The Count of Monte Cristo, A Fried Sandwich and Hashish

The Monte Cristo, a fried and golden thing; glorious is its taste, this egg battered ham sandwich, this melty Gruyère cheese christened and jam preserve garnished trifle; tis’ savoury and sweet with richness that only by counting its calories can tell …Ah, bliss be the ambrosia sent from gleaming rays into our crackling frying pans!
I was carried away- right into the kitchen again! Let me put down the whisk and the egg, place the ham hock back in the fridge and start afresh. (Though, I shall be returning to this sandwich in a later post!)
The Count of Monte Cristo, first published in 1844, by the author, Alexandre Dumas, a man-made famous for his daring and politics but also by the creation of the d’Artagnan romance novels, (Three Musketeers being the first) is a tail of tragedy and betrayal that turns into a plundering, romp of riches, extravagance and harrowing acts of honor and valour.
As I am not finished with this tomb of over 800 exciting pages, I cannot concluded a synopsis. Instead of this, I will give to you some exciting excerpts and quotes I’ve dredged up from these daring depths: Dumas supposed feelings and advocacies of the illicit recreational drug hashish, synthesized marijuana.
(Dumas, Alexandre. The Count of Monte Cristo. Ware [England: Wordsworth Editions, 1997. Print.)

p.226 as spoken by the Count of Monte Cristo disguised under the appellation, Sinbad the Sailor:

“…-judge but do not confine yourself to one trial. Like everything else, we must habituate the sense to a fresh impression, gentle or violent, sad or joyous.”

“There is a struggle in nature against this divine substance- in nature which is not made for joy and clings to pain. Nature subdued must yield in the combat, this dream must succeed to reality, and then the dream reigns supreme, then the dream becomes life, and life becomes the dream. But what changes occur! It is only by comparing the pains of actual being with the joys of the assumed existence, that you would desire to live no longer, but to dream thus forever. When you return to this mundane sphere from your visionary world, you would seem to leave a Neapolitan spring for a Lapland winter- to quit paradise for Earth- heaven for hell! Taste the hashish guest of mine- taste the hashish.”

“A grateful world to the dealer in happiness”

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

Part 2 to come! Till next time and adieu!

The Dive

The Flavors of Life: Alcohol

The Flavors of Life: Alcohol

It’d be ill advised, though an interesting diversion, to draw a cool drink from these waters. It is a dark holler and a place to hide, yes. But that is just it! For those who make their regular a tired and beaten stage, it is a romantic, consolatory desperation. If it is solace I find in a pint and comfort I’ve obtained from the arms of the disturbed then it must be agreed that I and they are all masochists of these establishments; The cycle of abuse perpetuates itself because the glass is never full and continuously empties like a sieve. The comfort to be found here is but a dirty mirror with your own reflection weeping. Many emphasize desperate pleas by a nod and the clink of glasses; they are but a broken records with faraway grins. People come to talk but seldom to listen. The bartender inclines a head pathetically and sells her 16 ounces of madness at a peculiar cost.

Is it hell that’s so cleverly disguised? A place where patrons languish over their forever fevered brow? Aye, this is the place where words are made but they fall upon deaf ears. This is the place where the fatigued and needy squat-down though they find no lasting pause in their tedium. It is the metaphorical stagnant waters of the river Lethe, ever stale though it is traversed and refreshed many times. Woe to those poor damned souls who get their swig in hell from er’ regimental beastie, Gunga Din!

The boatman will draw up his ferry and you will pay him. Thus he will take you to his own world of ironic routine; to wander aimlessly in a great fog. Here we accomplish many a thing by word and dint but we always leave bereft-if leave we can. But welcome to this dive! And take it to heart because the drinks are cheap and the patrons are but jolly husks that are given life by the spirits they consume. For whatever reason an old man with a great beard calls to us and I lift my emptied vessel:

Fill to me my parting glass, good night and joy be with you all!”