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Funny thing, methamphetamine. You can drink a lot of alcohol and still be rather clear-headed, and a great dancer. It’s one of the few “beneficial” aspects of this otherwise barbarous fighting-and-fucking chemical.

But, as alcohol consumption rises, the smart money will regularly snort more speed. A routine that always worked well for me was: line-six-beers-line-six-beers-line-line-line. Any deviation from that formula was guaranteed to end in blood and tears.

So as I was working my way through the second set of six West Coast Coolers, I mentioned to Mark that he might do the correct Christian thing and maybe chop up another line or three for us.

“There’s none left,” he said. “I just had the last bit. I’m licking the bag.”

Now because I’d had nine West Coast Coolers when this news was revealed, I didn’t think it was all that big a problem. Sure, my mouth felt like it was coated in icing-sugar with a touch of the vomit-tang about it – yes, the burps were getting a little more liquidy and a little less gassy as I travelled down this road – but I was still relatively clear-headed.

“Have you licked it all?” I demanded.

“Pretty much,” Mark shrugged.

“Give me the bag,” I said.

Mark handed me the small ziplock bag which had been torn open to facilitate his licking. There were smears of what was once white powder still on it. It was damp with his spit.

I pushed the bag into the fresh bottle of West Coast Cooler I’d just opened and it fizzed a little. I took a few big swallows. The metallic bite of the speed was barely noticeable. It was probably not even there, but I told myself it was. Positive thinking is always important when you’re abusing drugs.

I paused briefly and considered the path before me.

I was nine West Coast Coolers into the case. Mark, my only companion at this stage, was uninterested in sharing any more of them with me.

I viewed this as a positive.

There were no more drugs.

I viewed this as a negative.

On balance, shit was currently on an even keel. So I sailed on. Deep thought was not something I had ready access to in that state.

“You gonna drink the whole case of that shit?” Mark asked.

I smiled at him and opened another bottle. Number Ten, I believe. I hoisted it in the air, and drank deeply. It was still somewhat refreshing.

“I see you fixed the brake,” he said as I burped some sugary gas into the air.

“Good as new,” I grinned. “Productive as fuck today.”

I guess you’re wondering when all of this falls off the cliff it’s headed for.

Glad you asked.

It was exactly halfway through the eleventh bottle. The burp that I brought up as the bottle ended and I threw it up the driveway where it shattered into pieces, was pretty much all liquid.

“Did you just throw up in your mouth?” Mark asked.

I nodded. Speech was not possible at that point in time.

I gagged the vomit back down and panted a bit, blinking tears away.

“Fuuuuckkk…” I gasped. “That was awful.”

“Who knew that shit would taste even worse coming up than it did going down? Want a beer?” Mark sighed.

I nodded. “I think a palate cleanser is crucial right now.”

Beer is a wondrous thing. I love it. It can perform miracles. It’s like Jesus in that way, just a little more indifferent.

But you know what it can’t do?

It cannot repair the damage eleven bottles of West Coast Cooler have caused to a human being. Its sour bite cannot cut through the fairy-floss taste that’s seeped into your very DNA, and then it goes to war with the crap in your belly. And while it puts up a good fight, like the Germans did for Berlin, it very soon surrenders to the massive swamp of sugared wine that’s been kicking the yeasty, hoppy fuck out of it.

“You OK?” Mark asked as I stared blankly into space and the beer in my guts shot itself in the face just like Hitler did when the Red Army overwhelmed his capital.

I nodded. To have done otherwise was to admit weakness and defeat.

“Give me another one,” I rasped. “I’m getting my second wind.”

I was still, apparently, speaking clearly, because Mark got me Number 12.

I sipped this one slowly. There was some kind of protest in my guts, but it settled down and my bladder started knocking.

“I need to piss,” I said.

“So piss,” Mark said.

“If I could get off this fucken milk-crate that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m not sure my legs are up to it.”

“Bullshit,” Mark said. “I’ve seen you drink heaps more than this and still ride, let alone walk.”

I leaned towards him so he knew I was serious.

“Listen, cunt,” I said. “This shit is not like anything I have ever drunk. I’m not sure I can feel my legs all that well. It may be melting my bones and changing my chromosomes.” That last word came out as “Kromzers”, so I don’t blame Mark for not believing me.

But he helped me up. I pissed on the driveway as he held me steady, then I staggered back and sat down on the milk-crate again.

“You didn’t do your pants up,” Mark said.

“Too complicated,” I muttered. “Giz another bottle.”

Responsible service of alcohol had yet to be invented, and it’s not as if Mark would have refused me even if it had.

I chugged my way through Number 13. It was an unlucky number, and every red-eyed drunk I’d ever met was hugely superstitious. I was now that drunk, and Number 13 had to be conquered before I could sail the luckier waters of Number 14.

I threw the empty 13 up the driveway. It exploded nicely. I held out my hand for the next one. Mark obliged.

I sipped, and then about halfway through, I threw up on myself.

I also pissed myself a little bit. So there was quite a bit going on all at once. Happily, the stinking mess now covering my T-shirt and boots was mainly liquid, and nothing a hose-down would not fix.

“Hose!” I snapped.

Mark and I had been down this road before. Both of us had held hoses for each other and other afflicted mates from time to time.

He hosed me as I sat on the milk-crate. I held the fourteenth bottle up so it wouldn’t get any water in it, and then I glugged it down so the show could move onto the next act, which was Number 15.

Number 14 joined 13 and 12 on the glass-strewn driveway, and Mark placed Number 15 in my wet hand.

You might be wondering why I continued to drink at this point.

You must be new to drinking and drug abuse.

I’d stopped being rational after the sixth bottle.

As I’d finished the tenth, making wise life choices was an alien concept for me.

Drinking more whore-soup was not.

I stank of vomit, I was soaking wet, I had pissed myself a little, and had anyone said anything I disagreed with, I would have attacked him like a boneless, sugar-fuelled badger.

And Mark knew that. He’d seen me crash-tackle Big Dima through the wooden fence a few months back when the dumb, tattooed fuck stopped me from falling into the fire while I was dancing. It was Cossack dancing so fire was going to be involved at some stage. But he was not to know that. And I interpreted his grabbing me as an indicator that dancing was over and wrestling was now on. He was drunk. I was drunk. So we broke the fence and I tried choking him, but failed because he has a neck like a horse.

Mark’s neck was not that thick.

“I feel a bit better,” I gargled at Mark, waving the West Coast Cooler bottle in the air. And it wasn’t a lie. I did. Throwing up a few litres of poisonous sweet-daddy slut-sap will do that to a man.

Now right about here, a normal mate would make some thoughtful suggestions to the vomitous drunk on the milk-crate.

Stuff like: “Maybe have some water, mate”, or “You should save some for later”.

I had no normal mates.

Canadian hockey players don’t even come in that flavour.

“Still taste alright?” Mark asked as I sipped relentlessly at Number 15.

“Not sure,” I mumbled. “Might need to drink another few.”

“There are only eight left,” he advised me. I imagined there was reverence and awe in his tone.

I gave him a filthy look. “You some kinda mathemashion?”

“Fuck no,” he shrugged. “Hate for you to get your third wind and discover there’s no more.”

“Ha!” I yelped. “You’re spot on! I fucken love you, brother! Fucken mathemashions can get fucked…”

Mark raised his beer in a toast.
“Fuck mathematicians!”

“Fuck mathemashions!” I echoed, clunking the bottle so hard against his beer can, it smashed and cut my hand open.

We both looked at the big gash that ran from the webbing of my forefinger and middle finger to the palm of my hand. And then we couldn’t see it anymore because the amount of blood leaking out of it obscured it.

“I’ll get a towel,” Mark said.

“Good idea,” I nodded. “Just grab me another bottle on your way. I’m losing a lot of fluid.”

So I sat and I sipped and I bled and I waited for Mark to return with a clean towel.

Not as easy as you might think. The big green house in Merrylands had lots of things, but clean towels were not always among them.

While I waited, I discovered that if I flicked my fingers a certain way, blood would splatter on the garage wall in a way that could only delight someone as drunk as me. So I did that, and was delighted over and over. I also managed to get Number 16 down my neck. I threw the empty at the back of the house feeling that Mark would understand what that signal meant.

And then I went to get Number 17.

This is when I learned that just because you’ve already fallen off the drunken catastrophe cliff, this does not mean there is not another cliff a little further down.

There so is.

And mine was the fridge.

It would not open.

The fuck was going on here? I thought. I pulled harder. The door was sealed shut.

“CUUUNNNTTT!” I shrieked, kicking it viciously, which made it wobble, and I could hear the bottles clinking inside. I put both hands, including the one now really gushing blood, on the door and heaved as hard as I could, which was pretty hard because I have always been a strong lad.

The fridge promptly toppled over and I barely managed to lurch out of the way, then tripped over my own feet and crashed to the floor.

Mark walked into the garage holding, from a what I could see where I lay, our shower curtain.

“Did you fight the fridge?” he asked.

“Get fucked,” I muttered. “The cunt was locked. You lock it?”

Mark tossed me the shower curtain.

“I couldn’t find a towel,” he said.

I didn’t much care about that. I wrapped my bleeding hand in the plastic shower curtain and watched in fascination as the little white seahorses that patterned it drowned in blood.

Mark levered the fridge upright, and opened it.

“Nothing’s broken,” he said. “Want another bottle?”

“How the fuck did you do that?” I demanded, getting slowly and unsteadily to my feet. “It was locked.”

Mark look at the blood-smeared fridge, then back at me, and grinned just enough to let me know everything was still kinda funny.

“You were trying to open it from the wrong side,” he said, pointing at the bloody hand prints on the hinged side of the door. “You look like shit.”

This was hardly surprising. If I looked half as bad as I felt, then “shit” was putting it mildly.

For starters, I was cataclysmically pissed. I would have shat my pants by now, but I had eaten nothing all day. I was also covered in blood, and at the end of my arm was a bunched-up shower curtain full of more blood. All the blood was so far mine. My cut hand vaguely hurt, throbbing where I’d slashed it with the broken bottle, and I was not sure if the bleeding had even slowed down. I had also thrown up on myself, pissed myself, been hosed down with water, and sprayed my blood all over the garage. And it was barely lunchtime.

“How much of that shit is left?” I asked Mark.

“Eight bottles.”

“I don’t think I can drink another eight bottles.”

“I think you can,” Mark said. “But I’m not convinced you should.”

“You’re not the boss of me!” I shrieked, waving my shower-curtained blood-fist at him. “Giz another bottle.”

Mark handed another bottle over and I lurched and swayed my way back to my milk-crate and sat down. I immediately fell off it, and found myself on the ground. Luckily, I had not spilled a single drop of West Coast Cooler from my fresh bottle. I hauled myself up into a sitting position, propped my wounded arm on the milk-crate and sipped studiously at Number 17 – which had caused me so much trouble.

Mark came and sat on his milk-crate and drank his beer.

This was how Dima found us a few minutes later when he came home.

The big tattooed bastard surveyed the scene from two metres away. He clearly did not want to approach the blood-drenched catastrophe he saw until he was convinced it was safe to do so.

“Vot happen?” he asked. “Vere iz body?”

“There’s no body,” I growled. “I’ve just had an accident and I’m drunk as fuck.”

Dima blinked at me, then looked at Mark.
“Vot he say?” he asked.

“I’m not sure,” Mark shrugged. “I haven’t been able to understand what he’s been saying for a while now. He had a fight with the fridge though.”

Dima nodded as if such a revelation was perfectly normal.

“Did fridge bite his hand off?” he asked.

“My hand’s still there, fucker!” I shrieked, waving the blood-filled shower curtain bunched at the end of my arm. I would have got up and showed it to him but that was a bridge too far.

That’s the thing with drunks. You may not be able to understand us, but we know exactly what you’re saying.

“Does he vont to fight fridge again?” Dima asked Mark.

Mark sipped his beer and pondered this question.

“Hard to say. He’s pretty pissed. Anything’s possible.”

“Vot he is drinking?” Dima asked.
“Some terrible shit,” Mark replied. “Said girls drink it then tell you to pull their hair when they suck you off.”

Dima nodded. “I alvays pull Svetlana’s hair when she suck my dick. It make her look like China girl.”

“I love China girls!” I roared. “Hot as fuck! Here’s to them!”

I upended my seventeenth bottle of West Coast Cooler and drained it to the last drop. The I threw it at Dima. I missed, of course, so he had no idea I was aiming for him.

Then I started waving my good arm around.

“I think he wants another drink,” Mark said.

Dima nodded. “Yes. Det is vot I vould do in his place.”

Mark opened the fridge, then turned to Dima.

“You wanna try this shit?”

“Of course,” Dima said. “I must try this.”

Mark handed him a bottle and passed me mine, opened and ready to go. I splashed some on my face to keep me zesty, then drank two big mouthfuls.

Dima was studying the label on his bottle.

“Veskote Koola…” he muttered, then smelled it. A huge grin spread across his massive face and his stainless steel teeth glinted in the sunshine.

“Smells like Svetlana’s hair ven she vosh it,” he declared, and promptly emptied the bottle down his neck.

We threw our empty bottles down the driveway almost at the same time.

The throwing action caused me to vomit some more, but it was mainly the lining of my stomach, and it tasted very different to the West Coast Cooler. I was intrigued to find it vaguely chewy.

Dima went and got two more bottles, and handed me my eighteenth.

I shook my head.

“Vot is wrong?” he asked, sitting beside me on the concrete and putting his arm around my damp shoulders. “You hev enough?”

I shook my head again and flopped my arms weakly up and down. The blood-filled shower-curtain made a squelching sound.

“Ah! OK, OK!” Dima laughed. “Arms not work anymore. I help.”

Say what you want about the big Russian bastard, but he spoke fluent pisshead. He even understood the sign language. I loved him so much that afternoon. He was as gentle as a mother feeding her newborn as he held Number Nineteen to my lips and let small amounts dribble into my slack mouth.

I understand I fainted shortly after the twentieth bottle was opened and applied to my drooling gob.

I have no memory of that at all. One moment I was goo-gooing at Dima and patting him with the blood-packed shower curtain, and then I was waking up and it was dark.

There was a cushion under my head, I was covered in a blanket, and my hand was shrieking in pain.

Some considerate soul had wrapped the shower curtain in duct tape and the pressure had stopped the bleeding. My brain had obviously exploded because the pain behind my eyes was so incomprehensibly appalling, I could only open them for brief seconds. I could barely move, and I was convinced I had soiled myself to an extensive, almost hospital level of filth. I stank to a degree which made me gasp.

The house was dark. So it must have been late.

There was not a single white-bikini-clad slut anywhere to be seen. But I could see all the broken green glass littering the driveway. It was reflecting the light from the pole in front of our house and there looked to be a fuckload of it.

Mark told me later that when I had failed to proceed, Dima had gone and bought another case of West Coast Cooler and had locked himself in his room to wait for Svetlana. Which he then proceeded to drink, much as I had done, and tossed the empties out his window and onto the driveway.

He’d made his way through most of the case, much as I had done. But Svetlana did not appear.

So he’d started to masturbate.

Mark knew this because Dima masturbated very loudly and he masturbated a lot when Svetlana was not around. When we asked him about that he’d shrugged and said that everyone tried to masturbate as much as they could in the Russian prison where he had spent some time, because it made them feel good and it pissed the guards off. That was a win-win in Dima’s book.

But after necking most of a case of West Coast Cooler as he waited for his girlfriend, things went off the rails when he blew his load. As he pumped his cock and shot spoof into the air, his bowels opened and he shat himself like a lord.

Mark, who had heard but not seen this apocalypse of degradation, got on his bike and fucked off.

And I do not blame him one bit. He was the one who gave me the cushion, and the blanket, and taped up my hand, before riding off into the night.

Because that’s what brothers do.

And that’s what West Coast Cooler does.



I did eventually manage to stagger into the house and clean myself up. I didn’t open the door to Dima’s room, which was just as well. Fuck knows what would have happened had I beheld what poor Svetlana had to deal with when she got home the next day. I was brutally ill for days afterwards, and could only hear snatches of what was going on outside my room. Mark stuck his head in at some stage, gave me some toast, and told me not to come out until he told me I could.

I did, of course, recover.

As did Dima.

Neither of us ever spoke of that day.

And neither of us ever touched West Coast Cooler ever again.

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Boris Mihailovic

Boris is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.

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