Friday, November 21, 2008

Cold Beer: A tale of exploration and gratitude.

I knew this feeling and this tight place I was shoved into, I had been here before. Even the lights and sounds were very familiar. Stuffed into his back pocket I could hear his voice talking to one of the buddies. I knew a trip was in the wings, but where this time I wondered? Radiating over the loudspeaker comes, “flight 1746 to Bogota now boarding”. Although I had never heard of this place I think; excellent, this should be a good one.
My 4 inch squishy frame was in the same space I spend most of my time, snuggled into the ass of his polyester Wranglers, but this time I was excited to my core because a real big adventure was coming my way. I had never been to this South America place with him and the tone of his voice when talking to his friend was promising. Feeding off their joy the feelings flowed into me. The vibrations begin and before I know it I can tell we are air born. I know my call is coming soon. “Two Budweisers please” is shortly followed by a shift from my large pal and I am released from my prison pocket. Ahhh, the cold I love sweeps over me and I know it is time to bring my A game. Like a dog peeing on a hydrant, I know my task at hand and I intend to keep his hands warm while simultaneously keeping his beverage cold. Comfort is the key and I am the best of the best at this, not my first rodeo that’s for sure. A dozen times over the next 24 hours I am called to duty and I perform with passion and excellence. After I am placed again into my holding cell I feel him sway his way out of the airport and into the sunlight for the first time in a day. I was proud of us both. Just like Louis and Clark, we had made it.
The next two and a half weeks were the busiest of my adult life! My single talent was of use nearly 50% of every day and night. After I was initially yanked from my pocket holding cell I observed my surroundings and watched as cars whizzed all around, we appeared to be in a large city with craziness all around. I saw signs reading “Bogota”, so I deduced that we had reached the first stop for my comrades. The crew arrived at a high rise loft and got situated. Next thing I know I was immediately hanging out of my spot as I was whisked away on a rolling piece of wood with four wheels, which is not an uncommon experience for me. I worked at many different drinking establishments throughout the day and saw many interesting sights, people and artworks. After much travel within this vast land we concluded the day looking out into the darkness, except for the lights of the city and the impending sunrise, from at least 35 stories off the ground with many other people similar to my friends. We were having a great time, you must check out Bogota if you can my brothers.
I awoke to the usual movement from the man only to find out we were on a bus of some sort and frosty cold beverages were being exchanged in and out of me at an alarming rate during this bus ride, and a long one at that. I caught the name of our destination early on as the friends were very excited for it; Taganga. This place was my favorite I have ever been. I watched over the week we spent there as the big guy gave away many like me but I was kept close to him. I was happy with this but secretly wanted to be given to a portly man named Ever who was the guys’ tour fellow for our week. He took us to beaches with nobody else on them, fights between roosters, restaurants on beaches, sing a longs and I even watched as my friends jumped off a cliff about 300 times my size! It was amazing; smiles were tattooed on their faces every second of every day. We made a lot of friends and I could feel the sadness when it was time to move on. No walls could hold these men I was accompanying.
After another superb effort on my part in keeping his libations cold on another bus trip, we were thrust into some real old city with walls around it. This place was older and crazier than anywhere he had taken me before. I remember holding a very nice can of PBR once while watching a movie where this very place was shown; the film was called Romancing the Stone and I believe the town was called Cartegena. Place was sweet! Only a couple nights were spent in this town but the posse was on fire. Sometimes I could see out of the pocket and he would be drinking very swiftly without even enlisting my help. Was he losing it, I thought? Once I got a clearer view I noticed the bottle being consumed would not have fit comfortably within me and I was grateful he kept me out of this debauchery for once. Day and night we rolled around town on those silly wood and wheel things and talked a lot. They made a lot of new friends that I thought we would be hanging out with forever. At one point we got a tour of the whole port with massive ships and huge piles of substances I did not recognize. Later we were taken out of town by a really nice man in an amazing car to some real old looking pyramid shaped places. The guys walked around sluggishly due to the activities of the previous night (but that is neither here nor there and they don’t like it when I reveal too much about their nighttime adventures) but seemed very impressed, so I knew this was special for us. Another city welcomed with open arms and shed tears when we were seen disappearing into the distance.
As the last can was emptied we shot onto what I remembered as a plane and were whisked away like that Dorothy character I had seen so many times in our living room when it was just the man and I. “Medellin” I kept hearing between a bunch of other words I could not understand so being the genius that I am I deciphered this to be the guys next stop. Much to my surprise I was not used much that first night in town. My friends led me to the next place to sleep and after only a couple uses of me were fast asleep. I thought them pansies at first but darkness fell upon me, like my friends say happens to them on occasion, and I sailed away. The morning was welcomed with a breath of stagnant air and the boys were ready to roll asap. An epic journey was taking place all day and I was up to the call of duty. We saw a lot that day; this metropolis was not ready for the likes of us. Action packed and I have to admit, although I may be small in stature, my love for this exciting place was mountain top high. All through the day and night smiles were flowing like the Aguila that I serviced for the majority of the adventure. Too much to say right now as my head is spinning just thinking about the thrills so I will end my Medellin rant with this, go there. Go now. My fellow keeping beverages cold brethren, jump in your friends pocket, backpack or wherever they keep you and make them go. If you feel your “friend” is not the type to throw caution to whatever that expression is, then jump ship and find a new friend. I really like my guys as you all can tell by now because they know when to adventure, and that time is now.
Quick hop, skip and jump and we were back where we started two and a half weeks ago although I had seen enough for a lifetime and felt the many textures of worldwide drinks. Back in the hustle and bustle of Bogota we met more friends, went on more adventures and to quote the guys, “killed it”. My use became a little sparse in this last leg but the man was courteous enough to keep me in a spot where I did not miss a thing. I saw dancing and singing and most importantly happy happy smiles for miles. While I could tell it was going to kill the guys to leave this paradise, I am sure in my non-existent heart that they had the best trip they could have possibly had. I am and will be forever grateful to him for bringing me along and am proud as a mother on graduation day that I was able to perform my duties with flying colors. A quick thank you must be written to all of the people my guys met, for treating them as long time friends instead of outsiders. Without them, I know this trip would not have been such an insane success.
Now I sit here, waiting for that moment when I am crammed back in that pocket of those dirty black pants and brought on another epic adventure to lands farther and even less explored than these. I know that it will come soon, because my friends are like that, and thanks to them I have the bug embedded inside me forever. For now, I rest so I can have the strength to keep those beers in the fridge frosty when my time comes in a couple hours.

L to R: mateo, ever, me (with aguila), conor.

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