Saturday, November 24, 2012

In Vino Veritas or Oblivio

Back in the summer of 1985 I resided at a small hotel on the grounds of Osbourne House, Victoria's palace on the Solent. I shared a cottage with Vonelli, a retired CIA agent. He said that he was an art dealer. No one believed him, but the hotel was a special place A Danish guest had heeded his Harley Street doctor's advice to eliminate vodka from his diet and decided to take the cure on the Isle of Wight. At the hotel Kurt instructed the help to only serve rose wine. He wore the same kaftan every day. It was summer and a warm summer for the south of England. His outfit smelled of a trapped animal. Staying in the dining room was difficult, however sleep was difficultized by the long hours of sunlight. In the very early morning I descend to the dining room for a solstice breakfast. The Viking blonde sea captain was sitting with his lovely Saudi Princess wife. It got toney on the ground of the royals. Kurt's elocution was already in deep distress. At his feet lay four empty bottles. By day's end he would have consumed 14-16 bottles by himself. Nearly dusk his dutiful wife would lift Kurt to his feet. Staggering toward the stairs he would look over his shoulder and say, "You're all shit." "He's not wrong." Vonelli was all for telling the truth. "I guess not." We drank wine, but not like Kurt. And tomorrow morning he would be waiting in the dining room with four bottles at his feet. In vino veritas – Pliny the Elder In more wine more truth – James Steele In magma vino oblivio - Me

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