Choruses and Coke

I\’ve never understood some drugs, which I guess is a good thing. I never understood pills, especially since I like to read the labels of prescription medications. I\’m not taking some tablet with a lovely hue and smiley face, just because. Just sayin. I even struggle to take nasal spray when I have a cold, preferring to prepare a meal requiring a healthy dose of horseradish instead.

I tried snorting a substance in elementary school. It was lemon Kool-Aid from the packet.

There were plenty of television programs that promoted the allure of illicit substances, which for someone under the age of ten meant everything from alcoholic beverages to certain over-the-counter medications that had gone out of vogue. It wasn\’t long after my elementary years that most cough medicines no longer contained the elements deemed Schedule II, but for a while …

I\’m old enough to have likely experienced some version of \’real\’ Coca-Cola (if you don\’t know what I mean, give a search for \’ingredients in Coca-Cola). Even though the original \’offending substance\’ was taken out, there is indication that the company was still importing a certain leaf from a certain South American location well into the 1980s. The (glass) bottle of soda that I drank had come from one of the oldest gas station machines I\’d ever seen in my life, so take that for what it\’s worth. It was the best tasting Coca-Cola I\’ve had in my life and I have struggled to find another that was in the league, so take that for what it\’s worth as well.

But back to the Kool-Aid.

I guess many of us wanted to be hip, like the people we saw in movies who had little vials of powder that they sniffed. Our closest and most reasonable substitute was Kool-Aid. Several of us took it to school to drink at lunch time (it was cheap, as was sugar, and an alternative to soda … also, it was easier to carry), so it was a natural (?) progression.

Needless to say, taking Kool-Aid up the nostril isn\’t a habit the average person is likely to maintain. It did however teach me that I wasn\’t cut out for snorting anything.

My first long-term relationship was fraught with trauma. He was into smoking. I smoked tobacco but nearly everyone I knew did — after all, cigarettes were accessible in every drug store, corner store, grocery store, package store, and several other stores. I was wary of the things a person could smoke that had to be purchased in dark alleys and occasionally resulted in the loss of additional money, jewelry, cars, and lives.

It happened in the town where we lived.

It happened to him once or twice.

I had no interest in trying the particular drug du jour of that time because it either had to be snorted (nope), or cooked in a specific way and then smoked (nope). I watched it being done, scented it from afar, saw the danger, and avoided it like the plague. Yet, I was victim to its peril. He came at me for money, took it by force if I didn\’t give it willingly. It was left to me to come up with creative ways to describe why the rent would be late.

Coward he was, except toward me.

He decided I needed to \’loosen up\’ and thought, since I had no issue with tobacco, that he could introduce me to a different smokable plant. It made sense, in a way. I remember hoping that it might be something to unify us as a couple (such things happen when you are young, na├»ve, and relationship-stupid).

I tried it and disaster ensued.

It wasn\’t fun. It made me paranoid, likely bringing up hidden or historical trauma. I\’ve tried it since, after being in much better relationships but never developed a taste for it as practice.

I haven\’t had tobacco for years either, but my plan is to take up smoking again when I turn one hundred years old. I will have a cigarette holder and will also maintain a pipe.

I want to sit on a porch (deck, or in the yard), sipping some sort of cocktail — because maybe I\’ll also take up a bartender course — or perhaps some bourbon with a Coca-Cola chaser as I smoke my pipe or cigarette and listen to music. I haven\’t decided on the brand, since I missed the opportunity to smoke More cigarettes (used to think they were the coolest when I worked retail many years ago but never bought any before they disappeared). Or maybe I\’ll learn to roll my own, which could save me in the end, unless there is a big difference between pipe and cigarette tobacco … but I have time to learn.

In the meantime, I try to soothe my bruised emotions with a Steely Dan mix I made in my music streaming app while writing and sipping bourbon.

Must start somewhere, mustn\’t we?

I did a search for \’best bourbons\’ and it gave me a few options. I created a Caskers profile and purchased two different kinds. They were more expensive than what we usually dabble with and I have to say that I wasn\’t overly impressed.

I\’ve looked for recipes to basically make it taste better and found a primary one that includes vanilla, dry sherry, and liquid smoke. You know I\’m going to try it.

That, or I need to refine my palette.

God willing, there\’s time.


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