Tasting the Room

There was a medium wind, with the earth airborne, jumping into all his senses.  There, he was describing the wind and morning as he was forced to, the wine.  Today had to be different, he thought.  No stress, no visitors getting to him.  It was a day of passiveness.  “Why am I letting this wine thing get to me?” he asked himself, putting his forefinger on the scanner, clocking him in.  No answer.  Just set out the glasses, took corks from bottles, lined them up, inserted the silver, stained, pour foils.  This routine would always be under his skin.  There was no removing it.

“Yo yo yo there, Zinny McGee…” Mike said, with the usual pen on his right ear, against the side of his margarine yellow hair.

“Hey,” Joe said, washing the foils, scratching away the small circular coagulated red cakes from their face.

“What’s wrong?  Are you hung chow?”, meaning ‘hung over’.

“No.  Just not into it today, that’s all.  What’s new with you?”

“Oh.. well, did you hear?”

“Here we go,” Joe thought.  The daily drama.  Why did there always have to seep drama, and rumor, and whatever else?  He didn’t get it.  And he knew he never would.

“George was let go yesterday.”

Joe taught as an adjunct professor at the local community college.  Photography.  So he wasn’t in the room or anywhere on the estate yesterday.  The type of days he loved, that made him equal, homeostatic.  But George was Joe’s closest friend, after Mike, so he didn’t know what to think, but knew it would tilt, curve, perturb his day.  “Of course…  Why?  Was there a reason?”

“No.  OR, not that I know of.  They just told him ‘we’re letting you go’.”

“Of course they did.” Joe poured the estate zin, about half-way up the bowl, threw it.

“Whoa there…  We’re having that kinda day, huh?  Good.  ‘Cause I AM hung chow.”

“Well good morning gents… Joey…” Taralynne said, checking the daily schedule which was always set on the side bar, near the flatscreen which had been rotating the same stills since Joey stared, over two years ago.

“Hey Lynnie.  Did you hear about George?” Mike said, checking the schedule from over her shoulder, putting the usual stick of dentist office-y gum into his yappy trap.

“Yeah.  Well…  That’s what happens when you do that kinda stuff,” she said, adjusting her glasses, eating the routined tomato soup from the third floor coffee cup.  She loved drama, rumor, dirt, anything about anyone else.  It was like she was sedated and stimulated from it.  Joe could never understand it.  And he didn’t want to.  He just wanted another pour of that Zin.  It was going to be a day.  Another in the room.  “And why not taste with these idiots?” he thought.

“Hey Zinny, you wanna help me count the bottles from yesterday?”

“Not really.  You wanna help me taste this Zin, make sure it’s safe?”

“If I have to…”

“You do.  Let’s make today fun, if we can.”

“We can,” Mike said, smiling, pouring himself a healthier tilt that Joe expected.  But Joe was happy.  It would be a day.  One colorful, enjoyable, actually fun.  How dare they.

They both sipped.

Zin gone.

The day was off…