The nose on this expression reminds me of Stretch-Tite. I don’t remember his real name, but he was a geology grad student with a Paul Bunyan beard and a closet full of plaid shirts. He got his name for his penchant of going to all the campus receptions with a roll of Stretch-Tite® plastic wrap in his messenger bag. He would pull out lengths of it to enwrap hors d’oeuvres, handfuls of nuts, tea sandwiches—pretty much anything edible. He worked with the precision of a team of evidence collectors, spidering the goods into the plastic webbing and dropping them into the bag to be eaten later, I presume.
I was thinking of him as I nosed this dram because of the smell of salted shale, the kind that are full of trilobites. “Ain’t no party like a trilobite party / Cuz a trilobite party don’t stop.” It was the only attempt at humor I ever heard Stretch-Tite say. What might he say of this dram? There is a small delicate nose. Puny, even, but it’s like the nostrils of an elephant shrew that blossom gingerly from its elongated snout. There’s such restraint here it calls to mind teenage film cliché of the dowdy high schooler before she’s is made up. Smoke and cotton quilts. Gentility and roundness.
The mouth is much bigger than the nose. Brine, gunpowder, grapefruit juice. Luncheon meat brushed with rosewater, placed on sandwich bread, then cut into cartoon hippopotamus shapes. A matronly elementary school teacher with onyx cameos, curly soft gray hair, and hazel eyes that prompts your sixth grade self to google the science of Benjamin Button to see if it were possible that as you aged she would get younger and you could enjoy her warm kisses under a willow tree.
Finish of lemon meringue tartlets held by wax paper so thick it is almost like a lead-lined bib you wear when having teeth X-rayed. This brings back the time you sat on a musty camp cot in the rain and share the tarts with other campers, while you watched the rain darken and bloat the discarded cardboard box they arrived in. Nostalgia hangs in the air like clouds of mosquito killer billowing out of the back of a truck, young children chasing it down on their bikes or on foot.