by Ashley Beth
For through teeth grinding is the way we come in
And with teeth grinding is the way we go out
And if and only if
The only times we truly live
Our teeth are grasping all the air
In us to shout?
I was flying 38,000 feet above the brown, February ground when I discovered once and for all that bourbon is better than whiskey. The devil had three fingers in me, after taking a ceremonious shot of Woodford Reserve just outside security at Louisville’s Standiford Field airport and then a double of the notch up by the gate while my flight was delayed. I like how bourbon picks you up gently, carries ya tenderly and sits you down nicely, unlike the rude, ravaging, death-by-aftertaste of Jack Daniels.
It was official. This 2016 airplane trip from Newark, New Jersey, to Louisville and back would go down in this 29-year-old platinum blonde’s life as the moment that she would fall prey to the swagger of bourbon. Which, frankly, looks like it will serve me better than any man I’ve ever invited to share life with me. After all, bourbon doesn’t discriminate, criticize or make condescending comments indicating incompetence which upon questioning are apparently really never supposed to insult us, we just need to stop being so “damn sensitive.”
Anyways, squirrel. This would also be the trappings of what I hope to be the long love affair I will have with Louisville. In fact, the bourbon was becoming the iconic scent of the lover that Louisville was becoming to me. The Victorian mansions teased me, her Fleur de Lis charmed me and the friendly, laid back whispers of the Highlands intrigued me. This was my third trip to city that I swear has a sister city in New Orleans. They’re just too similar. They have too many similarities to list here but the mutual, Louis XIV “Sun King” settling of the two lands, their dedication to beauty, their commitment to art, their slurry speech as they ask you in an accent dripping with honey, “How ya doin’, darling?” Sigh. I just can’t even. I’m disappointed that this is only my third trip.
Since our introduction at GonzoFest 2015 and the exciting, subsequent events of that Donald Trump broadcasted, mass shootings blasted, catastrophic year of our Lord 2015, Louisville, Kentucky was starting to magnetize me. Like a massive device rigged by Magneto, I could feel it warming up. I could hear the clicking, the clacking, the warming of the tubes. The radio waves blasting, the cobwebs of years past lambasting and the preservers of the Great Gonzo Spirit gripping hands they had not held since they stood in circle round a two-thumbed fisted cannon containing the ashes of the only music-political-sports—counter culture-social commentator-historian journalist in America’s history. Continue reading