A Drink After Work
My ears pricked as a low pitched hum snuck from behind me and around to the front of my nipple. I let my place in Men's Health be lost as my right hand snapped at the air in front of my chest. I gazed at my palm, noticing both my index finger and thumb had the faintest outline of a black curve on them. A few inches downwards a mosquito lay crumpled and defeated on my mattress cover.
I revelled in my triumph momentarily before the peaceful looking corpse caused introspection in my heart and running from empathy I sat up off my bed and looked at the clock. It had just trickled past midnight and it was still 31 degrees. It was a Friday night, now at this stage it was officially confirmed that it was a lazy Friday night. I was nonplussed. I'd already achieved more than anyone could be required to do on a day with maximums near forty. I'd caught the train in the morning to my office in jeans, spent a large portion of my day working on or at least close to my computer and only took one coffee break – for a smoothycino – that I kept to less than 30 minutes. The engaging part came in the evening though, when I spent my second night of the week at the gym actively reminiscing some of the exercise I used to do. Sweating profusely I spent the following hours watching the sunset from inside the ocean before going home and making some scrambled eggs.
After recalling all of this it was still 31 degrees. My water bottle sat next to my bed, empty, like a ruin. My tongue danced across the roof of my mouth, spreading saliva across parts of my mouth sparsely like a South Australian hosing their garden during water restrictions. I was hot. I was thirsty. I was exhausted. It was Friday. I needed an ice cold beer.
On the way home from the gym I'd gone to BWS and taken advantage of their 20% off all slabs and cartons deal by picking up a carton of LöwenBräu for forty dollars. I'd stashed most of it in the fridge upon arriving home, but I'd distributed 3 bottles throughout the freezer to chill rapidly with intention of not forgetting they were there before going to bed.
I moved with pace to reach the fridge outside, opened the attached freezer and plucked the three bottles from their respective locations. I clutched them all to my naked chest, partly in love but mainly to determine which was the coldest. One was barely tolerable to hold near. I grasped it tightly and the other podium finishers migrated to join their brothers in the fridge.
I danced back inside to my kitchen. My new beer grasped tightly like a Christmas Present inside my hand. I landed it on the kitchen bench and rummaged hurriedly through the drawers to find the bottle opener. I brandished it and it was Christmas Morning as I slowly shed the ribbon off my treasure and levered off the cap.
I was not prepared for this much beer.
I knew something wasn't right when the cap's first jolt away from the neck of the bottle came with white sap spreading from the cracks like the beer was the branch of a tree. I continued on, hearing the sharp exhalation of pressure from the bottle as the cap fell away and into my hands. I gazed at it, noticing the oddity. Internally it was lined with a crisp layer of ice. In horror I looked down. It was happening in slow motion. My beer frothed out in arctic snakes, flowing from out the bottle and down the glassy sides. The foam came in waves, as if inside my beer a heart was slowly pumping the last beats it had.
After the initial shock I sprang to action, leaning forward and attaching my mouth to the erupting beer head and money-shotting all it had to offer. I fully anticipated my expecting mouth would calm the beer and despite some loss of volume I could soon be enjoying it. I was wrong, and the pressure grew until my mouth and throat could not handle this absurd form of leaning down beer bong and I had to abandon beer.
Violins played and there were tears in my eyes as I watched the thick, icy ale froth out my beer and onto the bench it sat on. It seemed like my whole day had been a preparation towards enjoying this first beer and now it was ironically ruined by preparing for too long. I cried as the flow slowly became a trickle and the beer lay silent. It was a tragedy and there was only one thing left I could think to do. Take a photo.
Shock passing, I clasped the beer and wailed. Upon gaining proximity I noticed that there was still a small amount of iced beer in the base of its container. I brought my eyes down level with the beer and then put it to my lips, trying to at least get that first taste; trying to at least have one good memory with beer. Drops slid down the neck and onto my tongue. It was delicious, euphoric as if my panicked, heightened senses had not forgotten my tastebuds.
Too soon the drops soon stopped though. Our kiss ended and as I pulled away I realised that the beer was now just a shell of what it once was. Like the end scene of Titanic I was Kate Winslet and my beer was Leonardo DiCaprio. I released my hand and left it to sink and face its icy death.
Today had begun hot but now I was cold. Today had begun so full of promise but now it lay empty. Today had begun with a smoothycino and now it was finishing with a smoothylöwenbräu.