Monday, January 7, 2013

The familiar hiss of carbonation escaping the bottle reaches my ears as the cap loosens under the leverage of the polished aluminum opener.

I stop, turn the bottle ninety degrees, and gently pry the lid off, catching it around the bottle opener with my thumb and forefinger and tossing it into the trash in one continuous motion.

The empty vessel is cold against my free hand as I lift the bottle to pour.

The glass, angled 45 degrees toward the surface of the table.

The bottle, angled 45 degrees away from the plane of my torso.

Everything in a certain way.

The ritual must be...correct.

The amber liquid flows—slowly—into the glass, filling the air in front of me with the aroma of Red Hook Long Hammer India Pale Ale.

One of my old favorites.

The smell reminds me of...

Well...not "better" times.

More familiar times, perhaps.

Times when I felt...more like myself.

Times when I felt useful.


I have finished half the glass.

I don't remember drinking it.

I savor the remainder, and open another.

It's funny how...

It's funny how, from time to time, everything can seem manageable.

And then you suddenly remember that she is gone.


  1. Well, I love red-hook beers---even if she is gone.
    I'm glad you care about how you poor--some of these fools treat every beer like a Guinness. Me I'm like, mo foam, mo problems.

    1. I also love Red Hook beers. But there is a certain smell about all of their recipes that reminds me quite vividly of drinking the Long Hammer at one of my favorite bars that we used to frequent together. Sometimes it is comforting to think that I still have little pieces of my time with her in this way. But sometimes—most of the time—it is just upsetting.

      And I am indeed very particular about how I pour. It always frustrates me a little bit to see somebody just slapping their beer into the glass and leaving a huge two-inch mess at the top. It's not that difficult to just pour it slowly and not have to drink around a big, goofy foam head.

      I will say, however, that I do like the foam head on pilsners and heavy Scottish ales, particularly the latter. If you pour it right, the head sort of turns into this thick, viscous "other material" that doesn't evaporate and has to be sucked off the top, which sounds really gross but is actually very interesting. To me, at least.