Until the WristwatchIs Taken from the Wrist

Five years before my grandpa died, an employee at the
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife crashed their
tanker truck of approximately 11,000 live Chinook salmon
into a power pole in Eugene, Oregon. When the truck rolled,
and the shocked, slippery cargo flew into the Mackenzie River
Highway—their permanently astonished expressions, for once,
appropriate to the occasion—the interstate was sheathed in a
layer of smolt, a silver-brick-road of floundering fish that
blocked both lanes of traffic. Unfortunately, the Mackenzie
River Highway is not as suitable for supporting aquatic life as
its namesake, so of the approximately 11,000 passengers traveling in the ill-fated tanker truck on December 30th, 2014, only
Ray Lewis, the salmon chauffeur, survived the crash. State
troopers found Lewis soon after, surrounded by dead salmon,
with a broken shoulder and a blood alcohol concentration over
three times the legal limit.
In the years between Ray Lewis’s crash and my grandpa’s
death by complications of the same diagnosis, Lewis became
the man every news article references when discussing “autobrewery syndrome,” or gut fermentation, a rare medical condition characterized primarily by its unbelievability. Lewis drank