I used to have an idea for a ‘milk scheme’. The milk scheme involved me, every morning before college, going into the Sainsburys next to the bus station, and buying exactly four of the hefty, four-litre bottles of whole milk. And then when I was buying the milk, every day, I would say to the person at the check-out, “always good to start the day with a cold glass of milk.” And then I would pack the bottles into my school bag, all except for one of them, which I would unscrew the top off and start drinking from, deeply and hungrily, and it would go all down my chin.
“Always good to start the day with a cold glass of milk.” I would start out saying this very cheerily, like I was genuinely enjoying the milk, and it was having on me all these beneficial, health-giving effects. But then over time, after weeks and months of doing this, after all the staff there had become familiarised with me as the “milk guy”, I would start to look tireder, sicker, more exhausted. I would step up to the checkout with one of the bottles already mostly empty, and milk stains all the way down my front. I would become pale and bloated with the milk. I like to imagine that my skin would have started oozing with it. For some reason I imagine that it would have taken on a purple hue.
But still, I would always greet them with, “always good to start the day with a cold glass of milk.” A little milk-sick would escape from my mouth. I would stagger away from the checkout, drinking now from a fresh bottle of milk, covered in it.
And then one day I would just stop. I would stop going in and buying the milk, and they would think I had drunk myself to death, on milk.
I never actually did the milk scheme, never even tried to put it into action. But when I was about 18 or so, I thought about doing it a lot.
I don’t know what this means.
I guess I want to know, in a way, how far I could have pushed myself with it.