A short story: Beer Bottle Cap.
The following text was written at the end of May, 2019, just minutes after listening the story. I feel it’s time to share it with you all. The location is KwaZulu-Natal, a province in South Africa, where I was working at the time for two months.
“The carpenter was a man in his middle age, but very well-preserved and ruggedly built, with a slightly balding head. His skin was dark from the sun, and he spoke with a strong Afrikaans accent.
“Let me tell you about my most powerful experience,” he said.
His eyes looked into the distance for a moment, both to gather his memories and probably to build up some drama, and then he started.
“I was in Nepal once, of course, for ganja, and took some heavy shrooms under the grey night sky. Suddenly, I had this idea that I could open beer bottles with my nails, and I pulled and pulled the beer cap off. And I did it many times! The next morning, there were some guys there who had seen me, and one of them pointed at me and said: ‘Wow, this is the guy who can pull off beer caps with his nails!’ So I took a bottle and started to pull, and it felt like…”
He mimicked the movements of doing his depraved, painful party trick and squeezed his face in what seemed to be an enormous pain.
“…like the nails were bending off the fingertips, but it was all in here…”
He put his right hand up to his head and knocked.
“That’s the most intense thing I’ve experienced. But what the acid told me was, if I promise myself something, I can do it. And I’ve felt that way ever since.”
He looked at me and smiled, both spiritually calm and with the aura of an ego-boosting braggart. I loved hearing his voice, no question about it. And what the hell, he deserves it. It’s his life, his universe, his stories. In the end, everything comes together in a pretty wonderful person anyway.
Fred Andersson, 2019–05–26.”
Fred Andersson is a Swedish story producer, researcher and writer with over twenty years of experience in commercial television and the author of three books. He lives in Märsta, outside Stockholm, with his photographer husband Grzegorz and two overly active cats. Join him on Twitter and Instagram.
Fred Andersson is a Swedish story producer, researcher and writer with over twenty years of experience in commercial television and the author of three books. He lives in Märsta, outside Stockholm, with his photographer husband Grzegorz and two overly active cats.