Corkscrew’s Time Comes

I guess I’m finally ready to talk.

We’ve all heard so much in the past couple of months. So much analysis so easily becomes a part of our own rhetoric, perhaps even before we are aware of it. They say no matter where you are, terrorism gets you where you live. So whither The Nose? He was just about to head out the door to the biggest wine tasting of the year: Direct Import/River City’s huge downtown tasting.
Over a hundred tables, with each table holding several bottles. You do the math. Some of Chicago’s best chefs set up mini-stations at the four points of the compass in the grand ballroom. Stunning. This is inspiring stuff; it’s here we get most of our holiday ideas. I was tying my shoes to leave when my cell phone went off: “You watchin’ this stuff?” The voice on the other end asked. What stuff? “Oh, wrong number,” and he hung up. Then another call. And you know the rest. I was standing there with my mouth hanging open when the second plane hit in real time. Dedicated souls, we went to the Geneva platform to get on the train. Everyone getting off the 10:05 said that they had been evacuated. We phone folks until we learn that The Hilton (and everyone else) was cancelling anything bringing anyone into the city. Return trains were not guaranteed. Retool. And a few weeks ago, when I finally flew, I was singled out at security. “Excuse me, sir. You have a corkscrew in your bag.” Why yes I do. You want to see it? “Oh yeah, not only do we want to see it, you will either have to go back and check your bag or you will have to leave it with us.” My corkscrew, a weapon? Civilization has fallen this low. Something as peaceful as the instrument allowing you access to the juice of the gods has to be confiscated? I was sad. I admit, it was a sentimental piece. It was embossed with words like: On Lahaina It’s Nagasakos! It was a gift from my parents after a trip to Hawaii. When I sat down to think about it, I realized I had carried that corkscrew in my shaving kit for over 18 years. It had gone around the world at least three times and even
passed inspectation at Narita, where they once found my little Swiss Army knife Classic. It occurred to me that it must have taken a long time for the Nagasakos to leave Japan and get to Lahaina. It has taken me a while to appreciate wine this much. I wonder how long it will take before I can ever travel with an unchecked, undeclared corkscrew again.

It has opened so many doors that are now closed.