Life and limb

Dark Lord Day 2010. We had already gotten our beers. My companion was taking a gravel nap. Ten feet away from us, grown men were mixing piss into the vomit that was already coating the wheels of a tie-dyed bus. I was contemplating whether it was a good idea to attempt driving to our hotel, or if I should just skip the middleman and crash my car directly into one of the brick walls surrounding the festival.

There wandered up to us a man who looked and smelled like a funnel cake. He may have been one of those guys who sells cheese sandwiches in order to buy his way into Phish concerts. Or he may have been the sort who’s a real hardass in the office all week but, brother, you get him out on his Harley and it’s all wild hair and Foghat. Either way, his aesthetic repulsed me. I wondered, blearily, how long it had been that he was standing there, right by us, how long I’d been examining him, how many crumbs had migrated from his leghair onto the back of my passed out friend. Several, it seemed. And they were sticky.

“Got some good stuff in here,” he said. He was admiring my cooler? Yes. Yes he was.


“Say… this—“ he pulled out a bottle of The Abyss from 2006, the first vintage, exceedingly rare and gorgeous. “This is a rare one, ain’t she?” …” He sounded like a motivational speaker reading a story book, an especial sort of creepy, tanned, thin old man who makes his money tricking children into doing things. I hated him. He was scaring me.


“Say—you wouldn’t want to trade it for something rare, would ya?’

“Yes,” I said. Sure. It’s not as if being validating his coercion with verbal consent would yield any bad consequences. Just so long as it made him go away without eating me or peeing on me.

He switched out bottles and wandered off. What he left behind was this, a bottle of the original release of Life and Limb. Rare, I suppose. For a while I deluded myself into thinking the trade was somewhat even. But then those bastards re-released the beer. And so I never drank it, out of spite.

I like to think that perhaps I wasn’t the person he screwed over the hardest. Maybe I was just a single step in a legendry chain of trades. Like, he started with a half can of warm Pabst and ended with a bottle of Ballantine Burton that was signed by the entire roster of the 1927 Yankees. His final goal was fate. I and my precious Abyss were mere pawns.

But now it is time for the letting go. Crack this fucker open…

Oh lord, the release is as light as seafoam.

Tastes like maple booze cookies with nuts and brown sugar like suckling upon the teet of a filthy hippie’s conceptualization of god. This is mana from treeperson heaven. If when you die you go someplace personalized, this is what would be drunk in the afterlife by men who for a living save whales.

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