It has been 10,000 years, measured by the beating of my heart, since I tasted the Wine of the Nectar of the Distillation of All Things. The very moment the transcendentally supple brew touched my inexorably inadequate mortal palate, I knew that I would forever be a slave to its experience. I have crisscrossed time, space, death, and reality to escape, to find that which would provide relief from the brutally vicious intrigues of amaranthine pleasure. A single taste, and I knew that through indulgence, through what I had dismissed as the dull hedonistic pathway of sensory experience, I had touched a divinity that made the concept of infinity seem a pale, straw thing by comparison.
I, who had studied arts of awakening from before the moment of the universe’s creation, observable only by immersing oneself in the pain of the scars left on the underskin of reality by the tearing passage through endless space of starlight. I, the first to solve the Riddle of the Kandori Expanse by studying every single grain of sand in the Tamerlane Dessert, learning their language, then speaking to the single grain that secretly birthed them all. I, who meditated beneath the Great Freezing Waterfall until it rent my flesh, dissolved my bones, and dispersed me downriver among the seas, only to have the Ocean herself put me back together, piece by piece, because she had fallen in love with me, and I with her.
All of my explorations, philosophical and spiritual, all were rendered irrelevant by a single taste, save that they brought me to the moment where the glass was presented to my hand to be introduced to my lips. The first moment of contact with that liquid elegance was purity in a way that cannot be described less coarse words provide adulteration. The second moment, the long, dark second moment, made me realize that I was now in thrall. Not to the liquid itself. I was not addicted. Not even God’s own brew from his private reserve could chemically or through threat of denial enslave the man who once engaged all seven hundred and seventeen substances available at the Forbidden Spice Market in a single evening.
No, I was in thrall because I knew that the experience, a closer brush with perfection than I thought possible, was nonetheless incomplete. I would never be able to cease thinking of the liquor, not even for a single moment, until I had found the other half. I needed something, though I knew not what. A sensory blade, to cut through the cacophony of scintillating delight and bring chaotic perfection to a point of stillness, of clarity. For 10,000 years, measured by the beating of my own heart, I have crisscrossed time, death, space, and reality searching for this unknown and perhaps unknowable counterpoint. For you see, the Wine of the Nectar of the Distillation of All Things is a liquor that simply begs for a food pairing.