The Cat and His Milk

We rode our rented and poorly built bicycles down the rivers promenade. I was in a terrible mood, having just completed my second last exam for the year. This exam happened to be my most despised subject (as who really wants to be taught the counting of money? What a boring and utterly gluttonous ordeal!), and the thought that I may fail was causing me a noxious amount of disdain. The great mass of bodies barring our way did not add gain to my mood either, tourists and locals alike, but the twisting and turning involved was enjoyable as we made our way through this gridlocked cattle.

By the time we had reached the sixth-floor apartment the beers were warm. A statement that as you may guess, infuriates me. Snaking another drink (vodka, rum and soda) I continued with the trail, (a gathering loss of coherence) and turned to socialise with the members of this awkward gang.

*For means of this narrative, and for the need of anonymity, the protagonists will be named as follows: The Cheshire Cat, Oscar Acosta, Caesar Milan and I, the omnipotent narrator.

Caesar (who had rode with me) was currently in the process of finishing her last beer. She had decided to leave and watch a movie dreary eyed in Coburg, a suburb 20 minutes (in good traffic) from our central location. Though she was leaving, her presence in the first place was dimming the central purpose of this gathering, and the remaining members (us) knew we would not be troubled by her looming disappearance.

It was still light at this time, with late afternoon rays entering the room through the gigantic floor-to-ceiling windows. However, this fading light gave the apartment an ominous feeling, perhaps warning us of the faded and coarse trail ahead.

I had begun to get savagely intoxicated, or as I constantly refer to it as: ‘tanked’. Oscar was currently laying across the leather couch, intoxicated in a different sense, and The Cat was dancing on his lonesome to the blues in the air. This scene may seem melancholy, but the three of us were simply engaged within ourselves, choosing to save our energy for the night ahead. Caesar had left.

The Cat and Oscar needed to sell tonight. The three of us hadn’t enough funds to even purchase a pack of cigarettes (Bond St Blues if you must know). So, to up the ante, they enlisted me as a salesman, and in my drunken stupor I had thought my poor and short experience within the retail sector entitled me to do so. The product in question? MDMA. Capsule form that Oscar and The Cat valued at $25 each. They had roughly 40 between them, and they were power quality (enough to put Oscar on his arse for an hour). Without the selling of these little bastards we weren’t having an entertaining night, simple as that.

We walked the long grey streets to our first location, a club hidden down an alley within the city’s heart. My footsteps were hard and out of rhythm. I had drunk the large amount of liquor The Cat had supplied (sneakily and without asking), and now those spirits were doing wonders in my head. Meanwhile The Cat and Oscar had dipped into their own stash and were currently getting loopy themselves.

*At this stage I had also ingested an ecstasy pill and had had a bump of my own MDMA, and therefore, was likely in worse shape then the other protagonists.

We waited in this still line for over thirty minutes, managing to talk our way into some cigarettes, and asking the gathered group of strange and straight behind and in front of us if they needed to be supplied for the night. The event was free to enter and therefore there was a large amount of youth snaking their way down the alley hoping to join. No sales.

We left. The line was too long and the company was bland. We turned left and immersed ourselves within Chinatown, the thought of prawn crackers weighing heavily on us, but our lack of funds prevailed. Suddenly I remembered the karaoke place a short while up that was down yet another alleyway. We found that it was either shut down, or not here, but there were some shady looking characters in its place. They approached us and asked for cigarettes, and being polite I told them that we were broke and had had to pinch our own off a man down the street. This is when an idea shoved its way through the fog-ridden recesses of my intoxicated brain and wriggled out of my mouth. “Hey do any of you guys want some caps?”

The Cat and Oscar instantly regretted asking me to be a salesperson for them, and tried to slowly step back out of the alleyway. A few more of these shady characters got up from where they were sitting and approached me.

“Yeah bro, first one free?”

“Yeah I’ll have a free one too”

“Hey bro come down here further and we’ll make a deal”

“Did you guys hear that? The little guy has caps”

I began to realise the idiocy of my comment. The Cat and Oscar where mumbling between themselves and we all knew we were minutes away from getting rolled.

*Rolled: To be robbed or mugged by a group of hoodlums.

I attempted to weasel my way out of the situation, saying that it was all a joke that I was very sorry for. The others backed my claims, and as the group turned to talk between themselves we hurriedly strolled towards the exit of the alleyway. Not escaping completely unscathed however, as the group threw a glass bottle that shattered directly next to us. A good thing they had poor aim (or that they were simply tanked) and that they were out of ammo. I decided to quit my role as salesman.

Through the night we travelled, dancing and devouring ever particle of substance we could get our sweaty hands on. I became loopy and began to speak in tongues, the Cat kept dancing, and imagining the blues in his head and Oscar went home early. As Fitzgerald said, “Everybody’s youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness”, and on this night we took his advice.