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Month: March 2024

Cocktail Musings: The Slippage

Cocktail Musings: The Slippage

During the summer of 2016, I remember picking up a book called The Slippage by Ben Greenman, mainly because the title intrigued me, and I was curious to know what it meant and how it was connected to the story itself. I immediately thought that it might be related to a scientific term known as the slipping point, a vague memory from high school physics class about the force required for an object to move. Or was it closer to the slip point, otherwise known as the temperature at which a solid starts to melt? That one would have been a vague memory from senior year chemistry. Hmmm. I also considered the possibility that it was a reference to the clutch slipping in a manual transmission when idling at the top of a hill, a very familiar occurrence for me since my first car was a yellow Toyota Celica 5-speed. As it turned out, the author was referring to none of the above, and it was very important to him that we understand the exact meaning of the term before reading the book. He defined the idea of slippage as “the exact moment when we begin to lose our footing,” a feeling that is relatable for most of us at one point or another in our lives. Maybe it was a bad personal situation we were in where we trusted someone that we shouldn’t have, or a job that made us question our values, or something as simple as an unfortunate decision, a bad night, a dark weekend. The thing that all of these examples have in common is that when we reflect back, there is almost always a moment when we felt the ground give way, we heard the rocks falling, and we reached out to grab onto whatever was close by, only to feel the beginning of the tumble backwards into something completely unknowable.

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