Purple prose

Form Three

It’s been a long time between drinks. A long time between my posts. And by way of apology for my inactivity, I have quite the chalice to quench your thirst. More drown it completely in fact, in a gallon of purple prose.

Yes, I do have another web dairy now—67 posts and counting at A Sensitivity to Things —writing more than enough to keep me busy, but time was found recently for a longer piece, a story about the beginning of high school many years ago, about the end of my childhood, about how I found my child self once more by finding meditation:

I remember my last night of childhood clearly. It was the last day of the summer holidays, last day of the month of January, beginning of the hottest time of year in New Zealand, the time of the year that school begins. Tomorrow was the first day of high school. Tomorrow my childhood would end.

Perhaps the slowly growing sense of desperation, unarticulated fear clawing at edge of heart was an unconscious sense of impending death. I certainly couldn’t see living in my future. Here in the very height of summer, amidst late-setting nights and balmy, humid days, the winter of my life would begin.

You might be wondering where the phrase “long time between drinks” comes from—or wondering what it means. It’s origin appears to be American, from some time in the 1800s, and it refers to a long time between meetings or activity. There is no one definitive source for its first appearance, but the following post Civil War tale whet my fancy:

There's a lovely story about a meeting of the governors of the two states during Reconstruction, and it turns on this question: What did the governor of South Carolina say to the governor of North Carolina? Gov. James Orr reputedly said to Jonathan Worth, “The governor of South Carolina feels constrained to say to the governor of North Carolina, that in these military cabinet counsels, there is a mighty long time between drinks.”

You might also be wondering where all the melodrama and heightened prose in my writing comes from? I’ll let you know when I work it out myself.

Read more: Miracles out of Mountains out of Molehills