This Hennessy bottle’s journey

My life is extraordinary. Not because I think so. What reminds me of that every time is my glossy glass uniform. My initials ‘X.O’ are in gold inscription. My makers say I’m ‘Extra Old’ but I know I’m also ‘Xtra-Ordinary’. Others associate me with the hug and kiss reserved for the elites who appreciate my uniqueness. The mere middleclass cannot comprehend my worth. You dare not spill me. I can pay the salaries of peasants a hundred fold. You may call it arrogance but that’s my reality. If your palate can handle Hennessy then allow me to share my story.

I started from the bottom…of the barrel. Locked up, enslaved to a wooden cask for years and only having intoxicated wood as my closest companion. Until one day I was freed by industrious, caring hands. Handling me like a new born baby, I was enjoying the nurturing distillation process. There were many of us but we each got our own glass cradle. I love my home, France, but sadly I could not stay. My destiny was for adventure around the world. Fate was shipping me out to one of many countries where I was in high demand – Nigeria. I was in for an unforgettable treat.

Fast forward past my ceremonial arrival at Customs and I was making my way unto the shelf of one of the most prestigious nightclubs in Lagos. It wasn’t long before I was whisked off by a sexily-clad waitress and delivered to a renowned celebrity. You can only imagine the attention grabbing moment when the DJ switched to ‘Ameno’. That was my moment. All hail Hennessy! My entry on a sliver tray (decorated with real flames by the way) was captivating the bystanders nursing their cheap cocktails. A hefty bodyguard opened the red velvet barrier allowing me to land safely on the VIP table and into the pristine glasses of filthy rich mortals. ‘Life cannot get better than this’, I thought. But something was wrong.

My essence was trapped like a genie in a Hennessy bottle. In my empty state I could see the same waitress taking me to a garbage bin! There must be a mistake. Do they know who I am? The craftmanship of a Hennessy bottle is second to none. I was an abandoned bottle in the dark among other bottles. By morning I was awakening to a familiar scene. A gloved man was opening the garbage bin. He was emptying me into a garbage truck, and later unto a refuse heap. Somebody kill me, please! Let the sun’s rays facilitate evaporation of my last drop, Ameno – I prayed. In the distance a bottle collector was coming towards me and picked me up. He was exchanging me for cash from a roadside groundnut seller. She was kind to give me a soap-less wash and a dirty rinse.

Traces of me still remained around the bottle cover but I was fading away. If only the fading could be faster. She was filling my bottle with groundnut and her son placed me on a rusty tray with other filled bottles. He wandered the streets of Lagos, until he sold me off to man driving a sophisticated, tinted SUV. Somebody yanked me from the back and opened the bottle cap. I was face to face with a well dressed businessman in all white traditional clothing. He was wearing an expensive watch, bracelets and a gold chain. He was reminding me of my once well-adorned self. This was a more pleasant sight than the bottom of a garbage bin. The last of me was floating around in the air-conditioned car. Looking threw the car widow into the clouds, I was yearning for my home. My last two words – ‘Oh Cognac…’

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