Lapsang souchong has come to be my smokey black tea I drink on those days with a Himalayan motif. I still have just a little of my Nepali black left. Probably enough for one more infusion, which can do me for about three cups. Four, if I'm exceedingly lucky.
But I'm holding onto it for certain time. A time, of which I'm not sure when it will be. Perhaps the perfect storm of Himalayan motif; Tibetan winds and Nepali snows with an atmosphere of such profound silence, it all but begs for one to contemplate emptiness and everything. After that, the Nepali black will be gone. A lesson in impermanence.
Oh, I know by the grand wonders of modern technology I can slip out along this spider's web of cyber and find Nepalese tea. Most likely, many fine varieties. Some, perhaps even more smokey or more delicious than this treasured last bit I have sitting in a jar upon my counter. By virtue of the tech, I can correspond with someone in Nepal in what is buzzworded as real-time if I so wanted to.
Ain't it grand? Oh, I think so. The world, so large and wondrous, simultaneously made so small, rendering the old lines drawn in the sand by older empires irrelevant, by one specie's tools. It's humbling, if you really stop to think about it. The sad thing, perhaps, is so few do.
It's a nostalgic fetter, though. All those other teas are not the same as the one I seek. The one I still have but one infusion of left. This nameless smokey varietal that came sealed in a plastic bag on a small wicker box, which simply read; Nepali Tea. I could only get it at the one import store, down in the metroplex, in the historical district, where I used to live, that also sold the Thai print t-shirts I am so partial to. That one store has been closed almost four years now.
The last time I was there, the last time I purchased a box of the Nepali black tea and a t-shirt, was a warm mid-spring day. Sabina and I had been publicly together for perhaps a month or month and half and still piss-sloppy-falling-down-drunk upon infatuation hormones. My memory fails me on exactly how it happened; a brush across the shoulders, a goo-goo-eyed glance, a quick stolen kiss, or perhaps me innocently, wholesomely, grabbing Sabina's ass, but I saw the proprietor of the store beaming at us. We'd been patronizing his shoppe on an almost weekly bases, sometimes only to window shop, for almost a year.
"I always knew you two would make a good couple," he said. To say he was the first hominid to say that to us would be a lie, but that's another story.
That's when he told us he was closing down. No more t-shirts. No more tea. No more artifacts, nick-knacks, patty-whacks, or other curiosities. His profits could either put food in his belly or pay the high rent along the strip of road his shop was on. He liked to eat.
He told us he was going to string his business up along the spider's threads of cyber. There he could make a go of it. We gave him the ways and means to get hold of us. Nearly four years later, we've yet to receive correspondence. Every so often, I go crawling along the spider's web looking for him, but it has thus far been fruitless.
When my daughter and I met some of old, old friends down below for tea recently, we happened into a shoppe that sold Thai-print t-shirts. This filled me with joy as I looked at a few designs I liked, musing how I might get them the next time I was down that way with paper to burn.
The tea, in that little wicker box is another problem. I've looked. Sabina used to say you could find anything on the Internet. That was before my searches for obscure South African bands, Space Team Electra lyrics, and a particular varietal or Nepalese tea turned out to be so futile. I never did it to specifically prove her wrong, but she has since modified her assertion to say you can find almost anything.
Meteorological prophecy foretells of snow coming to the mountains. It could possibly be one of those nasty storms where accumulation is measured in feet, instead of inches, in some places. Whilst the bright sunshine along the mountainsides and mild temperatures get me to question whether we'll see any flakes here, I can certainly feel the shifts in the barometric pressure within my twisted skeleton.
If, or when, I see the first flakes fall, I'll set my whore-red tea kettle to a boil. Most likely, I'll be brewing an infusion of lapsang souchong, which is fine. It's smokey and delightful for when this little pocket of nowhere picks up on a Himalayan motif. Still, as with every storm this winter, I wonder if this will be the one. That perfect storm which all but begs for me to have that treasured last infusion, sipping thoughtfully whilst contemplating emptiness and everything, the whole time relearning a lesson in impermanence.