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One Million Years B.C.
By Steven Joseph McCrystal
I can’t remember how old I was when I first realized that I had a crush on a woman who lived somewhere inside the Silver Screen. At a guess it would be 7, 8, 9, or 10 but not 11 because I remember being really, really young. My sister and I had been invited along to bring in the bells at party somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Well, that’s not entirely true. My parents had been invited along to a New Year party, and we were dragged along because there was a serious lack of babysitters on New Year’s Eve.
When we arrived at the party someone managed to hear the doorbell, and encouraged us to come in with a welcoming smile. We took one small step into the hall only to be greeted by a bustling bunch of swaying revelers. Our parents forced us to pass through this gauntlet of cheek pinches, slavering, and the barrage of incoherent hellos in order to get to our sanctuary for the night. The upstairs bedrooms. I managed an uncomfortable smile. No, a terrified smile when I was forced to look up from the floor by another cheek pinch. I always remember the echo in my mind from that night: “Look, he’s shy, are you shy, you’re not saying much, you must be shy?” If I knew how to swear at that age I would have told each individual pincher to fuck off. I found the party atmosphere overwhelming to be honest. The sights, the sounds, the smoke, the smells, and the feint whiff of sweet perfume that almost lingered in the air.
We managed to swirl up through the fog to our sanctuary. Thankfully, we were greeted by the guardians of our new found asylum from the creatures that stalked through the downstairs fog. We were quickly introduced to the householder’s daughter and son, and then left to our own devices. It was time for us to party. We did lots of kids stuff to begin with. We played. We fought. We talked. We tickled. We had fun but this only lasted for about an hour so we eventually switched the babysitter on for some brainwashing entertainment.
As we watched the boring box for inspiration we started hatching surreptitious plans. It wasn’t long before the suggestion was made to steal some drinks by I can’t remember who to be honest. It was agreed that we should go minesweeping for drinks. We had to travel back downstairs through the fog, the cigarette smoke, and the always pungent cigar smoke. I’m not sure if you taste cigar smoke or smell the flavor but its aroma can only be described by cigar smoke itself. We headed straight for the nibbles. Well I headed straight for the nibbles because I thought that’s were the best minesweeping could be done. Plus I was hungry. I casually munched away like a thief casing a joint for their ultimate haul. I grabbed a plate, and grabbed a couple of half full cans of beer to hide under it. I almost sprinted through the throng. I image my smoky vapor trail must have looked like Roadrunner’s attempt at escape.
We all managed back to sanctuary with a haul of different types of booze: glasses, bottles, cans, and nibbles. It was time to party. We dared each other to drink it. I remember my first ever taste of flat beer. It was bogging. It tasted like someone had harvested sweat from someone’s armpits and left it in the can. I tried another drink from a glass this time. I smelt it first and took a gulp. I could just make out the sweet taste of cola when my chest erupted into roasting hot flames. We all experimented with different drinks. We all cringed. We all gagged. We all nearly puked but we persevered with our exploration of alcoholic substances. We eventually tried the bottles and hit the jackpot. We had found alcopops. Yes, they existed back in nineteen canteen. They tasted like juice. I remember sweet and sickly coconut flavor the most but I’m sure there was lemon stuff too. After we had finished our first haul it was back on the good ship minesweeper for a few more bottles of juice. By this time we didn’t give a fuck because we were all steaming.
After we’d managed to pilfer enough drink to sink us into oblivion we headed upstairs to the brain washing babysitter. We flicked through the three channels and found dinosaurs roaming around the Silver Screen. We got comfy. We got drunker and drunker. We even had a good slaver about the meaning of life, politics, and religion but when Raquel Welch strolled onto the magic box I instantly fell in love with her fuzzy bikini. I was in drunken awe of this goddess before me but I passed out before I understood what awe meant.
When the morning hit us like a steam roller we crawled out from under the beds. We fell off the top of the closets. We took our feet out of our mouths. We rolled about the bottles scattered across the floor. Then I stood up. This was the worst move ever. The room started spinning. My head started pounding. My legs nearly gave way. All my mind could focus on was survival. I sat back down. My mouth tasted like yesterday’s cat litter. My skull felt like it was cracked. My thoughts were hiding down a mineshaft somewhere, and my armpits smelt of stale lager but I still had a yearning for food, and fluid. I looked at one of the cans beside me and thought I’m never drinking that shit again. I stood up one more time and staggered down the stairs to the nibbles. After a longing search for something that looked edible I spotted my desire. It was a plate of sweet custard creams that hadn’t been pissed on, shat on, or puked on. I picked up my prize and shoved the whole biscuit in my mouth. I instantly went into toxic shock. I started to gag. My guts churned. It was all wrong. My Holy Grail biscuit was in fact a rather nasty smoked cheese cracker. It was rank, and the last thing I needed on such a sensitive morning like this was a bloody smoked cheese cracker.
The toilet was miles away.
#Real #NYE #NewYearsEve #NewYear #ChildhoodMemories #NewYearsPast #ChildhoodHolidays #HolidaySeason
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