Colonel V.S. Cognac
I am Colonel. Victor Stroud Cognac.
I was born in Tennessee at the turn of the century. Inexplicably, I matured at a rapid rate until the age of 15 and appeared to be much older than I was chronologically. It was around this time that I, appearing to be an adult, ceased to show the marks of time. I spent countless hours in the Bowery on the streets of Central and Jackson. My most frequent haunt was the Marble City saloon and the drink was Brandy. Shortly after realizing that I was indeed very different and disenchanted with the humdrum life in Tennessee circa 1916, I answered the call to serve with my contemporaries in the Great War.
The world was in peril, and many died in this noble endeavor. I should have been one of them, but I was not. It was in the war that I discovered my very own immortality.
Many years and another world war had passed before I came to the realization that my longevity and resistance to harm were directly tied to my penchant for fine Brandy, which my mother frequently employed to ease a fever or to quiet a recalcitrant child. I had determined during the temperance movement that I was relying on the nectar to deal with the scars left behind as I watched everyone I cared for age and die. It was then that I decided to stop using this crutch.
That very winter I was taken with a fever, and as I lay dying after having felt the bite of the bullet and sting of the gun powder so many times, I once again turned to my old friend. I was forlorn and confused. I could not understand my trespass. After being spared injury and age for so many years I now lay dying with a fever? As this thought process continued and my consumption increased, I was given to the inexorable embrace of the liqueurs’ long night.
Upon awakening I was confused and elated to find that all symptoms of my affliction had vanished. I was renewed and empowered. It was the dear, sweet Brandy! I sit now and relate this story to you and behold a future of which only a few men in my time had any conception. As the century, nigh the millennium turned, I remained. Nightly my chest is warmed by my serum, so detrimental to some and so vital to me.
I have used many variations for my surname over the years to obfuscate my unnaturally long existence. Now I tire of looming in the shadows. Hence, here I am.
I suppose that even literally I can say. “I drink, therefore I am.”