Land Of Milk And Almond

This is a tale of addiction and loss. Of decline and fall.  

But also of redemption, of growth, of wisdom accrued through suffering.

It all started one Sunday afternoon little over a month ago, when I got back from a long weekend away and opening the fridge in that half-arsed perfunctory manner of a half-breed who hadn’t done a shop in recent memory, spied a glowing sun nestling behind a couple of non-alcoholic beers and a Jazz apple, imbuing its cold environs with a golden warmth.

Almond milk was a mystery to me. The dregs of this carton formed part of my smug flatmate’s even smugger plans to make the ultimate bircher muesli. He wasn’t around, and last time I checked he was off some place smug, the kind of place that almond milk flows untapped from bountiful almond springs, so I thought fuck it.

I took a sip. And as the liquid washed over my tongue, past my palate and cliff-dropped into my stomach, something happened. Sadly all three drops in there meant that not enough of it happened. I binned the fucker, thinking not much more of it. But that night, vivid dreams of diving Scrooge McDuck style into pools of golden almonds and torrents of milky rivers flooded my somnolent brain.

I woke up in the morning sodden, and wandering over to the kitchen, froze, mid nut-scratch, as the carton of Almond Milk sat there staring back at me from the kitchen counter.

Weird, I thought. Shit was about to get a whole lot weirder.

These motherfuckers aren’t easy to locate. But the following Wednesday I went into my local Health Shop, the kind of place that you have to stumble over two crates of chia seeds just to get through the door. Browsing a million and one products I’d never even seen before I finally located the right shelf, and with the self-satisfied grin of a man just texted back by his dealer, took the over-priced plunge. 

I brought one back home, locked the door, stripped down into something more comfortable, took it, shook it, twisted the cap and long-armed half the carton.

Most people describe their first heroin experience as nothing particularly incredible. No obvious upper like coke, no love-surge like pills or God-delusion like meth. Just a mellow life is okay after all moment. I wouldn’t know, but having taken my first hit of almond milk I’d say scratch that I definitely do.

Shit was realI hit it again. And again. And before I knew it the carton was done, and i was legging it down the road in my Y-fronts to score some more.

When it comes to drugs there are gateway theories. The idea is that weed leads to coke, then onto pills, LSD, acid, crack and then heroin. Something like that.

But my own personal descent into hell went something like this.

Almond milk

Worrying amounts of almond milk

At around three quid a pop my new habit didn't come cheap and greenbacks don’t grow on trees, so like all men who love a bargain but refuse to compromise on quality, I hit up M&SI scoured the shelves, but no almond milk was to be found.

I did find… Oat Drink.

Shit was raw. I real lingering semi-sweet but not quite aftertaste, and with it the delusion it was a little bit good for you. What drug does that.

M&S Oat Drink was good. So i decided to sample more of their shit.

Coconut Drink

Like the two dickheads below and every other fool I’ve fallen foul of the allure of Coconut water. 

Could coconut milk do the same? I had to say i was worried about the coke to crack effect.

My fears were unfounded, Coconut milk is fucking disgusting. It’s an embarrassment to the whole non-milk milk scene. I'm not sure i took more than one sip before head-butting the carton in a show of raw uncut contempt. It exploded all over my face and dripped down into a huge puddle of shit coconut milk on the floor. I cleared it all up like it wasn't even a ting.

But M&S did have… Rice Drink.

That’s when shit got really weird.

That’s when I stopped seeing people. 

I took Keith Richard's advice about the purity of the drugs you take, sacked off the M&S vibe and went back to the real shit. Rude Health. Accept no substitutes. As fiercely addictive as Brown Rice drink is, it's more of a party drug rather than an every day tip. And so I kept coming back to almond. On heavier sessions i'd hit the almond for hours, and then straight arm a Brown Rice to take the edge off.

Once I'd bought out the entire stock of E8, I picked up some pokey shit from a joint in E5.

Don't ever fuck with a milk product that has both arabic and chinese on it and expires in December 2017.

I even thought about dealing to even up the books. But without Biggie's discipline i spent the next 18 hours getting dangerously high on my own supply. The next four days passed by in a blur. Until finally, i came to, buttnaked, on the floor of my own bathroom, squealing like a newborn.

I was 4 stone heavier. I mean, last time i checked i wasn't drinking 3 litres of full-fat milk a day.

I got my shit together and checked myself into the nearest meeting of AA. Almond Milks Anonymous.


This is as much a warning to others, as a sorry tale of loss of personal wealth and dignity. Steer well clear of these non-dairy milk substitutes. We've been milking cows for millennia, stick to the classics. Besides, i missed the most glaringly obvious point of all. They're far too sweet anyway.

Hey, at least i can say i finally understand all of Pulp Fiction.

That shit right there, seeping out of the left-hand corner of her mouth, i always wondered what that was.

1 comment:

  1. a chilling morality tale of the parallel gateway theory