Tuesday, August 3, 2010

day 37: i plundered a vineyard

Even after putting up with 27 years of its bullshit, sometimes Kansas can still surprise me. For example, I never would have guessed that in Basehor, Kansas (one acceptable pronunciation of which is apparently "base whore"), resides the fruitful Holy-Field Vineyard and Winery, which houses reds, whites, and a man-sized dog named Corky.

(I asked the woman behind the counter what breed he was, but at that point I was kind of drunk on Tailgate Red and could only point at the dog in awe and ask, "What is it?" Unfortunately I don't remember what she said.)

Last weekend Jason and I met some friends at the vineyard for an evening of jazz and wine tasting, but the experience ended up feeling more like the most epic night of summer vacation, like when my friend R. and I used to play on the trampoline for hours while singing Christmas songs and then leave secret gifts for her neighbors, Boo-Radley style.

We sat at tables surrounding the outdoor stage, sipping wine out of plastic cups and watching ominous gray storm clouds roll in. When it started to sprinkle, employees moved chairs and equipment inside while we ran amok between the rows of grapes.

Seeing the green and red bunches hanging from the vine was strangely exhilerating, much like seeing apples being pulverized for cider or gazing up at an avocado tree (seriously one of the highlights of my trip to Hawaii). There was something oddly exotic about holding a glass of delicious booze in my hand while having the source in front of me. I wanted to exclaim, "So that's where it comes from!" Instead I plucked a fat red one off the vine and shoved it in my mouth. It was seedy and sweet.

Sunset turned the still-clear sky to the west pink, while lightening streaked across the dark sky to the east. Off in the distance, the horizon was blurred by intermittent downpours. The band set up in a dimly lit room inside, illuminated only by a lamp below the singer's face. It felt like listening to a ghost story at summer camp.

We danced and and drank and stood in a gazebo in the warm summer rain and didn't worry about our hair. And that sense of abandon, of letting go, is what will make it memorable. Because the only thing that mattered was the crazy light show in the sky and the feeling of Jason's arms around my waist and his beard tickling my neck.

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