The World Wants to See
Corona is smoother than I expected. Given my background I feel like I should’ve had a Corona a long time before I turned twenty-one. Growing up as a lifeguard in Florida it’s hard for me to believe this is the first time I’ve ever had one. But I know why that is, just like I know why drinking this beer turned into me writing a story about it.
The reason why I haven’t had a Corona until today was because of the bikini my girlfriend wore three years ago (she’s my ex-girlfriend now). We were at the Pensacola Beach with some friends, right at the beginning of the school year. The bikini she was wearing that day was my favorite one. It had Corona written across the ass in the famous, old English script.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who liked it. There were four or five guys sitting near the water. They were drinking Miller Lite, of course, and harassing anything with long hair and thin legs that walked by. The prototype, all-American douche bag. When they saw my girlfriend the whole beach turned into one room with no furniture, us on one side, them on the other.
They were yelling, “Come on, Corona.”
I looked up at the sky without looking at the seagulls. I looked every direction but toward the water. After a few minutes I looked at her, “I’m going to say something.”
She put her hand on my leg and told me to let it go. I picked up a handful of sand and watched it hiss between my fingers. They kept calling. I looked at my friends. They were gathered in a circle. None of them looked at me or down toward the water.
The guys kept calling.
“They’re starting to bother me,” she said. I stood up facing the water. She grabbed my arm and looked up at me, “You’re not going to win.”
“I’m not going down there to win.”
“Please, just sit down.” I did. I’m not sure how much she had thought this through. If she had done the math in her head and realized me against four guys would probably make for a trip to the hospital in a few minutes. I had already considered that, but the power of male egos is they allow you to overlook useless things like facts in these situations.
They stopped calling after ten more minutes. They pestered other girls near them. They drained their cheap beers and punched each other in the shoulders. They were still there when we left that day. It would be a lie to say I felt like the bigger man.
Later that year I read a book by Cormack McCarthy. The main character is in a Mexican prison. His best friend has already been beaten half to death. The leader of the prison gang has a conversation with the main character and gives him a switchblade then tells him, “The world wants to see if you have cajones.”
After reading that scene I realized something about the day at the beach. They may have been yelling Corona, but they were calling me.