"Yeah, fuck yeah I was scared … "

The nation has been through eight Olympic games, fifteen seasons of American Idol and one Al Gore since I last drank Surge. It's nothing short of happenstance that I even got to have it again. But when I did, I almost lost breakfast. 

In the late '90s, there were only a handful of ways to get all jacked up on caffeine before you went to go grind rails or fight at the flag-pole or whatever: Jolt Cola, pills or SURGE!!! Things like Red Bull, Monster and Go Fast weren’t yet a thing in the states, and the energy drink craze was still in its infancy. To push the limits of your endocrine system, you had to get creative.

Because Surge was one of the first to market in the extreme caffeine game, it was often touted as the most popular. Its citrusy backend mimicked the flavors of drinks like Mountain Dew, and packed far more sugar and almost double the caffeine as a regular Coca-Cola. By 2003, lagging sales of it (in big part due to massive advertising pushes by Red Bull) caused the drink to cease operations. It was the end of a frenetic era.

It wasn’t until 3 grown-ass men with a Facebook account crowd-sourced a campaign in 2014 to get the high-octane sludge back on the market. Their push — with hundreds of thousands of fans — showed the drink behemoth that there was high enough demand. It began rolling out in select stores, and further plans of expansion are reportedly still in the works.

But it isn’t distributed in Colorado. Not anywhere that I’ve found, anyways. But it is in Dallas, where my brother-in-law lives. I knew this because he’d send me various Snapchats of him drinking it sometimes, and admittedly, I grew jealous. 'Surge-green with envy,' one could say. I straight demanded that he get one to me at once. So he did.

I made the mistake of reading the label before I opened it. Because I try to be an adult now, I do that kind of shit by habit. It’s impossible for me to consume this kind of emptiness anymore without feeling serious physical complications, so I pay attention to what I put in my body. The content? A caloric intake of 230 fat goblins, 56 grams of sugar diabetes, all coupled together atop 69 mg of heart-bursting caffeine — damn near 3 times that of a regular Coke.

Yeah, fuck yeah I was scared.

But I did it anyway; I wanted to remember. So I took a few sips and felt a rush of energy blast up my spine. It hit my head and I started seeing double. My heart peaced out and went rogue on synchronization. I began sweating like a fat kid at prom and felt my jaw tighten up like I’d taken a bag of blow to the dome. I kind of knew this was going to happen, though.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown into this strange allergy to caffeine. Cups of coffee wdo me in if I have them in the morning. This wasn’t by choice, of course. There’s nothing better in the summer than a massive jug of iced coffee, or an over-sugared bucket of Caramel Macchiato after a night of drinking. I dig this kind of stuff, but my body, my body does not.

The Surge tasted exactly the same as how I remembered it, though. It brought me back to the days of ripped baggy pants and scraped knees, wiping out rolling down the streets of my old neighborhood. I remembered the time I made a fool out of myself joining a national skating competition and coming in dead last. I remembered my first joint behind the school. Getting grounded and sneaking out. Kissing girls. Being rejected by them the next day. The ‘90s … everything about the ‘90s.

Surge isn't going to last, there's no way it can compete in the over-saturated beverage market, one that's focused more on health and natural ingredients than getting punched in the face with science. I wouldn't be surprised if the drink gets pulled before it makes it to Colorado stores, either. Nostalgia can only go so far. People like me will drink it once, reminisce on days past, then succumb to the reality that we're getting old and can't treat our bodies like we're 14 again. 

Youth. It's wasted on the young.