A year or two ago, I was having an e-mail discussion with a former student of mine in which I mentioned that I had started to read Les Misérables and was finding it frightfully dull. She responded that I should keep on going, because they drink absinthe, and how can you not love people who drink absinthe?
So in December, when I was in Prague, where absinthe is legal (as opposed to here, where it seems to exist in a gray area), I picked up a bottle for her.
She came into New York today and we had lunch in celebration of her twentieth birthday tomorrow. By giving her the absinthe in person as opposed to mailing it to her, I feel certain I cut in half the number of state and federal laws I broke.
Then we got our fortune cookies, and somehow managed to end up with only one fortune between the two of us, so we decided it would apply to both of us. We read it, and it said, “You are never bitter, deceitful, or petty.”
It might as well have said, “You do not require oxygen to stay alive.”
Clearly the fortune was intended for the bottle of absinthe.