It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that my first love was beer. My father used to take me to his business trips, and somehow I’d end up drinking with Chinese-Indonesian businessmen, who were busy downing drinks whilst bragging about their own daughters, and each time I would do my best to out-drink them, telling nobody when I’d throw up for two hours straight every morning. I’m sure the sound of me retching violently woke people up.
I probably have a Pavlovian reaction to the sound of an ice-cold can being cracked open. Sometimes I wonder if my skull would make the same sound if someone were to do the same. A neat tsh, a quiet fizz, then accompanied by the sweet sound of someone gulping down my insides. When I was twelve my father gave me neon green Midori, told me it was soda, laughed when I got drunk in front of family, and I spun and I spun until I threw up violently all over the plush red carpet.
Here’s another funny anecdote: When I was fourteen I was so miserable that I would sneak beer into school. I would tell my friends that I was so sad, so tortured, so lonely, that nothing tasted better than beer. And the funny thing is that I know that I was completely and utterly right. To this day I still sometimes think of the taste of sweet iced tea mixed with yeasty hops. I wonder if my father did the same when he was young. Maybe he did it better. Who’s to say?
Madeleine Tomasoa is the current Assistant Editor for Sledgehammer Lit. They are from Jakarta, Indonesia, and enjoy cars going around in a circle. Twitter: @madeleinetms