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  • Nancy Kimball

A Drop of Ginger Ale


I set the can back down and noticed a bead of something, the ginger ale I think, sliding slowly down the side of the tall, slim, can. I watched as it moved, bending the light gathered within it, the opposite way a finished diamond does. When it passed over a different color near the bottom, I could see its power to bend light and alter what I saw even more. It turned a glorious gold shimmer within a shimmer and I was transfixed. I held my breath as it neared the very bottom, about to fall off the edge. I froze in suspense as this perfect bead of liquid rolled under the finished edge and I knew any moment it would touch the surface of wood beneath it and be lost. Become a spot flattened and bent now to gravity’s will and the joy would be over.

But it held there. It is there now, even still as my indecision warred between paying attention and moving on. Rather, warred against the voice that screamed from a creative well within this tired and complex brain, screamed to write this down. Write it down. Write it down!!!

Because that small bead of ginger ale has bested you. It is teasing you and the surface of the desk like the cruelest or the most skilled of lovers, hovering less than a breath, less than the merest of distance that is so infinitesimal that it rebels at being considered any distance at all. It has fought to live. Held on by an atmospheric pressure and physics far beyond my ability to comprehend and laughing at my certainty of mere moments ago. Yes. It is teasing me too.

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