Movement I: Childhood Innocence

I remember how, when we were children, we would make Kool-Aid; you with cherry for your blood fascination and me with lemon-lime for my absinthe.

We would sneak a dash of my mother's vodka into two crystal wine glasses and dilute the vodka with water. Then we'd pour in our Kool-Aid powder along with heaping spoonfuls of sugar, mixing them erratically so the concoction sloshed out over our hands. The drinks were thick and sweet, saturated with sugar and dye.

I remember how the Kool-Aid would stain your teeth red, how your mouth would taste like candy and cherries. I remember sitting straight-backed in a plastic chair, sipping the warm green liquid, pretending to be dignified. I would place a spoon on the rim of my glass and lump another spoonful of sugar into its concave, for we had no sugar cubes. I would drop water slowly onto the pile of sugar, imagining myself as a gentleman living in the 1800's.

But that was ages ago. I haven't tasted Kool-Aid in years, nor have I tasted any drink so saturated with sugar and green dye.

I see you for the first time in years, but we do not speak. We both know that now.. now it is time for us to fulfill our obsessions.

In a dark, dingy bar in New Orleans, the pale man who looks like a corpse tells me he will serve me absinthe. It will not be real, this I know. It will most likely be filled with poisonous chemicals to make it glow green and I will probably end up dead after vomiting up my brilliant green insides.

The absinthe, true to my belief, is not a milky emerald but a radiant bright green. Kool-Aid, I think, and smile. The man's eyebrows knit in confusion as I crush his sugar cubes and heap them into my glass. He starts to protest but then stops.

I know that wormwood, when not in the form of pure oil, is not actually a fatal poison. However, you must allow me some romanticism. I would like to say here that I could feel the wormwood as it began to deteriorate my central nervous system, though that was undoubtedly just the synthetic chemicals used to color the absinthe. Kool-Aid was so much simpler, I cannot help but think.

The absinthe is bitter. I bare my teeth at the man in some sort of a grin and he smiles back nervously, eyes shifting, and wipes the sweat from his forehead. I hand him a crisp bill and he stuffs it into his frayed pants, not bothering with my change.

My eyes shift from his face to look at what is behind him. A smile forms upon my lips as you step from the shadows, placing your long hands on his shoulders. His head whips around wildly as he grunts in alarm. He begins to thrash erratically as you shove a rough piece of cloth into his mouth. You begin to laugh as you slit his throat.

The blood spurts out in bright red streams, and; stereotypical as this may sound, you grabbed a glass off of the bar and filled it with his blood.

You drop his bleeding corpse, still alive, and sit down next to me. You crush several sugar cubes and dump them into your drink, smiling at me.
You hold up your glass.

We toast to childhood innocence.