I had no idea that water was so scary. I mean, I knew. The water is scary! But I never acknowledged what primal fear the average person experiences when they jump into a body of dihydrogen monoxide. The signs were all there: my brother “kind of hates” the ocean, my boyfriend relates it directly with Cthulhu, and I (myself!) freak out when swimming in murky lakes. But it still took my first day of on-the-job dive instructor training to understand the level of terror that water instills.
Today I watched a valiant little boy panic in scuba gear at the deep end of a heated swimming pool. I encouraged an All-State high school swimmer to get out of the water when she couldn’t handle the drysuit training skills. And before I left work, I stayed late trying to help a woman my age feel comfortable kicking at the surface with a pair of fins on.
…And all this time I thought you guys were the weird ones.
Sometimes all the information is there in the first five minutes, laid out for inspection. Then it goes away, gets suppressed as a matter of pragmatism. It’s too much to know a lot about strangers. But some don’t end up strangers. They end up closer, and you had your five minutes to see what they were really like and you missed it.
—Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers
A proper drink at the right time - one mixed with care and skill and served in a true spirit of hospitality - is better than any other made thing at giving us the illusion, at least, that we’re getting what we want from life.
—David Wondrich, Imbibe!