an upcoming show in an “artspace bar” in Williamsburg, back before throwing requisite amounts of shit against a wall was known as “curating.” The band was out of Poland and was called Grrrranimals?, with opening acts called Giraffe-terbirth and Toxic Shock. I probably remember it so well because I had made it. This was in the late 90s, when there were still small traces of a neighborhood left. I think, had any of those bands actually existed, it might’ve been a pretty good show. Although there was a $20 cover charge, the flyer promised cold PBRs for a buck a throw. I was once living in downtown Richmond, VA in a group house full of “creatives.” One girl, Baker, was active in roller derby. My first night going out with my new roommates I was shown the local ropes. The places you weren’t supposed to go and the people you weren’t supposed to talk to were mainly crack dealers. I talked to them. They also sold heroin. Anyhow, Baker let me in on a little secret, and it wasn’t anything to do with her face. PBR, she said as pedantically as someone can be who doesn’t know what pedantic fully means. “People’s Beer of Richmond.” This is what we drink. I add the itals to we because she was really begging to find a way to differentiate the word.

“We all drink it. It’s shit but it’s cheap. Still a ripoff.”

“Like the room I’m renting from you.”

I was well-familiar with PBR. And though her and her roller derby pals saw it as somehow keeping The Man in check, I suggested they were the man and ordered from the adult menu, a scotch and water.

My father drank PBR while he was married to my mother. Then he left us and started drinking good English imports. Boddington’s Pub Ale. Their fridge was always packed with these good English beers. They drank exactly two of them per night, before bed. I’ve never had the ability to cut myself off after a taste like that so I don’t keep beer in my house.

Dad drank about a 12-pack a day, which with PBR is barely enough to get you almost drunk. It was the first beer I was given “a sip” of in front of adults excited to watch me gag and promise not to ever drink that stuff again. I didn’t gag. It lacked taste except to say it tasted cold. I preferred milk. Still do. Milk with ice cubes.

I think a lot of these people have set up lives where they feel that if they have a relationship with someone that includes fucking, that they should feel like an adult. And they go with it. But what is fucking really? It seems more of something a really creepy spoiled child would be into maybe. All those creepy sex faces. For most people, there’s really just no excuse for that. And then when they want to buy themselves another 20 years of not having to really think and/or examine what they think about the world around them these people start making offspring. It’s a neat trick. If you plan things right, you don’t have to really start analyzing your mortality until the final kid is out of college. And then you eek out another five years of empty nest pleasure and you’re 60 or 65 and ready to retire.

Me, I’ve been obsessed with these questions since I can remember. Staying up late in bed after pretending to fall asleep so my mother would leave me alone, it was before I had started school of any kind, so I was probably close to four years old and I’d try to think my way through all the unknown things in life.The universe. Space. Why people farted and got old, etc.

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