My brother Maff and me, when mum & dad went out shopping or driving or wherever it was that adults went, and Natalie, our older sister was left in charge — ha! or so she thought — we’d go to the drinks cabinet; it was so illegal. Keeper of secrets and with a big heavy oak smiling lid, it made a hell of a noise when you opened it; it creaked open first, and all the bottles went clangalang inside. Like they’d been waiting for us, all a part of our secret plan. My brother on one side, me on the other, no idea what we were really doing, laughter, much laughter, but investigating was fun. So many bottles, all different colours of liquid inside, colours on colours, bright green and red and orange and blue. Every time we looked inside the arrangement was different — them peskies, they’d been doing them! I remember the labels the most. This was back when we all had shell-suits. They were the-coolest-thing, and when we were out as a family we always won the multi-coloured competition (mine was bright purple and green and it was too beyond cool).
Sometimes we tasted the drinks, but not every time. Are you crazy? It was way too illegal to taste them everytime. Just sometimes, and only for a second. No glasses, no time to re-think this, we just raised the bottles and readied ourselves. There was clapping from one of us, which was like the sign. Then we took a sip. The Cinzano bottle was the one that I liked the most, mainly because I didn’t like it. It tasted weird and strong and like breathing in another dimension. In this dimension, everything was funny and the world went faster in a way that made you feel like you were walking on your head.