For one thing, there was a very large turtle tank in front of that window. A creaky, difficult to open window. For another, you had to turn off the alarm completely, or shunt it, leaving that window the only escape out of the house. So we didn't go on the fire escape often.
The one time, though, we did. It was spring, or fall, or some day when sitting outside seemed like a great thing. I have no sense of where my family was. I sat firmly on the fire escape, not leaning against the house at all, trusting in the old metal.
We brought a six pack of Zima. "Tastes like 7-Up," I was told, but it didn't. There was a strange aftertang, and it seemed too fizzy and altogether gross. But I drank one, fairly easily. By the time I struggled through the second, now warm, but still fizzy, I was officially tipsy for the first time.
I haven't had a Zima in a long time. In fact, that first time may very well have been my last time. Maybe, then, it is my fault that Zima has been discontinued. I'm not a karaoker - just like on the fire escape, I wasn't really a drinker. But maybe -- for nostalgia's sake -- I should venture to karaoke and Zima in Chinatown for one last sip of faux-lemon-lime-ick.