Rich and full-bodied, with intense flavors of raspberry, plum and blackberry, balanced with oak character and a hint of toffee. A perfect wine to drink by itself or pair with barbecue, pizza or spicy foods.
– Snap Dragon, California Red Wine 2008
On the travertine floor and granite countertop. The wood cabinetry, taupe walls, Swiss coffee baseboards, the stainless steel refrigerator and the ceiling. Mommy juice. As far as the eye can see.
I was really enjoying this bottle. Until now. Now, I am not enjoying this bottle. I am not enjoying being on my hands and knees racing to get ahead of the blood red stain that is oozing its way across the floor, pooling in my champagne-colored grout.
I have this little habit involving wine. Actually, it involves spilling wine. I have just spent a lot of money to have every floor in the house professionally cleaned to erase the impact of two young children and three dogs. And less than a month later, I am sopping and scrubbing furiously. And thinking of all of the times I have done this before.
Like when I momentarily fell asleep sitting on the couch. Or the broken glass at the bottom of the pool that he had to recover piece by piece.He once found a vintage bicycle wine rack tucked in the back corner of a store that was so hot and claustrophobic that I agreed to it only so that we could, like Elvis, leave the building. It settled into the awkward space between the top of the refrigerator and the cabinets and I settled into the idea that it was there.
Christmas Eve was officially ours, a peace offering for the two arms of family each wanting holiday time with the grandchildren. As much as we loved the holidays, we dreaded them. Family demands, budgets that did not stretch far enough and the pressures of work erupted in a candy cane-and-gingerbread-wrapped explosion of tempers and tears. The first holiday as a foursome was particularly difficult – he had just returned from a month-long trip for work and the annual flu had descended like the plague. To survive the preparations we split up, each taking a child and a task. Off went the boys, leaving me with my equally miserable 18-month-old daughter who did not want to be put down.
Not when I needed to finish frosting the cake. Not when the dishes needed to be cleaned up. Not when the cheeses needed slicing and arranging. And absolutely not when the back wheel of the wine rack come skittering off the top of the fridge, leaving one hand free to catch the bottle hurtling to the floor.
The white bottle, not the red.
I sometimes wonder what he thought when he walked through that door, my daughter screaming safely from the living room while I soaked up blood-red liquid and ragged green glass, tears from the fever and the frustration running down my face. The bottle had dropped so sharply that deep purple stains splattered across the milky color of the kitchen’s vaulted ceilings. A red watermark lingered in the porous tile for months. And here I am again, almost expecting to hear his voice.
Let me take care of that. I don’t want you to hurt yourself.
I look up at the fading spots as tears splash into the bloody pool below.