I tossed and turned. I passed a bar where people gathered to drink sullenly.
I passed a wedding, a solemn affair where the betrothed promised to do what was necessary to maintain the species. The bride grimaced.
I arrived at a dinner party. The host greeted me at the door with a firm handshake and a shot of Bourbon. I downed it.
Inside, the guests were staring down at the table. "What's going on here?" I asked.
"It's Greg's birthday. We're waiting for the serving of the birthday cocktails."
Oh. I turned to look at the television. Another ship had not survived the christening ritual of being shot at with a 21-gun salute. No wonder our export economy is suffering.
Feeling stuffy, I went into the kitchen where the hostess was busy muddling.
"I'm sorry I'm a little late with these," she said.
It's OK, I told her, and grabbed a pestle to help. Had she been to our neighbor's baby shower?
She had. Another sad affair, with all the women crying at the end, she said. Although the Cosmos had been perfectly fine.
I might have something to celebrate soon, I said. My book proposal looked like it had found a home.
"Do you want a chocolate fountain, or should we rent the bouncy house?" she replied.
"No, this is really special for me," I said. "I want to open a really expensive Cabernet and drink it until I pass out on the couch. No wait … maybe I'll open several and a group of us can gather and compare tasting notes."
She clapped me on the back. "There's the spirit," she said. We carried the cocktails in to the crowd.
I suggested a toast. "To what," my friend asked, puzzled. "Let us take a sip of this cocktail in memory of the people we once loved who are no longer with us," I said. We drank solemnly.
Chopin was playing softly in the background. The hostess tried to get some conversation going. "So what do you think of this latest embargo imposed by the European Fascists' Union?"
"It's all Hitler's fault. If only Germany had had some motivation to use its army to invade France back when the world was strong enough to resist them. Instead, the Nazi party was smart, they husbanded their resources and eventually they were able to buy what they couldn't have conquered."
"Oh, let's talk more about politics," one of my friends said. "It's the most fun thing you can do at a dinner party, except perhaps talking about religion."
I sipped my cocktail. It was strong, but it had a slight fizz from the club soda. Or … could it be …
I woke up sweating. A world without sparkling wine! What a nightmare.
I ran into my fridge to the bottle of Domaine Carneros Brut Rose I hadn't finished last night … but it was EMPTY. AIIIIIIEEEEEEE!