I write this column from a period of self-isolation in my house. I used to smoke two packs a day until my second daughter was born and since the coronavirus started in January, I have been having dreams of taking up smoking again. I consulted a book of Karl Jung about dreams, but they don’t have nothing about smoking. Must be the stress from this truly crazy worldwide situation.
My cellar has a poor wine selection now days, because I have the visit of a dear friend and his family last month and they did a serious job in depleting my stocks. The coronavirus finds me with an almost empty cellar. My wife, a conscious yoga instructor, is really happy about it. She told me in her best voice, that maybe this was the time to start an alcohol fast.
So here I am. Three kids, one wife, self-quarantine and a on-progress wine fast of fourteen days. And let me tell you something: it’s harder than I thought.
Not because I can’t stop drinking. In fact, my “Life Coaching” told me I don’t have drinking problems. The main problem with a wine fast is this, something everyone knows but nobody dares to tell you: without wine, we finally see each other in our pure essence, and that can be more terrifying than getting Coronavirus. Believe me.
When I drink wine, I’m eloquent, funny, even comical. My wife laughs a lot with the things I tell her. Generally speaking, I’m very bad with jokes, but with wine, my stories are painted with an hilarious brush that make me sound like a professional comic! My kids think that I’m the most amusing father of all the country.
Without wine I turn darker, dull, somber, like Ben Afleck’s Batman. My stories become too real, my voice gets throaty. So, when Angela Merkel told to the German people that 60% of the population would get infected and I saw that on the TV, I felt deeply happy with the honesty of the German Chancellor and I couldn’t stop laughing, in front of the children.
Wine is what gradually loosens my inhibitions, making me smile to the world and the world smile to me. Why should I stop something so amazing like this, I ask my wife?
All toxic substances cover, in part, the reality, but I have to say that wine is “the” single alcoholic substance that helps us to confront it, maybe because wine presents reality under new idealised forms that permits us to continue living.
I know that all of this can sound too philosophical, but if it not now, then when else should we become existential? Wall Street is collapsing, the tourist industry and the flight industry are collapsing, and the petrol is going down, and the supply of toilet paper, and Rome, Paris, Madrid, Wuhan and London are empty and I’m here in lockdown with my three kids, wife and dogs. A little bit of compassion, please! Wine will make these times less dramatic, a little bit softer, kind, even optimistic. I’m not talking about evasion, no sir. I’m talking about confronting these terrible days with something that protects us from the hardness of cruel reality. If this is a war and the enemy is COVID-19, wine should be my shield, I told my wife. But she didn’t hear my war cry, she is already asleep from a long, coronavirus day. Until tomorrow then.