The music on the radio flows through me as I sit here nursing a glass of whisky. It is Sunday and here I am, sat at home with nothing to differentiate today from any other day of the week. My lips are dry, chapped and coated in cocoa butter to stop them bleeding. Anxiety always leaves me tearing the skin on my bottom lip. These same lips are now tinged with the taste of whisky and the amber warmth trickles down my throat as I take a sip. It floods through my body, spreading to my extremities and coursing though me. I can feel the exhaustion loosen its grip on my body as the whisky weaves its magic.
A glass of Talisker renders me speechless. From the only distillery left on the Isle of Skye, not only does it remind me so beautifully of the windswept and rugged beauty of the western coast of Scotland, but the intensity of each sip as it slips so seamlessly over my tongue hits me in a smoky climax.
It is a coastal whisky, with a hint of sea salt and it unflinchingly reminds me of standing on the beaches on the Isle of Harris doing nothing more than looking out at 3000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean. A hundred times over I can see the waves. The gentle roll of azure blue that whispers up to the shoreline before ebbing away gently, almost in time to an unsung song that comes from the heart. Then there are the times I stood watching when the sea was black, dark, inky; seemingly bottomless as the waves crashed, ferocious and uncontrollable, matching emotions I wasn’t even old enough to understand yet.
Talisker is the scent of rain on the dry earth, so plump and ripe that it takes your breath away entirely. It’s favourite people from so long ago I can barely remember their faces. It’s comfort and security. It is warmth and the feeling of being completely and utterly sated.
The whisky, it makes me mellow in a way I usually have too little patience for.
And that’s not a bad end to a day.