Tag Archives: Coke Classic

My brain is empty

Sometimes I can’t get my mind to think about anything. A lot of the time, I’ll just start writing about how I can’t think of anything to write about. But this is different. I’m sitting here and I can’t even describe what’s going through my head right now. It feels like there’s nothing turned on . It’s like, usually if I’m really struggling I can at least start by just acknowledging where I am, what I’m doing.


Like right now, I’m sitting here at my kitchen table, I can hear the birds outside doing their thing. Sometimes just writing out an observation like that will jog something, all of the sudden I’ll realize that I haven’t been thinking about nothing, that there’s always something going on inside that I just haven’t been aware of.

But right now? I don’t know. I’m just sitting here. I’m typing on a really old laptop that my parents gave me after my house was robbed a little over a year ago. I remember at the time it felt like life was over. They got our computers, my XBOX, it was a mess. But now it doesn’t really feel like a big deal anymore. I don’t get to play video games, but that’s probably a good thing, because every once in a while I’d lose five or six hours at a time playing some online first-person shooter, getting yelled at by twelve-year-old gamers kicking my ass from all around the world.

And this computer is old, but it works fine. I bought more memory, upgraded the operating system. Aside from the cosmetic differences, it’s more or less the same than any new computer. Although, a couple of months ago, the screen died. I thought that it was going to be this huge deal, getting a replacement part, having it installed. The guy at the Genius Bar was like, “Even if Apple still made parts for this machine, which it doesn’t, it won’t make sense to put more money into an eight-year-old computer. Sorry.”

So I was a little bummed about that. But then on a whim I took it to one of those “We fix computers!” shops all the way downtown, and this Chinese guy took the computer out of my hand, unplugged it, plugged it in, started and restarted it a few times, and then held down command, option, r, and p, and bingo, it came to life. I couldn’t even understand what he was trying to tell me, but he wouldn’t accept the money I was holding out.

OK, so I just wrote about my computer. It was boring, but it was something. And I don’t think that I was thinking about that story before I started writing about how there was nothing going on inside of my head.

Right before I sat down to the computer, I got out an ice-cold can of Coke Classic from the fridge. I don’t drink soda that often, but I love it. I love drinking soda. I try not to keep it in the house because I know that, if it’s there, if there’s ice-cold Coke at my disposal, I’ll always go for it. Like right now. I don’t know how they got in there, but there were like three cans just right there, I noticed them yesterday.

And so I’ve been drinking them. And I don’t know what your opinion is, but to me, Coke is at its absolute best when it’s drank right out of the can. It just tastes better. You know what never tastes good? Coke out of a twenty-ounce bottle. It always tastes less carbonated, not as flavorful. I keep thinking that there has to be a reason, but nothing really makes sense in my head. So maybe it’s just that, maybe it’s all in my head. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Maybe this is as good as it’s going to get today, talking about old computers and Coca-Cola in a can. Is that better than nothing? I don’t know. I’m trying to think about it but I can’t come up with any conclusions. My mind’s a total blank.

Nothing better than an ice cold Coke

I’ll grab a cold drink out the fridge. I’ll open a bottle of soda or beer and just as the cap makes that pop sound I think to myself, how totally ridiculous is it that I can have cold carbonated beverages on demand? I don’t think like this all the time, just once in a while. Usually I’m thinking about or how crazy it is that we all have the Internet, how we have all of this information and media at our disposal, how we don’t have to buy CDs anymore, how we don’t have to buy stamps. How we’re the first generation being this close to instant material gratification. I’ll be really thirsty and I’m just enjoying a nice ice cold Coke Classic, and I’ll stop and think about all of this, and it’s equally absurd to think about even all of the small stuff, like a bottle of Coke, that I have at my fingertips.

What did people drink a hundred years ago? Water? That’s it? Juice maybe? What goes into carbonating stuff? How did it become so commercially successful to add bubbles to everything? I know that if you make beer from scratch the bubbles are produced naturally. But soda? How did the first sodas get bubbly? And beer now isn’t even made from scratch, it’s made in these big vats and then they boil it to kill all the active yeast and then they add all of the CO2 artificially.

That’s really not important though. It’s just when you consider progress, and I’m considering it right now, I wind up thinking that we’re so special, that we’re this pioneer generation, the first ones to benefit from all of the stuff available now, the first this, the first that. But soda is a pretty recent invention. So is refrigeration. When Coke came out didn’t it cost like a nickel a bottle? I have no idea. My grandfather always used to talk about stuff that cost a nickel when he was a kid, so I just have all of these sepia colored imagined memories of the past where everything’s five cents, and people are still complaining about it being too expensive.

But imagine you’re living back in the day when Coke first came out, and it’s super cheap. Everyone must have felt like a king. Or a queen, you know, if you were a lady. But it must have felt great to walk into a drugstore and buy a bottle of Coke. And you could stand outside and find some empty milk crate or some box and you could put one leg up on that milk crate and you could rest your arm, the same arm that’s holding the bottle of Coke, you could rest it on your raised knee and take a big sip of ice cold Coke and think to yourself, Jesus, this has to be the pinnacle of human development. And that first year that Coke was available, like really available, to every single person, it must have been such a great year, everyone really appreciating every sip of ice cold carbonated soft drink.

But then Sprite probably came out and maybe it was still kind of exciting, but it definitely couldn’t have been as exciting. And then even though soda was available, there were plenty of other things that weren’t available, like penicillin, or modern dental care, and the buses were still segregated, and maybe you’d get drafted into a war and maybe you’d run out of nickels and you wouldn’t even be able to buy a Coke, you’d just be back to plain old water.

And when I think all of this is so great, all of our modern technology, am I truly loving it? Am I really appreciating everything that we have that generations past have not had? Or is it not about the actual innovations, but just about that feeling, that feeling of having what once did not exist. Like when I first got an iPhone, man, that was something special. After a couple of years, it’s still somewhat special, but at the same time, it’s just my cell phone. I don’t have that better, superior feeling. And I get so wrapped up in my life, my world, I forget about all the stuff that’s comparable today to no penicillin and inequality and I don’t want to list the specifics of all of the negative aspects of the modern age, because I wouldn’t really be making any new or significant insights, and it would all be such a bummer, such a negative letdown.

I just can’t imagine what it’s going to be like towards the end of my life, how different the world is going to look. And how am I going to feel about the Internet in the future? Will it still seem so cool in comparison with whatever technological marvels the future will surely bring? Or maybe society will collapse and I’ll be telling my grandkids about the Internet, how it was the best thing our species had ever created, but civilization collapsed and now there is no Internet, and nobody knows how to get it back because we’re all too busy raiding these boarded up grocery stores, trying to sneak in and carry out cases of Coke and Sprite and Fanta without getting caught, because the Coke factory closed down when society closed down, and nobody knows how to carbonate the Coke, and you save all of your soda for wintertime, when you bury it under the snow, because there aren’t anymore refrigerators, well, there still are, but no electricity to run them. Some people have generators, but nobody’s refining oil into gas, and maybe there is no more gas, and so the snow trick is the only way for the average person to enjoy an ice cold Coke, and I think that, if I had to live in the burnt out remains of what was once a great civilization, no Internet, no TV, I think that an ice cold Coke would do just the trick, it would be just what I need, to close my eyes for a second, rest one of my legs up on some chair or stool, and just let it all wash down, the bubbles, the cold, the taste more than anything else of who we are and what we once had.