(I met Bacchus, he is about to tell me a story, part one is below if you are interested)
Bacchus, or “Big B” as he asked to be called, brought out two big glasses, poured most of the Cortez into them and started in his smooth, but gristled voice, a weird combination of Tom Waits and Ryan Gosling.
“There was once a women of ancient Greece. She was an ordinary enough woman of the times. Practically a slave to her husband, she worked hard for most of the year scrubbing, cleaning and mothering children, giving herself to her husband night after dreary night. Her one pleasure, her only pleasure in fact, was worshipping and meeting with her true husband, me. She was a Maenad, a follower of Bacchus.
“Each year my maenads would travel from far, and congregate at the summit of Parnassus. You see, the Shrine of the oracle at Delphi was sacred to Apollo for nine months of the year, but all mine from December to February. What a party that place was. You know nothing of parties. We had real parties. Of course, when you have followers, devoted pent up followers, frustrated female followers who become yours once a year, free to go wild on the slopes of Parnassus, you have a real fucking party.
“The idea was to bring me back to life. I was symbolized in the vineyards, and was essentially dead come wintertime, the grapes having been crushed and my ‘life’ gone into the wine of that vintage. My maenad’s would come together to sing, dance, fuck, or do whatever their real selves wanted for a night so I would be warmed and brought back to life for another year, another vintage. Cute, no?
“Each night different groups of women, all sworn to secrecy, would ascend the peak of Parnassus and worship me. Some would get high on the local fauna and flora, others would dance themselves into a trance, sing, shout, drink, kiss, fondle, whatever. There were sexual feats up there Harry that you could not imagine. Honestly, you could not imagine if you tried; you are far too modern. Those were the days. I was powerful then. Adored. Understood.
The God drifted off. He sat with his head tilted back, eyes closed and very still. I thought it best to leave him be and went to fetch another bottle from the ice-chest. I chose a modest looking Chablis, and popped the cork.
The god’s eyes sprang open, his head swiveled and two dark brown eyes that shone. No, not quite shone. They delved into my…no that’s not right. They thundered. That’s it. He has thunderous brown eyes. These rumbling eyeballs looked at me before a grin stretched itself out across his face, framed by quite miraculous cheekbones.
“What have you got there,” he said.
“Bottle of Chablis.”
“Why didn’t you take the Burgundy?”
Damn gods and there omniscience. There had been a bottle of Burgundy I almost took, but it was a Romanée Conti, rare, apparently delicious, expensive, and, well, I thought I had better not.
“I thought if I was opening one on my own….”
“Listen here and listen well Haddon,” the god cut me off, “if you are ever again faced with a cooler box filled with wine always choose either the best bottle, or the bottle you think is best and want to taste the most. All other choices are dull, dreary, and dreadful. Do you understand? Dull. There is nothing worse than a dullard.”
“Got it. Should I get the Burgundy?”
“No, I’m saving it. You had your chance.”
“What happened with the woman?”
“Ah yes, Cynthia. I loved her as much as a god can love a human. Badly. Destructively. Divinely.
“As I said, she was worked to the bone most horribly by her husband. I have always hated the weird sexist ways you humans developed. I am glad to see it is slowly diminishing, but hardly quick enough. Well, Cynthia looked forward to these nights on Parnassus more than most. I would always come to her in some way or another. Some years I would make sure she climaxed more beautifully, more dramatically than any of the other women, or on others I would help her leave with strength to get her through her next tiresome year.
“On this particular year she said a prayer to me that moved me quite suddenly.”
Bacchus put on the worst female voice I have ever heard like he was in a Monty Python sketch and recited Cynthia’s prayer.
“Dear Dionysus, hear my cry tonight. I…Oh sod it. These formal prayers never work. Look, I just want one night of pure pleasure. These nights are great, but this year I want something different want something that I’ll remember. That will change me. Something that I can really hang on to. Did you hear that Dionysus? Well, bring it on.”
“That’s the sort of prayer I like, straight to the point,” Bacchus continued in his Ryan Waits voice.
“I took the form of a woman, and brought Cynthia a goatskin filled with wine that I had made. Now Harry I want you to understand how great this wine was. It was the best wine could get. You think you have tasted great wine, and you have to some extent, but this wine was transcendent, sublime, unexplainable. I’m the god of wine after all; it was fit for me as they say.
“I gave this wine to Cynthia and she took a long draught of it. Her eyes widened and she understood what she had been given. She looked around for me but I was gone. You know what she did next?”
Big B looked at me questioningly.
“I don’t know, wrote a blog post?”
“You hilarious fuckwit,” he said drolly, “but you are on to something, because that’s exactly what she didn’t do. She didn’t write a tasting note, she didn’t give a score, she didn’t do anything but revel in the joyous experience of that wine. That’s what so many ‘wine drinkers’ fail to understand today. They are so caught up in the ‘idea’ of wine they fail to really enjoy it. What’s worse the people who really appreciate the stuff can’t afford, or wont pay for the really good ones. I have come to change all of that.”
“Change it? How?”
“I don’t know yet. But I am sure we’ll be able to work it out as we go along me and you.
“You and I?”
“That’s right buddy-boy, me, the Lord of the Grape, and you are going to get people drinking properly, and we are going to start with you.
As I sat in my car the next morning slowly sipping the last of the Chave, I saw a slip of paper tacked under one of my windscreen wipers. I got out the car and retrieved the slip of paper. On it was a number, under the number scrawled in a fine handwriting were the words:
“Bacchus. Call Me.”