Looked like Mississippi River water. Tasted like something that probably shouldn’t have been aged. There was some bourbon burn, some rye tang, but it mostly was just thick and alcoholic.

It’s hard to open contact with someone you haven’t written or spoken to in a while. There’s a bad-tasting obligatory aspect to it, like the act of writing or calling is an apology or a way of admitting to some kind of fault.

How long ago did I buy this? What obligation was I under to pay so much and hold onto it for so long?

I miss RooGoop. We bought a case of it the year before we moved from Iowa to Indiana and it kept us warm and drunk for a long spring and summer, up until we had to leave all our friends behind and begin being miserable, like proper adults.

The FFF Anniversary release happened during the darkest period of my worst depression, when drinking was such and important and life-affirming thing that I can’t bring myself to cheapen it with my community college prose. But still, even in the deepest of drunks in the darkest of times, I could appreciate the metaphoric significance of RooGoop aged in barrels. The happiness had gotten sealed up and become pickled. All that was left was ethanol, fire, and grey skies.

Only recently–less stress, reversals of fortunate, pinpricks of light becoming discernible in the distance–has this seemed safe to open. And open it we did. And it tasted the same as it always does when you ruin memories by trudging back to their material referents. Nothing is ever as happy or shiny. Everything is always mundane and slightly older, real enough to make you feel like a goddamn heel for ever taking solace by thinking back to it.

There’s never a happy time. That’s just a lie we tell ourselves afterward, to make the present more tolerable.

Sign up and we’ll send all our posts to you