I’m 12. Heather’s parents are out of town for the weekend. I tell my Mom I am spending the night with Heather. There are some questions but I manage to dodge the truth.
Heather has a brother. Heather’s brother is 18. His name is Eric. All of Eric’s friends are also 18.
There’s a party. Eric’s friends are all there. Heather’s friends are all there too. Our friends are 12, like me.
We sit around a dining room table. Beer is plunked down in the center. Boys grab beer and pass them to the girls. The 18s pass to the 12s. The 12s are not sure. The 18s encourage the 12s. They say its okay. Open it. It’s cold. You’ll like it. It tastes good.
Beer tab circles are yanked and the sound of aluminum being peeled back fills the air. The first sip tastes like urine. The dark kind, like when you first wake up in the morning. The second tastes like stale cereal, a notch above early morning urine. The third sip tastes like buttered bread right out of the oven and it flows all the way to my head. My scalp begins to tingle and my toes grow cold. It’s August in Georgia.
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