I remember the first time I tasted Coca Cola. It was like liquid gold, measured as my sister and I split a bottle. The rule was whoever poured let the other one choose, that way no one got the upper hand, got more. It was the rare treat, maybe allowed once a week.
My mother bought an 8-pack, the bottles redeemable the next time she groceried. No one touched Mom’s pop without asking. Of course she’d know if you’d snitched one; she kept track. Coke was on par with Mom’s nerve pills, the prescription she took to calm down and face life, or if not life then the daily chore of cooking and keeping house and raising four kids. It was a big deal to be granted one of Mom’s pop. A privilege. An invitation to a club. When it was gone, we’d have to wait until the next time she went to the super market.
I think about this sometimes, like when I shop or see people loading the checkout with liters and cartons of pop. How it used to be the currency of love.