I have a whole category here on this blog about things past: nostalgia is the label I apply when I feel the tug of days gone by. There have been a lot of them. Sometimes I feel as though this blog is the place where my memories go when I have grown tired of lugging them about. It gives me a link to those stories about "the olden days" that I used to try and squeeze from my parents. Before Al Gore's Internet. Before instant media gratification, followed almost immediately by media frustration. I feel the need to write this stuff down as it comes to me before it returns to the burned out section of synapses that all those wild times and scary moments get banished to after they have been trotted out one too many times at dinner parties.
This past weekend, I sat in my living room across from my younger brother. Younger, but still over fifty. We shared in the big tin of popcorn and peanut M&M snack mix he brought, as he always does. I offered him something to drink, as I always do. But I didn't offer him a Coke. I didn't have any to offer. Part of my kidney stone induced prohibition on things that might bring on anything that even resembled the pain and suffering brought on by too much phosphoric acid. So, instead of a cola, we had some iced tea.
And we talked about the way things used to be.
He reminded me of the two liter bottle stunt that I was prone to pull before my innards became a repository for calcite. It put me back in a frame of mind that I remembered from when I hopped on the sobriety wagon. Back when I used to spin tales of drinking and drugs. When I shared legends of debauchery that were intended to ring in not just caution to those who might be foolish enough to follow my path, but just a little bit of glory for surviving some of those really bad choices I made. Chugging a two liter bottle of Coca Cola now seems every bit as regrettable as those beer-soaked nights. The hangovers from my twenties now feel infinitely preferable to the trips to the emergency room brought on by that soda habit.
Or maybe I'm old enough now to understand just how destructible I really am. Every morning when I get out of bed, I wonder how I used to do that with a head full of straw and a stomach full of churning green steam. Every time bounce back from one of those kidney stone episodes, I used to do that same "never again" speech I used to throw around on those bleary Sundays. Now it's cold turkey. I'm sure that stock in Coca Cola will take a hit, but I feel I've done my part over the years to give them a base upon which they could build their plans for world soft drink domination.
So my brother and I shared some iced tea and talked about the olden days.