TALES OF INSOMNIA DESPAIR & THE PERFECT COCKTAIL
—10th Anniversary Edition—
Since the night of my wife’s death, I suffered from terrible insomnia. For two years, I tried everything available, but nothing worked. Then one night I made a few cocktails before bed and I went right to sleep. (And four or five hours a night is much better than one or two.) Under the socially acceptable guise of sharing drinks with friends, my living room became the place to process all that had happened, and to seek succor, advice, and encouragement. I didn’t rescue puppies, nor did I make a pilgrimage to see the Dalai Lama. I invented cocktails. And while not very PC, it was what I did to survive. I make no apologies. Looking back, not all choices we make when we’re at the brink are good ones, although at the time, they may seem like the perfect ones. One of the unique aspects of TALES OF INSOMNIA DESPAIR & THE PERFECT COCKTAIL is its honesty. I’m here before you in all my darkness, in all my grasping and groping. In all the harsh, unflattering light with a shadow lurking around each corner, like Van Gogh’s self-portraits. Like Keats’s “negative capability” that I admire so much in writing. We are, all of us, made up of light and dark, and sometimes the darkness must be embraced instead of denied. It’s what makes us a human being.
Cocktails website: kevinscocktails
Cover Photo: Michael Kent
Cover Design & Layout: Kevin Kunundrum
Cocktail Invention & Photo: Kevin Kunundrum
10th ANNIVERSARY UPDATE
TALES was originally written between 2012 and 2013, while my wife's death was still painfully fresh. In fact, many scenes and chapters were written just minutes after they happened, such was the level of immediacy. And while the distance necessary for proper reflection might have been missing, the grief portrayed was raw, visceral, and unsparing. But now it's been seven years since 2013. Looking at TALES anew, with distance comes insight. Thus, this revisitation and re-vision. It's clearer to me now what happened, and why I did what I did. Grief is still a bitch. And it's overwhelming and relentless. But with new eyes I offer a better view of the most difficult time of my life, and how I got through it. This updated version of TALES, with love, is for the living.
—Kevin Kunundrum, August 2020