Observation is the key to my existence, my business, my relationships, my decisions. I would say I’m an astute spectator. But despite my egotistical analysis, I fuck up. Most of the time the latter happens when I’m doing something that involves the minutiae of this business. I’m no CPA.
For example, I just found out that my finger slipped when I was transcribing an order and instead of typing two boxes, I wrote 21 boxes for the customer. Not good. But the problem has been resolved, but not the personal embarrassment. I pride myself on being correct – close to perfect. But that’s asinine. I’m not. Obviously, I didn’t pick up on that error. But that’s where the well-known phrase “Shit happens” pulls me back into reality.
But I ask you? When a woman walks by me, why is it that I can remember her hair color, the shape of her nose, the clothes she’s wearing, her shade of lipstick, whether her eyes are brown, bright brown, or sienna, and how she carries herself? I’m constantly excavating my memory for those stored idiosyncrasies that mean something to me. I was told the other day, “You notice the strangest things.” I took that as a high compliment.
So when I review a cigar, my mind isn’t on the price, the taxes, the size, the country of origin, the manufacturer – it’s on the peculiarities of the cigar.
Case in point. I was smoking two cigars called Providencia, two stubby gems that come in Connecticut and Sumatra.
The Sumatra or El Santo had a great draw. It was spicy from the get go. Full of the essence of chocolate and freshly roasted coffee beans – mocha to me, with a spritz of an iced tea’s tannin aftertaste and a smidgen of licorice – the small batch variety just before it begins to thicken. It was creamy, like the top of a frappé giving me a smoother- than-silk-get-me-another-sip-of-that-buttery frosting urge. Then finish that off with a distinct aftertaste of fresh-cut wood, not pine, but the exotic wood similar to African Mahogany – yes, I do know that lilt. Delightful. Even though the spiciness intruded a bit more than I cared for, this cigar was a waltz on my palate.
The Connecticut Nicaraguan or El Padre also had an impeccable draw, tectonic clouds of bluish smoke, the subtle flavor of ginger root extract and manic hysteria. This is no lightweight CT wrapper. The copy reads “cedar and nut.” Too simple. My taste buds registered a spicy caramel mixed with slightly burnt marshmallow and charcoal dust. And when all was combined, it produced a howl of flavor.
I may take these on. I may not. But I’m veering toward the former, full bag or not.
How I perceive a cigar is an intellectual, sensory, visual pursuit. The point is I am gulping down information that trips my mind’s imagination and ends up on the nib of my fountain pen. A beautiful woman, or a gorgeous cigar. It doesn’t matter to me. I absorb everything I can. It’s what makes me tick.