I may have tried an old-time soda pop called Moxie as a kid way back when my grandfather owned a small country store in Biddeford, Maine. I can’t remember now. What I do remember is the big red metal cooler bearing the Coca-Cola logo located just inside the store entrance in which he kept a various assortment of soft drinks submerged in cold water. We’d retrieve the small 10-ounce bottles chilled and dripping, flip the cap off in the little opener attached to the cooler, and pass from a July heat hell into the blissfully cool heaven of a Grape Ne-hi, an Orange Crush, a Hires Root Beer, a Cream Soda, or a Coca Cola. I’m sure Moxie was among them, but I may be wrong. Or I’m spot on and just repressed the memory.
In any case, I got into a discussion with a few people the other night about Moxie. Opinions were divided almost right down the middle, with the propensity toward “it’s terrible and tastes like medicine.” The other camp consisting of Moxie lovers left it up to me to either even the odds or go with the Moxie haters. After repeatedly forgetting to pick some up at the store, I finally got a small bottle of it yesterday, and was able to even those odds, as I found it not nearly as bad as I’d expected. It does have an odd little after-taste, but I’m told that that’s its appeal, due in large part to one of its main ingredients–gentian root essence. The WebMD website states that gentian root serves as an effective aid against stomach upset and heartburn, so there is some redeeming value to what is to some just a horrid-tasting beverage.
I’m not sure how this segues into retirement, but that’s how my mind works. Since formally distancing myself from the Big Work World three years ago, I’ve gone on a roller coaster ride that has taken me from an overwhelming sense of relief to wondering what tomorrow will bring, which was quite a sudden drop. Then, there are those moments, such as going crazy and buying a bottle of Moxie, that belong to neither camp, moments that I wish at times that the rest of my life was composed entirely of. Through it all, however, from the highs to the abrupt lows, and all the Moxie sampling moments in between, I have never lost sight of my goal, which was to devote as much time as I could to writing. That’s been somewhat of a bumpy ride, too, as it has turned out to involve lot more effort and much less reward than I’d anticipated.
But I’m not giving up, not yet anyway. Like that sappy television goes: I’m only in my sixties, and I have a long life ahead of me…big plans…
Well, I’m not sure about the big plans, but I do know that, whatever I choose to do, writing will surely figure in it somehow. For one cannot write unless one has first lived, and if nothing else, I have surely done plenty of that.