A Chorus of Factory Girls

It comes wrapped in red. It's responsible for the economic rise of a major American city. It's ingredients have been blamed for all the ills of human kind. It is the single most recognized icon in the world, surpassing the Nike swoosh, the American flag and the face of Jesus. It's also one of the few incarnations of the corporate hegemony from which I may never be able to stray.

I'd thought I was done with it, really. I'd given up Cuba Libres for gin'n tonics. I'd taken to drinking iced tea with my dinner. I'd convinced myself that I didn't even really like it: too sweet and too acidic at the same time, aftertaste of old orange candies. It's bad for you and I had convinced myself that I was not going to like it.

This feature has re-educated me in the simple fact that, at certain times, the things that are supposed to be bad for use can be oh, so good. Whether it's a big meal after being away from home, a beer on the Fourth of July or a cigarette after a good lay, some indulgences are defined by the moment in which they are enjoyed.

The other night, after our fifth consecutive thirteen hour day, my coworker nicked one for me from the crafty cooler without stopping to ask what I'd actually want. They were apparently out of Fresca, anyway. He offered it to me after we were in the car an on the way back to the hotel and I had no other option but to go thirsty. The day had been very long. The work had been arduous and the temperature had ranged from a brisk thirty - eight to a comparatively stifling eighty. I hadn't sat down for more than fifteen minutes the entire day.

So, with nothing else available, I popped the top and sipped. Oh, lords above and all the joys of the flesh I have never experienced something so wonderful, the sweetness, the tang, the fiz. In my post-shoot gloom I had found a new paradise. I had strayed from the altar but the burdensome path of professional duty and laborious thirst have returned me to you.

Or maybe that's too profound a way to say that I've rediscovered Coca-Cola.

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