Lactose-free nostalgia

Nate Muckley

Choosing a drink for breakfast can be difficult: Do I want an early-morning sugar rush from neon-blue Gatorade? Do I want stomach cancer from the fake sugars in Propel? How about a pouch of high-fructose Capri Sun? Or maybe just milk? On Monday, September 13, I was staring at the array of drinks through the plate of fingerprint-stained glass, and then I saw it–the red metal box that was to start my week-long rediscovery/love affair with with soy milk.

I grabbed the milk box and sped to the cash-only line to buy it. “You’re the first one to buy one of those,” the woman at the register said, “some girl asked for them last week, so we got a bunch.” Whoever you are soy-milk-girl, I thank you.

I sat down, “shook well,” and stabbed the sharp straw into the foil strip. My first drink was magical and brought back memories of childhood, of innocence, of carefree times and a life before the stresses of high school. And as I drank more and more of the soy milk, I recalled my younger soy-chugging self.

When my brother was little, he was lactose intolerant: My mother unfortunately uses the word “projectile” to describe how she found this fact out. So with my brother, I was forced onto a diet of soy milk on my cereal, glasses of soy milk with lunch, and even soy milk floats for dessert.

I loved it––not just the drink, but the soy milk lifestyle. I liked explaining to people why I drank soy milk, and when they thought I was weird, it made me feel a little special. I loved popping open my big box of Edensoy in the morning instead of prying opening the milk carton. And I enjoyed how it was vanilla flavored–making regular milk seem so bland.

As my brother got older, he grew out of his intolerance. So as we aged, we switched from soy milk to cow’s milk And our soy milk lives slowly ended.

My memories faded. I reached the end of my soy milk box. I regretted drinking it so fast. I wanted to make the memories last longer. Oh well, nothing lasts forever. I threw the empty metal box away, and thought to myself that I should get another one at lunch.

During the week of September 13th, I drank 8 boxes of soy milk over five days. I don’t care that it is essentially just bean juice, sugar, and added vitamins. I love the taste, and I love the memories. Thanks again, girl who asked Taher for soy milk.