Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
The sound of the grape soda I was swirling was something very familiar to me. I don’t hear it often, as we don’t drink soda that much in our family. The sound wasn’t spectacular or something you would brag about, or write about, but there was something about that sound, that carbon dioxide escaping from the soda, that “spirit” of the soda, that remains so vivid to me I can pick out a key on the piano and tell you which note it produced.
Yes, I wanted to bring up to the conversation, to our conversation, that I played the piano at Church. I did it since I was 11. Guess what, I still make an awful lot of mistakes. I only sight-read, and I can’t follow a beat. People tell me they think the music I make sounds good and I thank them for that. What I really want to know, though, is what else do they hear other than the “good” part. That would be the bad part, I guess.
But this isn’t about my playing the piano. This is about my grape soda.
Back in grade school, after class, I would go to Agnes’s Store and buy A.) Royal Orange, or B.) Barq’s Root Beer. Those were my two favorite sodas in the world. Sometimes I would buy Fanta—not the Lemon, but the Root Beer. That’s the closest drink to “beer” I have had, just like the Kopiko candy for coffee I told you.
Funny, when I was swirling my grape soda, I noticed I was holding my can like I was holding a beer can. I’ve never drank beer, but being surrounded by friends and relatives who do, when they’re all drunk and they do not make sense anymore, the only thing I could do was watch them. I sort of have the idea how they hold beer cans. Just saying.
I like observing people. It’s something I cannot avoid. In the passenger’s seat, I look at the other people from other cars constantly. My brother actually told me to stop doing it because we might get in trouble. I can’t help it though. Humans are interesting subjects.
But right now my grape soda is in the top of my list of interesting subjects.
I took a sip of my soda, hoping there wasn’t much carbon dioxide left in it. I hate that rough scratchy itchy feeling when I drink sodas. It hurts my throat. That’s why when I was a kid, I would wait for the soda’s ice to melt to dilute my soda.
Drinking soda with an empty stomach is a big NO-NO. Heck, they should even make that three NO’s. All in all-caps. You mustn’t drink your coffee either when you have an empty stomach. It’s not good for you. You said it makes you lose your appetite, too. The remedy’s simple: eat first, then drink your coffee. That way there isn’t much appetite to lose.
Do what you want though, I’m not trying to change you or anything.
Although it would be nice if you really were detoxifying. Seriously, you drink every night? As much as you’re surprised that I still have some sanity left in me being in college without drinking a single drop of coffee or tea, I’m surprised you can manage to go to work every morning.
Yep, I go to work in the morning and study at night. No coffee, tea, energy drinks. No alcohol (as if that would help). Only water and milk and juice. And of course, grape soda for today’s lunch.
I missed that sound. That familiar sound. You sound so familiar to me. I didn’t want to get up and end our conversation. I haven’t talked to anyone in a while now. I mean, talk talk, not just talk. It was a pleasure talking to you. That 30 minutes felt like five. Thank you.
More than anything, that sound was something familiar, and so refreshing. We only have a few weeks left. I’m looking forward to the next can.