My First Beer In 64 Years

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Suddenly and without warning, this morning, I got an overwhelming urge to go out to a store and purchase a can of beer. I had not put beer to my lips since I was in the Army National Guard, way back in the year 1958.

In 1958, I was in military uniform for the first time in my life and I was young and filled with yearning for adventure and for all the pleasures that Life had to offer to me. Beer was one of those pleasures — at least in our minds.

So, every weekend, my buddies and I would go down to the “Service Club” on our military base and we would buy 3.2-percent beer because that was the highest alcohol content we are allowed to purchase by law because of our young age back then and we would talk mindlessly for hours while slowly getting drunk on the cheap swill.

It seemed to us to be the “Manly” thing to do.

Another mark of “Manhood” among us young soldier trainees was to try to outdo each other in being loud and mouthy and aggressive, and to speak more and worse profanity than anyone else. The more brazenly profane we could speak, the more approval and admiration we received from our comrades-in-arms.

So today, for some unexplained reason, after 64 years, I went out and got a beer in a can, brought it home, opened it, poured a small amount into a 4-ounce glass and sipped.

Surprisingly, I found this particular can of beer to be much more tasteful and refreshing that I had imagined it would be.

That was my signal to pour the rest of the can down the sink.

I definitely do not need to become habituated to something like that after all these years. And I know full well how what starts out to be an occasional indulgence can easily turn into a habit.