On Beer

I never drink beer on a weeknight. Tonight I made an exception.

It’s hot. Not the beer but the temperature. A short walk leaves you drenched in sweat. After a long walk and an hour and a half on a bus I felt I could use one.

I started drinking beer from a glass a few months ago. Before that I’d drink it straight out of the bottle. I’ve never been keen on drinking beer from a can. It doesn’t feel right for some reason.

This beer, cold and proud and sitting on my desk, reminds me of the first time I drank a beer. I was fourteen years old and my friends and I crammed into my cousin’s old Chevy and headed to Coney Island, Brooklyn. It was a hot summer night and each street corner was filled with either riff raff or police officers.

The air was filled with the scent of sausages, hot dogs and hamburgers. Periodically you’d hear a buzzer in the distance proclaiming another winner at one of the many carnival games Coney Island had to offer.

My friends and I walked towards the boardwalk on a long ramp. On the left there was a bar. It was a weeknight and the bar was mostly empty. There were two or three people at the bar on the boardwalk and a person playing a pinball machine in the corner. My friend Jerry was of age and he bought two Budweisers. One was for him and one, he announced to everyone, was for me. They were in cans.

I took mine and I felt like I had arrived. I opened the can and watched the foam rise through the opening and onto the lid. It felt like an eternity before I took a sip and when I did, I grimaced. My friends didn’t see me make a face so I was okay. I took another sip then another then I chugged the rest.

I noticed that Jerry crushed the can after he was done so I did the same.

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