He had been fighting for some time to avoid becoming an alcoholic but it was a losing battle in the hour between dinner and sunset. Condensation was forming on the side of the wine glass and he watched it with intensity.
The heat was dry but unrelenting. Sweat forged a gentle pathway from his hairline to his eyebrow to the tip of his nose. The solitary drop hung there momentarily, suspended without support just as he had been for months. The drop finally released and fell gently to the ground after a moment that lasted three. It splashed gently on the porous brick below and evaporated immediately.
He stood and picked up the glass by the stem. The condensation was perfectly distributed around the glass, like freshly fallen snow settling on even ground.
He smashed the glass against the edge of the table and watched shards of the glass scatter – some from the force of the impact and some in the cascade of wine he had caused. He could feel blood running down his hand but his only reaction was to laugh.
He stepped forward, laughing even as he felt glass crunching below his feet. There was pain now but that meant that recovery would come next and recovery – the departure of physical pain; the pain real enough to feel – was the only bliss on which he could rely.