, friends. I’m sorry I made you do that.




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