Truth in the toilet ring

MMM, beer. A warm liquid pot. Pat hovering his face over the steam. The potato, nutty smell of amber water. You smell smells you’d never smell when you make beer, he said. Hops and grains. I wonder how hard it is to grow HOps. I like to say it like that, the onomatopoetic way – HOps. It reminds me of the movie “Super Bad” when the kid is trying to buy beer and he says it just that way “They’ve added more HOpsss to it”
We brewed at a friend’s house last night. We’ve brewed there before. I added the packet of HOps to contribute something. Mostly I was telling stories of being younger, at a brewery/eatery in Davis called Sudwerks. I was about 9 or 10 and the brewing beer smell was so strong and so bad, I started sobbing hysterically and made every one leave. My mom hadn’t married my step-dad yet. He looked pissedannoyed. Maybe I was testing him?
When the boys went out to get more ice, I went to the bathroom. The small bathroom behind 2 closed doors through the laundry room that’s always warm and smells like fabric sheets. The lady of the house is away and they like things clean. Once she refused to let the boys use the bathtub upstairs to cool their beer (basically, fill the tub with ice, put the carboy in the ice, let it cool) because they hadn’t cleaned the tub and she said it was filthy. But when I went to the bathroom downstairs, I saw a thin brown ring around the waterline in the toilet. Whether or not they’ve used that bathroom in a while, I got the greatest satisfaction in seeing life unpolished. The dirty, the lazy, the tissues filling the trashcan. The way people forget. The dirt under their fingernails. The need for perfection dissipating. It’s the moment you see someone as they really are, wrapped up in all their dirty comforts, fronts broken, gates open. It’s the truth.

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