BEAR REPUBLIC ALE AT DINNER

I’d like you to picture yourself at a table, dear reader, staring across the table from a subtly beautiful member of the other sex—or the same sex, if that is your preference. Or someone else entirely—just someone you are attracted to. It’s someone you have known for quite a while, yet you do not know who they are today. Can you do that for me? Maybe they are a friend, former lover, or just an acquaintance from a previous time in your life. Whatever the case, they sit there, a couple feet away from you, looking deep into your eyes. They smile, and laugh, and the world seems a little smaller than it has to you in the past few days. Because the world is indeed quite big. Almost twenty-five thousand miles around, in fact. In some areas, you could go for miles and miles without seeing anyone.

You could cross the arctic, trekking through frost and snow, until your boots were soaked through and your arms were jittering, and you would come across nobody. Just a vast, frozen ocean of white, dwindling year by year as humans heat up the planet. Or march through the Sahara desert, the heat of the sun bombarding your skin, while the coarse, dry air rips apart your throat in every breath. Still, you would see no one. Perhaps you would cross paths with a scorpion, as it scuttled through the dunes, or in the snow you might be so lucky to see a polar bear and avoid it’s wrath—for the polar bear certainly will not forget the harm we’ve caused it.

Yet instead, you are here. Sitting, laughing, perhaps even with a beer in hand. Perhaps all this talk of bears has made you thirsty for a “Racer 5 IPA,” the popular Bear Republic Brew Company’s fine amber-brown concoction. The sting at the back of your throat might even catch you off guard, and cause you to stare at the glass a bit after the first sip. Oh, but you’re a well-seasoned drinker—as all people are these days. Except your partner, who has never even tried an IPA. They take a sip—the foam dancing its way onto their upper lip—and cringe for a moment before composing themselves. Wasn’t that cute? I like to think so. They brush their lip and you make a kind remark, asking how they liked it—though your need to ask is superfluous, you saw them cringe. Yet you are anxious. They are, in fact, quite lovely. Not lovely in the classic sense, not by any means. I mean, their facial structure doesn’t display the characteristics of a model. And they certainly don’t have the same well-toned body you and I have both become so accustomed to on our social media outlets. But still, they are beautiful. Maybe it’s the way they look away for a moment when you’ve made a fool of yourself. Maybe it’s the way their lips contract while you engage in conversation—have you ever seen someone so attentive to your words? It feels like something special. Something you’ve never shared with anyone in your life.

Can you picture it? As the low hum of the music plays in the background; the cheers of the crowd watching the game, and the bustle of busy waiters and waitresses as they move from table to table? Everything is in harmony, and you—and your partner—are there alongside them. And that great, big world out there doesn’t seem quite so daunting to you anymore. All it took was for you to believe.

——

 

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