Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Dear Beer 

Beer Stein-way or Highway

Dear Beer,
I miss you and I wanted you to know I’m thinking about you. I miss your heady, frothy effervescence. I miss your hoppy tang. I miss your refreshing wash down my throat on a hot day. I miss your mix of sweetness, your floral redolence, your yeasty nose, and lingering sourness and acidity. I miss how you complement a steak. You’re such a fine friend to meat. Oh and the things you add to a cheese plate or charcuterie are boundless. I think of you often after a day when the city has worn me out and my haggard hand reaches into the fridge. I see you there, but alas I cannot have you. I hope you understand, dearest beer, it isn’t you, it’s me.

Since January of 2019, I haven’t been able to drink beer, or any kind of alcohol really. It is connected to what was an allergic reaction but is now more like an auto-immune system failure that causes my skin to erupt into a bubbling hot rash that is painful, itchy and is something you might expect from the special F/X department of a zombie movie. It’s akin to having a very bad full body sun burn and occasionally being attacked by angry wasps and this is only made worse by alcohol. I don’t really know why. Something about dilation of blood vessels making the over abundance of histamines in my system more readily absorbed, but who can say and at this point, merely existing is a painful proposition. The key for me is to remain “cool and dry” and under no circumstances, alcohol of any kind.

This condition was recently, I don’t want to say “diagnosed” but sort of re-defined as spontaneous idiopathic urticaria. Tell your friends. Tell your neighbours. Tell them to avoid it and don’t ask me how I’m doing, because, unfortunately for all involved, I will tell them, and it is kind of gross. No one wants that.

Yet like the light on the hill or the glow of dawn of a new day there is some hope. There is a drug treatment administered as a once a month injection. Oddly this drug is used for asthma and allergy sufferers too. Secretly, in my secret heart, the one no one knows, I dream that this wünder drüg might not only manage my urticaria but also my asthma and general congestion from dust sensitivity. This is probably wishful thinking, but wishes are free so make as many as you want. Would this mean I could be reunited with my old chums beer or wine, whisky, bourbon, gin or scotch? Maybe. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.



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