It might have been the cold, the hours we spent UFO spotting in the park in the middle of winter, Spencer's idea of an ace birthday party, or the sheer volume of drinking under our belts. After the park where Spencer spotted fifteen UFO's and nobody else any at all we congregated in Spencer's lounge room. There were already people there, drunk as fuck and making little sense to anyone but themselves. One small woman in the corner held up her hand in greeting, showing off a fresh looking graze on the heel of her palm. She said 'I've got cat AIDS' then went back to the bottom of her glass.
Someone explained on the small woman's behalf that she had slipped on some pavers and grazed her hand. She was convinced that there was cat urine somewhere in the mix and now she was telling everyone about her new dose of hopefully imaginary cat AIDS.
Songs turned into time and we sang our way through three more bottles of wine. There were highlights, old favourites, songs nobody at all knew the words for so we all just made noises that kind of sounded like the right words were somewhere underneath the almost melodic synchronised guttural utterances.
Spencer started playing 'Zombie' by The Cranberries. It seemed like we all knew the words, everyone jumping in with;
But you see, it's not me, it's not my family.
In your head, in your head they are fighting,
With their tanks and their bombs,
And their bombs and their guns.
In your head, in your head, they are crying...
In your head, in your head, Zombie, zombie, zombie.
Then came a pause in the singing, no one remembering the next verse, some of us started just humming and harmonising the right sounds but from the corner a clear voice started ringing out singing.
'I've got cat aids, in my haannd, in my hand, in my hand
I'm still fighting'.
There was a communal shrug then everyone, and I mean everyone, all fifteen of us, fell into the song with enthusiasm so wild it was frightening.
'She's got cat aiiiids in her haaaaand, in her haaaaaaaand, cat aids cat aids, but she's fighting'.
Spencer had his wits about him and started playing us in a loop. The small woman in the corner repeated her solo verse, holding her injured palm out and rising from her chair like she was on wires. Three drummers in the room started banging beer bottles on the table and someone picked up another guitar. The chorus swelled again and again 'She's got cat aiiiids, in her haaaaaand, cat aids cat aids, but she's fighting'.
Spencer played us in a loop for an age but the song only gained momentum. We were for those minutes joined together in the height of a communal ridiculous. Together as one voice of call and response, all of us screaming words through laughter. The night and the songs went until just about dawn with moments so strong you could pen a book about them but that one, the impromptu chorus of cat AIDS, well that was really something.