When it’s that confluenza of bitter cold winds wafting trace amounts of new pollen and the four blocks to the train has left your nose running terribly, and the only tissue-esque thing in your bag is a paper towel upon which you have written down data to take home & enter into Excel somewhere where you can also drink wine, data that’s the product of four hours of set-up, seven days of waiting, and three hours of collection, data that’s the only copy.
When the orange flower water proves to be not nearly insufferable enough, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in possession of a good bar must be in want of creme de violette.
2 oz gin
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.25 oz Luxardo
Drizzle of creme de violette
Shake first four ingredients over ice, place fifth ingredient on head. Do not recommend mixing these instructions up.
Teach Us To Sit Still
“How do you do?” She inclined her glossy head to a well-practiced angle that spoke equally of politesse and charity. The strange man just smiled into the middle distance.
“The museum is lovely,” but no thank youwas forthcoming. She wrinkled her nose delicately against the wafts of musty brine and chip fat being piped in for the sake of realism and tried again. “I adore your scarf, though I regret I do not recognize it, if it’s a clan tartan.”
His expression remained unchanged, slitty little eyes not quite meeting hers. She smoothed her coat down over the faint alien bulge of her abdomen, battling a skeleton-sunk tiredness.
The ersatz dock-smell was really making her rather nauseated, though she couldn’t necessarily distinguish the olfactory quease from that of the royal tadpole now swimming in her belly. Through her lashes, she studied him for a new and proper conversational avenue, though her contact lenses had dried a bit in the flight over, and were making it difficult to see. There was strawlike grey protruding awkwardly from his head … do they go in for hair plugs up here? no, that won’t do … fine stubble and a hammy hand on a mug of god knows what. She sniffed for whisky but only got a renewed snoot of algal vinegar, stomach dipping like the tail of the Royal Flight helicopter.
Her smile, an Olympic dream of smiles, one that could be held for untold hours through Channel winds and Geordie accents, faltered. The poor man’s nervous, she thought with a chagrined realization, and so she turned her attention to the more animated fellow across the table, easing swollen heels out of soaring pumps.
A few exchanges of choreographed repartée later, the men rose and the paparazzi largely drifted away, but the man to her left still grinned indefatigable towards somewhere near her right knee. The hand pincering his mug handle hadn’t moved in all of that time.
“I sympathise,” she said, leaning in confidential. “Sometimes it takes all of my energy to allow myself to be a real person.” She frowned a bit, habitually smoothing the faint bulldog wrinkles from her forehead with a hand manicured in pale pink varnish. “To look at real people, to actually look at them. It’s just so exhausting to care, and not to care, all at the same time.” His smile seemed to soften, if not his spine.
“You know,” she said, spurred to confidence by his chummy silence, “I was recently described as a mannequin, of a sort,” blinking blurry eyes at the cosy tableau of jumper and panelling. “Apparently I’m wood-carved, draped in robes of ascension, of motherhood, in a gossamer that whispers of the shroud.” She half-laughed, index finger at her immaculately kohled waterline.
“Oh, you must think me silly.” His quiet soothed her even as the photogs started to filter back in, at a loss for a new frame. She reached out that sapphired, that heavy-ringed hand, and touched his curiously rigid shoulder.
“Thank you,” she whispered ventriloquist-ish through her quick rejiggered grin. “You’ve no idea how nice it was to talk for a moment with someone who just might understand.”
It was still Valentine’s Day. Barely, but he thought it just was. It was difficult to do the conversions: inverse exponential of the proportion to the speed of light plus galactic lag plus transmission time plus the international date line. He’d taken care of the flowers already - 2 dozen calla lilies - that was the easy part because with a simple transdimensional hack you could route the IP through Kaliningrad and schedule the delivery in earth-time. He thought about her, the long limbs refracted glossy through the camera module on his dash, the messages they’d so earnestly exchanged. He thought about her and he checked his radar: he was going to be late, and he had to send a message.
Maybe he was a little bit close to earth, but how could he help it, with those arms the color of mooncaps on Xzotzor, reaching, always reaching towards him. That’s why he was here in the first place, in his cleverly-disguised ship, aching for distances less than parsecs. He would calibrate the approach vectors in a minute. “Dearest Svetlana,” he typed, tentacles tentative on the keypad, “It is I, Yuri. On this day I find it important to tell you…” the monitors were starting to bleat like a hungry goat (this animal he had never seen but which Svetlana had raised as a girl and so he had looked them up and so this is what it sounded like to him now), but his two brains were busy dueling over what to say next.
“I like you very much, more than regular like, like, I like you like a Grevylaxz likes his Meronym.” He frowned, deleted. The monitors were still pulsing and had turned an unpleasant puce color.
“I like you like Bradpitts like Jeniferanistons,” wracking his brain for Earth-slang. That didn’t seem quite right so he launched a spider onto the planet’s net, all the while thinking in recently-learned haiku.
Your milk-white buttocks
Remind me of the egg sacs
of Yyrtrak: Fatal.
No, that wasn’t really going to work. He counted syllables on his trembling tentacles. The monitors had gone a reddish-orange. Like her hair, he thought. Crimson, sanguine, infrared, he downloaded off of his dictionary.comlink. Monitors were shrieking, now. He erased the poem.
I love you, he typed. A terrible heat gripped him, an acceleration. This is what it’s like, he thought, to love someone, bringing his pseudopod to bear upon the SEND. I love you I love you I love…
A screaming came across the sky. A vase on a bedstand shattered into a thousand pieces at the shockwave. Calla lilies spilled insensate over the wreck of it.
Cocktail Hour with Mollycule Theory
It’s Mardi Gras! Let’s celebrate by making the most gratuitous cocktail ever to emerge from New Orleans: the Ramos Gin Fizz!
Put 2 ounces of gin in a cocktail shaker, add a half ounce each of lime & lemon juice. Yes, both, and you should really squeeze it fresh. One ounce each of simple syrup and cream. Heavy cream; it’s Fat Tuesday for a reason.
Now add an egg white. None of that pasteurized pre-separated shit, either. Salmonella? Live a little (also go ahead & wash the egg shell though).
Is this not ridiculous enough for you yet? Okay, add a couple of drops of orange flower water. It’s like someone sat down and said “what is the most assholey thing I could put into this drink right now?” and came up with “oh right, orange flower water*.”
Now shake it for 1-2 minutes. Add ice cubes and shake it for another 2 minutes. It’s like a Shake Weight except you can drink it at the end! Pour into a tall glass and top with seltzer to taste.
If you want to take it next-level, shake some orange bitters onto the froth (you want to take it next-level you fucking ponces).
Congratulations, you have gone through all of this business to get a cocktail that tastes like a tarted-up creamsicle! Happy Mardi Gras!
*I had orange flower water in my house already oh god what does this say about me as a person ):