Friday Musings: Head-on Collision

Friday Musings: Head-on Collision

Last Friday I wrote a post about relationships that begin like trains pulling into the station on parallel tracks. The few minutes that we spend waiting for passengers to step off and step on give us just enough time to glance over and notice the other person. If our lives are in sync then we’ll have an opportunity to begin something meaningful. If they’re not, then we may keep missing one another, forever trying in vain to pull into that platform at the same time. But there’s another type of relationship that happens to us, right, and it’s one that we’ve all experienced at one point or another. We’re coasting along on our track on a beautiful day minding our own business, when all of a sudden out of nowhere, there’s a train right in front of us, headed right for us. There is nothing we can do. Even if we hit the breaks we are doomed to crash head on into this other train, into this other person. And so it happens. And although it’s quite spectacular, there’s damage and debris everywhere. We have to almost immediately begin assessing which of our parts are still working, which ones are compromised, and, worst of all, which of them can never be repaired.

The thing is that although we can see the safety and the relative calm behind the parallel tracks relationship, we often secretly wish for the head-on collision. We think somehow that it has to be better for another person to come into our lives in a slam bang manner and turn things topsy turvy. Isn’t that what love is supposed to do? Isn’t it supposed to arrive with some kind of impressive display and render us unable to explain what just happened to us? Maybe. I’ve certainly entertained that thought and I’ve also experienced it, but the problem is that the relationship that begins with the head-on collision may never right itself. It may never be one that can run smoothly, with the other person riding along next to us in perfect sync. Quite often there continues to be collision after collision, and the damage becomes overwhelming. It leaves us feeling consumed and utterly unable to function normally. It derails us. I think ultimately what we want, and what some of us are truly lucky enough to find, is a combination of both. We pull into the station and we glance over and there’s a kind of emotional crash that happens. It tells us that this person is going to be extremely important to us, this person is going to matter in a really big way. They’re going to change our lives forever, but it’s going to be without damage, without disrepair, and without derailment. It’s out there for all of us. We just have to keep remembering to turn our heads and look.

For today’s cocktail, I wanted to go with ingredients that would feel like they were crashing into one another in an unexpected way. I confess that this brilliant idea was not my own. Credit for it goes to Andrew Countryman, who I work with at Cooper River Distillers. We were having a conversation about my Parallel Tracks post last Saturday, and when I mentioned the head-on collision idea, he came up with the thought that the cocktail had to have unexpected and disparate ingredients. It goes to prove that the some of the most enlightening conversations occur in bars, whether you’re working behind them or sitting in front of them.

Head-on Collision

1 oz Balvenie Doublewood 12-year-old Scotch whisky
1oz St. Germain
1 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
1 oz lime juice

Place all the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously until very cold. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime zest. Brace for impact.

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