Gulping Life

by MW Cook

I go to bed with a shot of Dr. Mcgillicuddy’s Peach Schnapps. Ever tried it? I don’t know much about liquor, but I know I like it. It’s smooth and bursting with sharp peachy juiciness. It’s always a little sad when the glass is empty.

I tried making it last longer the other day. Instead of taking my shot and letting it go its merry way down my gullet, I held it in my mouth to prolong the pleasure. It didn’t work, of course. It quickly turned harsh. It wasn’t a pleasure that was meant to be prolonged.

This is a picture of a cat.

This is a picture of a cat.

Do you remember how much you loved juice (and life) as a kid? There is no passion in the world greater than a child’s passion for juice (and life). Juice (and life) gave you an exhilaration that made you believe everything was right with the universe. And when you got your tiny hands on that massive glass of deep purple, you gulped it as fast as you could, relishing the holistic sensation as the precious liquid rolled down your throat. But, inevitably, someone much taller than you would come by, notice all that fun you were having, and tell you to knock it off.

“Slow down and enjoy it!” they would tell you, as if you weren’t already in the raptures of juicy bliss. “You can’t even taste it!”

Of course I can taste it! But taste isn’t even the foundation of the joy of juice (or life). It’s the wild abandon of gulping. It’s the excitement of consumption. There is a hidden passion in the purple stuff. But adults don’t get that. They forgot that juice (and life) is meant to be gulped.

And when you forget a pleasure, the most annoying thing is to watch someone else remembering it. That’s why kids aren’t allowed to gulp. That’s why kids aren’t allowed to sing in public or be loud or laugh at crude jokes. Not appropriate. Bad deportment. Get in line, wipe that grin off your face and be serious, because somehow seriousness is better than levity.

Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

– Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress