The Masque of the Red Death…


     …was one of Lauren’s favorite stories when she was a little girl.  Don’t ask.  Other children liked Green Eggs and Ham or if they were feeling particularly racy, Where the Wild Things Are; my child would curl up with her binky and her beat up, stuffed Little Beethoven (still has them), and ask me to read The Masque of the Red Death.  AGAIN.
Before you call child services to report a cold case, think about Aesop’s fables or the sweet stories by the Brothers Grimm.  The Masque is simply an allegory about hubris – the rich expecting to escape from the horrors of death by holing up in castles and ignoring the misery going on outside the safety of their walls…


Yesterday I got a Twitter Follower who runs a rehab center in Bali.  In their promo photograph, thatched huts perch on a hillside, overlooking a perfect waterscape.  The message is clear – if you are RICH, you can get sober BETTER.  In air-conditioned comfort with a kickass view.


I don’t mean to get melodramatic, but I thought of The Masque of the Red Death.  So I went to Google and keyed in, “Luxury Rehab” for the hell of it.  It’s actually a funny read: marketers trying not to sound superior or douche-y while enticing privileged boozers to their facilities in exotic climes.  They tout five-star hotel look-alikes, horseback riding (the universal exercise of the rich), and “special needs” accommodations.   They even hint that their “exceptional clients” will be more successful in recovery while ensconced in a “familiar” environment.


I’m no ascetic.  I went to Canyon Ranch twice.  And I REALLY want to go to Bali.  But you’ve got to PUT IN THE HARD WORK to get sober, people.  I’m just saying…


“And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”

Today I’m not drinking because: I’ve got to find my old copy of The Masque of the Red Death and read it to Lauren.

How come you’re not drinking?