When I was a naive adolescent Sled my best friend — I thought, although she later drop-kicked me to be a Maoist and a joyless doctrinaire participant in The Struggle, but that’s another story — fancied Simon and Garfunkel, and took up the guitar (I don’t think she ever quite forgave me for being a musician’s daughter and figuring it out faster). We learned this one pretty much together.
There are a load of theories about what the text represented: an “impossible task” narrative? A memory of the plague years? I plumped for the notion that the herby refrain was an actual medicinal recipe of some sort and hied me to the kitchen, where I bunged the cited botanicals into a teapot along with some glorious old Camellia Sinensis and, for good measure, a shot of creme de menthe, which I was permitted to drink daintily in those pre-insanity days when a regulated taste of spirits by the juvenile was not yet treated as an actionable offense.
It was remarkable. I don’t know what it might have cured or invoked, exactly, but it created a vision of hazy horizons and the light of other days. I drank it regularly, though not obsessively, until I fucked off to college and hadn’t the facilities to do it right.
I realized last night that I have all the components in my yard: even the parsley wintered over the last two years: all I need is to go nail down the creme de menthe. (As a classical music fan I am remiss in lacking this, anyway, or has anyone else ever heard of the creme-de-menthe variation?)
Suddenly I have a passion to brew this long-lost tisane from my own patch of earth. I am a little afraid of what I will remember when it strikes my olfactory bulbs, but, with deferrals to the whack of snow that we are supposed to get tomorrow, which may interfere with the trip to the spirits vendor, I am determined to do it.