After a short and lonely lunch today I took a cold can of Coke from the refrigerator and snapped loose the tab. I took a long slow swig of the amber liquid expanding it within my mouth filling it with the biting bubbles. I bathed the back of my tongue and wafted the strange flavor up through the nose.
Suddenly I was a child again, a three year old. It was a hot summer’s day at an air show above Lovell Field. I stood at eye level within the crowded forest of viewers. I was down in the sweltering heat. There was an air of expectation up above, but not a zephyr to cool me.
At last Uncle Landrum took me by the hand and walked to a freestanding concession stand. There he bought me a three-cent ice-cold bottle of Coke. It was the first I had ever had. The cap was popped and he handed the drink to me. The cold bottle was delicious just to hold. I took a sip of the soda and turning handed it back to my Uncle. He asked if I did not like the drink? I replied that it tasted like liniment. Not that I had ever tasted liniment, but associated its odor with this strange taste. I remembered then why I have never liked the taste of Coke! I had just forgotten.