First Beer - Short Story
by Luke Ramer
One afternoon my friend Daryl and I were gearing up to go sledding on a 1990’s snow day during our last year of Middle School. As I pulled my sled down from the rafters in my garage, I noticed my Dad’s refridgerator in the corner, where he kept his deer meat and beer. We snuck a pair of Old Milwaukee Light cans out in our puffy winter jacket pockets.
We walked up the street, pushing against the onslaught of snow and bitter cold. I listened to Method Man’s first solo album on my Discman headphones but could still hear the howling wind over the boosted bass. We got to the top of the steep hill at the top of town, next to the elementary school and large tree line that led into the forest. There were some other kids sledding, too, so we walked off into the woods for some privacy.
We stood under a canopy of pine trees, shivering, and slid the beer cans out of our jackets. We cracked the tabs and took our first sips of ice-cold beer.
Daryl spat and stared at the can. “Tastes like cat piss.”
I laughed and grimaced myself but swallowed it down. “How do you know what cat piss tastes like asshole?”
We finished the cans, crushed them, and buried them beneath the snow and leaves.
“Don’t get what’s so great about it,” Daryl said and I shrugged. We were too young to understand. And one beer didn’t give us much of a buzz.
“Don’t tell anyone,” I said. I didn’t need my Dad to know I stole his beer, and I didn’t need the other kids in town asking me to steal beer for them. We walked out of the woods and hit the hill on our sleds. We didn’t steal anymore beer from my Dad’s fridge.
The next year we started high school and—thanks to Daryl’s older brother—we got invited to a party at a Senior’s house over Thanksgiving weekend. All the other kids were drinking beer, liquour straight out of bottles, eating Jell-O shots. Even the cute girls were drinking—and they were much friendlier when drinking.
The kid whose out-of-town parents owned the house handed us each a can of beer, Old Milwaukee Light, and said, “Cheers.”
We both took a drink and suddenly it didn’t taste too bad. We looked at the party. Girls dancing, guys playing Beer Pong. Wu-Tang Clan playing on the stereo.
“We’re not on the sledding hill anymore dude,” Daryl said and patted me on the back, and we drank our beers and mingled into the high school party.