I used to work at a small software company in Boulder, Colorado. Now that doesn't seem like out of the ordinary now, but fifteen years ago it was rather forward and rare. (God, I sound like I am 500 years old. I can't wait to tell my children that I remember the first video on MTV.) I actually remember one of the tech people introducing me to the this new thing they called the "world wide web". I sat there for about ten minutes while the connection whined and screamed and then he showed me a very crude version of random advertisements and information. I remember actually uttering the words, "What is the purpose of that?" in all of my twenty-five-year-old wisdom and then, "that will never last". He tried to explain the potential to me but I grew bored and walked away. Brilliant.
Anyway, during an employee happy hour one Friday (I miss those. Free liquor for two hours at a bar on a Friday in Boulder, Colorado - what could be better than that? I think that must have been the happy hour seed that was planted in my belly that has grown and flourished into a beautiful flowering plant.) I was bullshitting with the owner of the company (as is my nature) and he started explaining a pattern in his life that he had come to recognize as "chasing the high". Chasing the high, he elaborated was when you try to replicate the feeling of that first cold beer by having another one and another one. That second cup of coffee is never as satisfying as the first but you keep drinking it until you are shaking to try and get that feeling back but it never works...ever. He was about my age now and his point was that he was going to stop chasing the high and just enjoy the first glass of wine, the first cup of coffee, the first cigarette and be done with it. I found this candid pronouncement very inspiring and touching and a wave of pity suddenly came over me as I realized that this old man could clearly not handle his liquor. But right before he melted off his bar stool and stumbled toward the bathroom he turned and slurred, "Tomorrow. Tomorrow. I'm gonna stop chasing the high...tomorrow."
We are going to the Fish Market tonight and my favorite drink there is their grapefruit and basil martini. I tend to have a favorite drink at restaurants where others have favorite meals they order. (Their Happy Hour food is really good and cheap too. It used to be better but unfortunately they have abbreviated the menu.) I have thought about the drink all last night and this morning. I have tried to replicate it at home to no avail. It is perfect. It is fresh grapefruit juice and premium vodka with muddled basil and a basil leaf garnish. It is the perfect blend of ingredients as it is refreshing in every season. I chase the high with this drink every time.