Johnny America


The Un­bear­able Light­ness of Be­ing a Mike’s Hard Lemonade


Hey. I’m Mike. I came here with a few of my friends. Bud, Miller — you know, the guys. They’re more pop­u­lar than I am. Peo­ple bring me to a lot of par­ties, but I just stand here in the back be­hind the milk, wait­ing for you to pick me.

I used to be the cock of the walk in col­lege mi­ni-fridges. Those were the days. Hands would reach out and grab my kind. Un­der­age girls would ask for me by name. Then one fate­ful day I came to a fridge with five oth­er Mikes that got picked be­fore me. I was fi­nal­ly go­ing to go, I could feel it. But then one of those hands said he got a job and moved to the left to grab a bot­tle of wa­ter in­stead of me be­cause he had an ear­ly meet­ing the next day. It was all down­hill from there. My com­pe­ti­tion soon be­came Craft Beer, Pinot Gri­gio, and Perrier.

It’s okay though. I still get to a lot of par­ties and see the world. Usu­al­ly it’s me, Wine Cool­er, and a cou­ple of Buds that make the rounds. The Buds al­ways get picked first. So it’s just me and Wine Cool­er left­over in every fridge. Wine Cooler’s too stu­pid to care, though. He just sits and sings, “Mar­gar­i­taville,” all day and night. He’s less than two per­cent al­co­hol and elec­tric blue, so what can you expect?

I usu­al­ly keep to my­self, be­hind the milk, to the right of the wa­ter bot­tles. Gives me some time to think, you know? Ad­dress some of the big ques­tions like, does the re­frig­er­a­tor light go off when you close the door? It does. In case you were wondering.

I don’t let it get to me though. I knew an­oth­er Mike years ago, it got to him. He rolled out the door when they opened the fridge, scream­ing, “When life gives you lemons, make lemon­ade, bitch­es!” Huge par­ty foul. I would nev­er do that.

But I know one day some­one will pick me. Maybe it will be you. Just reach out, open my cap, and drink me. I’ll re­turn to the sea, to the sky, and I’ll rain down again up­on the earth. I’ll fi­nal­ly reach a high­er form, like a Smirnoff Ice.

Filed under Fiction on January 16th, 2015

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