About Me

My photo
I like to write and I like to party, but mostly just the writing. Disclaimer: A lot of these stories are true ones. The memory of growing-up in and around Killybegs. When you hold a mirror up to small communities, sometimes there are those who don't like the reflection. Capote knew this only too well. If you find the refraction just a little too much and would like the angle of incidence changed in your favor, please email me at georgevial@hotmail.com and I will be happy to make a name change here or there.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Pouring a Pint of Guinness

The selected vessel had to be perfect, exempt from all impurities, streak free and dry, not too cool and neither too warm; its environs had to be perfect too. The craftsman choose one that fitted the standard of the age honored tradition he had been taught since he could lift his own weight in liquid. Holding the holy vessel up to the light he saw that this was indeed a fine choice. Light that shone through a chink in the curtains hit the surface and splintered into all its magnificent elements.

With the sleeve of his shirt rolled beyond the elbow, he began the ceremony. The veins rippled in his forearm as he held the vessel tilted to the perfect angle and brought his right arm around in a large arc to pull the device that would loose the heavenly juice.

Instantly the coffee-brown foam swirled around the sides of the glass and swished like an angry ocean at the bottom. On and on the nectar of the hops flowed till the vessel was all of three-quarters full. Then the craftsman carefully placed it aside to let the vessel and its precious cargo work their magic.

The bottom most of the vessel turned dark as the darkest night, the rest still swirling the distinctive brown with spouts of blackness and purple shouting through it and falling upon that which lay to the south. The proud craftsman looked on at his creation as near to perfection as anything came to in life. He knew the time allowed for the settling and those seconds pounded in his head as he restrained his hand from taking the vessel too soon and sacking the beauty of the ceremony. When a hundred and nineteen of the poundings had gone through his ears he lifted the vessel once more and brought her to the source for one last suck from the nipple of life.

This time his right arm pushed the lever up rather than pulling down as he had before. The liquid did not tarnish the perfect blackness created by the settling, but made itself one with the rest of the liquid. As it flowed, the head now white as the snow atop mount Errigle on a winters morn, rose to the rim and stopped a fraction of an inch above the edge magically keeping it from flowing over and tainting the outside.

The craftsman took the vessel in his hands for the last time, and placed it on the mahogany-alter in front of him. He felt as if it were his child and giving up part of his own being was the hardest task asked of a master craftsman, and no matter how many times he performed the ceremony it was as hard as the first he had ever given .

A new hand came to clasp the vessel now, not one of a creator like the craftsman but that of a destroyer, the drinker. As cruel as the drinker appeared now, savagely gulping down the holy liquid, it was him that gave the vessel and her cargo its reason to be. For there was no greater shame for a master craftsman than to have one of his creations refused by the barbarians on the other side of the wooden alter.

This savage however, returned nothing to the heart broken craftsman but the empty vessel, gutted of her cargo and all the Neanderthal had to say for himself was “Hey man, that was a great pint!”

No comments: