I Bet They’re Drinking it Even Now

I stopped to get gas, watched from whirring pump as two boys emerged from the store, early teens, bikes leaned against the bench outside. One set down the plastic bag he carried – two liters of Mountain Dew, I’m pretty sure – and removed his flip flops (“no shoes, no service”), then mounted his bike and pedaled away. The other, sneaker-clad, followed. I filled the car, paid, pulled back on Main St, and rolled past the paving crew, laying down a fresh course of asphalt. The man on the roller was large, he rode it sideways, he had something clamped between his lips. Not a cigarette. One of those little cigars, Swisher Sweets, I bet. The new asphalt smelled hot to me, like summer.

I went home, tired from killing chickens, really, really tired, and hot as the smell of new pavement, sweating sitting still. I shed my clothes, dove into the pond, the water warm on top, but progressively cooler as I knifed deeper and deeper until my chest connected with the soft bottom-mud. I tried to stay but my buoyancy dragged me back to the surface and I breathed deep of the soft summer air.

But the boys on their bikes, the one barefoot, the bag of soda. I bet they’re drinking it even now.



12 thoughts on “I Bet They’re Drinking it Even Now”

  1. I can smell the asphalt as I read this. Such a summer thing wherever you go, it seems. I bet those road workers would have loved a swig of that Mountain Dew. Thanks for sharing your observations. I always feel like I’m there. Peace!

  2. I can feel myself in the pond and I’ve never been in a pond. Was it perpendicular swimming? That’s still on my bucket list thanks to Ginger Pye…
    Beautiful imagery. But what’s with the nose?

  3. Ah, the smell of fresh asphalt!

    Your pond dive kind of reminds me of small brook swimming holes that I cooled off in around Lebanon and Plainfield when I was a kid.

    Rather warm weather for killing chickens isn’t it?

    1. I saw that a young, 28 year old, man in Randolph died this past Friday after he dove into a swimming hole that must have been too shallow. His death illustrates the need for caution and to do a good inspection before swimming in the wild. There is physical and biological danger in swimming wild, as septic system seepage is a serious, but seldom discussed, problem in rural areas, particularly in the long settled rural areas of the eastern U.S.

  4. Not many folks aim to rest their chests on pond-bottom mud when they are really tired. Only the exceptional. Or maybe you ceased being really really tired the moment that your brain realized that it was committed to the dive.
    If only soft drink marketers could sell such healthy refreshment. Until such a time, they are stuck with invitations such “Do the Dew!”, which I do not.

  5. It was such a thrill to be a kid and ride your bike downtown with a few bucks burning in your pocket, in search of anything salty or sweet without anyone to tell you “no, that isn’t good for you.”

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