It was in Dallas, Texas in 1990. My buddy and I each stole a can of Miller Lite from my mom's refrigerator and we drank them fast, in the alley behind my house.
The beer can, with its flowing script word - "Lite" - hovering over a barley shield, seemed special, magical even.
The beer felt sharp and cold in my mouth with a taste that was somehow both sweet and bitter.
I had stolen sips from cans of beer before, so I had encountered that taste before, and I had smelled it all my life, at my parent's get togethers at the house and at restaurants.
Somehow I didn't realize that by drinking the whole can I was entering a new world.
A few minutes afterward, I felt lightheaded and dizzy, and I knew something was happening.
Going back in the house on that Sunday evening, I tried hard not to show the knowledge of good and evil I had acquired in the last hour.
Over the last twenty years, since entering this ancient brotherhood and sisterhood of beer, I have served beer and been served beer, in the same way humans have for thousands of years, since the first recipe for beer was written down, in the first written recipe ever recorded 5000 years ago, when a couple of guys in Sumeria said, "whoa, hold on, tell me one more time EXACTLY how you made this."
I have served beer in my work as a singer songwriter, making and performing songs for people to hear while they drink beer. I fought this idea for a long time, preferring to view my job in more literary terms, but only recently, around my 35th birthday, I realized fully, with some acceptance, comfort and satisfaction, that I sell beer.
Whatever interest my songs produce makes money through the process of selling beer to audience members who gather to listen to music and stories while they drink beer.