Ginger Ale

Eric drank ginger ale everyday. No beverage brought him satisfaction like ginger ale did. Every now and then he’d drink a cup of water or milk or apple juice, but they were disgusting. One day, Eric’s best friend Mike asked, “Hey Eric, don’t you think you should stop drinking so much ginger ale?”

Eric continued to drink ginger ale everyday. There were other beverages available to him, but none could compare to the sweet ambrosia that was ginger ale. Sometimes Eric wondered if he could replace his blood with ginger ale. Then he’d need new non-human parts to function since humans need blood. Eric could be the first ginger-ale-fueled cyborg! Sometimes Eric wondered if he would ever find a woman who enjoyed ginger ale as much as he did. “That’s impossible,” he would think, “I definitely love ginger ale more than anybody else in the universe.” But still, it was fun to fantasize. Eric would enjoy each of these fantasies with a refreshing ice-cold cup of ginger ale. One day, Eric’s best friend Jason asked, “Hey Eric, don’t you think you should drink something besides ginger ale?”

Life continued for Eric. Sometimes Eric wouldn’t feel so good, and he wasn’t sure why. Ginger ale always used to make him feel better, but now it didn’t seem to work. One day, Eric’s best friend Donald said, “Eric, I’m worried about you. You drink nothing but ginger ale. Your body is deteriorating. You’re weak and sick. Please drink some water. Please drink something besides ginger ale.”

Eric awoke one afternoon and reached to pick up his usual can of ginger ale. But it wasn’t there. And he wasn’t in his room. He was suddenly hit with a cluster of sensations: an almost blinding whiteness, the smell of sterilization, and a steady beeping.

“What is this, a hospital?” Eric asked no one in particular. None of the words came out of his mouth correctly. He looked over and saw a doctor and a nurse standing over him.

“Hello Eric, I’m Dr. Reeds. How are you feeling?”

Eric mumbled some response. Everything seemed to melt in front of him. He drifted back to sleep.

Eric opened his eyes again, and it was daytime. Disappointingly, there was again no ginger ale in reach. Instead there was Dr. Reeds.

“Hello again Eric. This is Dr. Reeds, again. How are you feeling?”

“Thirsty,” Eric mumbled.

“Okay, we’ll get you some water.”

“You got any ginger ale?” Eric could’ve really gone for some ginger ale.

Dr. Reeds stared at Eric. Eric stared back. With a careful tone, Dr. Reeds spoke. “Eric, you’ve been in a coma for three days. You are severely malnourished. We know you’ve been drinking nothing but ginger ale. You have to drink something else!”

“Why? Why can’t I just drink ginger ale?” Eric had never taken this advice before, and he sure wasn’t going to take it now.

“It’s fine to drink some ginger ale every now and then, but you need to get some other fluids in your system. You were just in a coma! Doesn’t that show you that you need to change your lifestyle?”

Eric’s eyes narrowed. “Are you sure I went into a coma because of the ginger ale? I don’t think that’s a thing. Is this some sort of elaborate lesson?”

“This is serious! You need to stop drinking so much ginger ale!”

Eric could feel the bubbles rising in his stomach even though there was no ginger ale in it. “Why?! Why do I have to stop?! I love ginger ale! I love it more than anything in the world. I want to be the number one fan of ginger ale in the world. I want to be the first guy made famous because of his love for ginger ale. I want to drink ginger ale all day, every day and not have to worry about the consequences. Doctors like you were supposed to find a way for me to do this! Doctors like you were supposed to find ways for me to sustain myself on nothing but ginger ale! Doctors like you were supposed to help me become the greatest ginger ale consumer in the world! But now you’re telling me to stop! This is my dream, Dr. Reeds!  Why can’t I follow my dream?!”

Dr. Reeds stared at Eric. Eric stared back, breathing hard. A ginger-ale-less eternity passed by.

“Well Eric, it’s because that’s a stupid fucking dream.”

After getting out of the hospital, Eric drank water everyday. Other beverages brought him satisfaction like water did, but he still drank water. Every now and then he’d drink a cup of milk or apple juice, and they were all right. One day, Eric’s best friend Donald asked, “Hey Eric, what do you think life’s all about? What’s this all for?” Eric shrugged his shoulders. It used to be ginger ale. Now, he wasn’t sure.