The promise of translucence

edited excerpt from a chat

—First thing I did when I got back from D.C. was wash all my empties. Because bottling beer is complex enough without having to worry about cleaning all the bottles yet. If they’re already clean, all they need is a soak in sanitizer solution.

See, brewing is a great motivator.

—Heh. So you have a basic set of bottles which you reuse all the time?

—Yes. They’re brown. Too much light can spoil beer.

—Do they have the cloudy shoulders that come with age and jostling?

—I don’t think so. They don’t get jostled much.

—I think all the soft drinks and beer bottles in the various African countries I’ve been to have that.

It shows up more on bottles with a curvier shape and darker glass. Maybe yours don’t have a shoulder.

—Maybe not enough of one.

—Have you ever collected sea glass?

—Only rarely. I don’t get to the sea much, you know.

—Ah, your loss.

But you know what I mean, all rubbed and opaque but with the promise of translucence.


—So if you jostled your beer a bit more (which I don’t recommend, obviously) then you’d get well-worn beer glass with the same quality ’round its shoulders.

If you put sea glass in your mouth it becomes more jewel-like, but only until the spit vanishes. But it tastes of salted sun.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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