Friday, October 26, 2007

And Now, For Something A Little Crazy… (My First Gusano)

And Now, For Something A Little Crazy… (My First Gusano)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

As some of you have read, I really didn’t have due cause to celebrate my tenth wedding anniversary yesterday. So, instead, I decided to do something a little crazy yesternight. Read the following story to find out what I did, and watch the related video at the end!

And Now, For Something A Little Crazy…
(My First Gusano)

“Don't waste your youth growing up.”
Author Unknown

Last night I had my very first gusano. For the uninitiated, that’s the “worm” that rests awaiting at the bottom of a bottle of Mexican Mezcal. It is actually the larva of one of two moths that typically live on the agave plant that provides the juice that Mezcal is distilled from.

It happened to be “Lunacy” night at Studio 304 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and there was a group of 75 or so photojournalists and professional photographers that regularly get together to share their work.

In honor of the full moon, the theme for the evening followed the following guidelines:

1 : any of various forms of insanity: as a : intermittent insanity once believed to be related to phases of the moon b : insanity amounting to lack of capacity or of responsibility in the eyes of the law.
2 : wild foolishness : extravagant folly
3 : a foolish act

I was invited to submit either photos or video, and so I created a 4-minute video of stills that celebrated the sanity of youth juxtaposed against the so-called sanity of maturity.

In other words, what I tried to convey through a hodgepodge of photos of my two sons, Enzo and Nicky, and few other photos of crazy friends, was that for some strange reason we eventually turn things inside-out and upside-down as we grow older, so that ironically, what comes naturally to us as children, becomes our moments of redeeming insanity as adults.

Anyway, so I let myself go for this evening and tried to have fun, tried to behave accordingly and act in as an impromptu, whimsical manner as possible.

Thus, when I was offered the holy gusano in a shot glass that was being shown off by Jan, I immediately said “Yes!,” trying not to think about this impulsive decision all too much, allowing vestiges of my favorite Kipling poem, If, prod me on..."And then you'll be a man my son."

“Age considers; youth ventures.”
— Rabindranath Tagore —

The diptych above beautifully captures the moment, because I quickly went from a grin of smug, yet foolish, bravery to the horrible feeling of the ridges of the larvae scratching my esophagus, as it slid down my throat.

“Gads! Yuck! Blah!” I winced, as I slightly struggled to swallow it, almost panicking because for a fraction of a second it felt as if it were stuck.

I believe a brief look at the anatomy of the larvae might duly illustrate why time suddenly slowed down for me…

Larvae are typically elongate and divided into head, thorax, and abdomen.

The head bears a set of short, yet powerful, mandibles, short antennae, and eyes. In addition, a tubular spinneret emits liquid silk.

The thorax is made of three segments: the prothorax, mesothorax, and metathorax, each with a pair of short, jointed legs.

The abdomen has ten visible segments, with a pair of short, fleshy prolegs on some of the segments, which bear several short hooks, or “crotchets.” Other segments have “spiracles,” which admit air to a very complex system of tracheae.

Yummy! Sounds tasty, don’t it?

Teneris, heu, lubrica moribus aetas!
(Alas! the slippery nature of tender youth.)
— Claudianus —

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I’ve uploaded my very first YouTube video, the presentation I made last night: Click HERE to watch!


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