Put a lid on it.
Everybody says it. Someone’s popping off at the mouth and all of the sudden, it’s my problem. It’s up to me to find the solution because God knows nothing else will stop this catastrophe from bubbling over. The problem with this theory, of course, is that the explosion still happens.
Nobody ever really chooses the bottle. They think it will give them something to do – make them feel like they have a purpose, or that it doesn’t matter if they don’t. Either way, it’s a second solution when the first is out of reach.
I met this bottle in a wood paneled convenient store that was made to look like a country store. By that, I mean they had the wood shelving and weird stamp books, but they also had stuff like Mineral Water for $4.39 a bottle. It’s a place where rich people can spend money to feel poor. Although the mineral water bottle seemed exotic enough in the moment, they’re all the same.
“Where are you going?” It was like the thing would never leave me alone. No matter where I went, it followed. “Don’t go to lunch without me!” The pleas were incessant.
I wanted freedom. I could go anywhere just as long as I could find a pair of pants loose enough to sneak into.
This apparently was not an option. “You can’t leave me.” I was halfway out of the kitchen when I heard it.
“I have to go. I can’t sit around all day and do nothing.”
“You can’t leave me!” It was the same thing over and over and over again.
“I’m really sorry. You’ll find another,” I said. “I promise.”
But as soon as I rolled on, a terrible avalanche of fizz built up against the bottle. The sound of carbonated thunder roared down the counter and through the house.
“Jesus.” Even as I said it, I knew I’d never be heard.
It was too late. A million tiny bubbles packed their way against the glass, threatening to break everything solid. Its pop and fizz hissed and the whirlwind of water that once seemed magically alive was now an angry force I hardly recognized.
I looked longingly for the door, but it was too far away. It wasn’t my problem. It wasn’t my idea. “Just contain yourself,” I said.
Three weeks later, I saw the bottle again. I was in a little cafe staring hopelessly into a bottle of wine, when I happened to glance over to the table next to me. Elegantly poised and completely at home, the bottle was capped by another.
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