I decided I should write it down, before it was too late……
I was in the bathroom, trying to scrape the encrusted blood and sticky residue of cocaine from my nostrils. I grinned at my reflection in the mirror. I was distracted from my stained teeth, by my grey complexion. The whites of my eyes were blood shot and yellowing. The veins in my temples were swollen and pulsing. I shook my head. I could barely recognize the corpse looking back. Just give it a few seconds. I held my breath. Until I felt my heart pumping in my throat. I took a deep breath and glared back.
It’s just me. A moment of self belief trickled back. I’m still here. Still viable.
“How’s it going?” I said, out loud. Deafening, but convincing.
I’m still here.
I returned to the lounge. I’d set the whole thing up perfectly. At least I did three days ago…….or is it four? Fuck it. Scrape another line together. There’s powder everywhere. All over the keyboard, on the record sleeves, under my finger nails. Everytime I lower my face to the mirror, the smell of Diesel from the bag of speed mixes with powder burn.
“Never mix amphetamines with cocaine”, I remember someone saying.
Two paracetamol, one 50mg dihydrocodeine, one sinutab,…….maybe half the blue one. Just half.
I found myself staring through the endlessly looping, muted, pornography on the TV. 60s psychedelic drone. How long? I’m unsure. There’s daylight through the slit in the curtain but I’m unsure of the time of day. The clock is smashed on the floor but I can’t remember why. The only source of reality is on my phone but I can’t focus on it.
I think I’ve just spent over a hour looking through a crack in the curtain. It all started with a horrendous hammering on the door. My heart jumped so hard, I almost puked. I stood very still until the second rally of thudding came. I grabbed the steak knife from the three day old plate on the table and crawled, on my belly, out the lounge door into the hall. I peered round the base of the bannister. A huge black figure, distorted by the glass was blocking the light. Just as I planned to wait until he kicked the door in before I attacked, I felt the moisture dripping down my wrist. Crimson moisture. Grabbing the knife seemed important. How, and where to grab the knife seemed to have passed me by. The sight of the wound was interesting, but the sudden eclipse took priority.
I came round in bed. Well, kind of on the bed. I could hear a loud, industrial, fan and had the corner of a brown, cardboard, envelope sticking in my cheek.
I could just about see a vessel of liquid close by, which I grabbed and consumed. It was more to stop anything coming up than needing to put something inside. I pulled myself straight. Slowly, I tried to reconcile. I remembered watching some porn. Violent. Simulated rape. Arousing. Debauched, arousing,…?
The bedroom door smashed open. The industrial din overwhelms the room, in the shape of a vacuum cleaner. Swiftly followed by Mrs Cline.
Her name is Sharon and she’s roughly the same age as me. I seem to remember something she told me, about how I went to school with her brother. I don’t recall it. Anyway, I call her Mrs Cline now to remind myself she’s married. There was an incident a few months back. She walked in on me trying to masturbate after a heavy night. I forced her to help. I’m unsure exactly what went on but I spent the rest of the day convinced her husband/police would be kicking the door in at any minute. Images of me, on the front page of the local paper, with the headline:
DEBAUCHED DRUG RAPE
I fell asleep under the stairs and woke up the next morning to the sound of the vacuum and Mrs Cline singing Wake me up before you go-go. It’s never been mentioned since.
As soon as she entered the room and saw the look on my face, she reversed the vacuum and closed the door again. I peeled back the plaster on my wrist and picked at the semi-congealed blood. It was barely a cut.
I transferred my attention to the two brown packages. One was from Amazon. It could be anything. Ordered in an inebriated stupor. The other was much more important. I recognized it immediately. Perfectly wrapped in brown paper with twine Crisscrossing it and tied with a bow on top. It was this week’s drug supply from Silky.
It doesn’t matter how many times I receive these packages, I always get very excited. I was just about to pull on the string when Mrs Cline reentered the room. She was carrying a bloody Mary. She put it on the bedside table, without a word. She left the room. Then I heard the front door slam. I was alone. I took a sip and pulled on the twine.
Apart from the usual 2 eight-ball baggies, half ounce of weed and 5 grams of speed, the thing I’m always most interested in, is the weekly mystery package. It’s the primary reason I buy from Silk. Apart from the exquisite packaging, he always includes a bag with a question mark printed on it.
The mystery bag.
This week it consisted of 6 pills. 2 light blue, 4, a kind of orangey colour.
I’m intrigued by the colours. I chuck the straw from the bloody Mary and down half of it. I can feel the burn of the tobasco. Over down, but needed. I feel it hit my sinus and clear the blockages.
Orange and blue, orange and blue…….. I slide open my bedside drawer and place the mirror on my lap. Still 2 lines. I do both.
Later that afternoon, I found myself clean and shaved, ready for an excursion. I say an excursion. More of a gentle stroll to the off license(cigarettes, gin, lager, Rizla, cheese balls), and a few pints of Guinness in my local. Dante’s Hole. I’d managed to achieve the clean up without any recollection. Fuck it! I’m ready now. I might as well?!?
A quick glance at the front door CCTV, peek out the peephole,…..then deadbolt, deadbolt, deadbolt, mortice, chain and I’m out.
Everything looked normal. Homely. Safe. I checked my pockets. Wallet, cigarettes, lighter, phone, cocaine? All in order. I headed south. Pub first. Supplies on the way back.
It only takes five minutes to walk to the hole. Pete, the landlord, peers up from his gin filled eyelids, and immediately started my Guinness. I walked straight through to the toilets and smoking area and used both. Only one for its proper purpose. I returned to the bar with a spring in my step and a numbing in my throat. Placed ten pounds on the bar and retrieved my pint.
I placed it to my lips and glanced around the bar.
The usual Wankers.
Horrible light and bitter drinkers. All in denial of their alcoholism. Sweating over their crosswords and shouting out for refills. I retreat to my usual spot and put my headphones in…….
I wasn’t always like this. I had a very different life once. It was all ambition and being in love. Doing what’s expected. I loved a girl. A lovely blonde thing, and I thought she loved me. Well, loved me just as much. It’s weird, that assumption, that someone feels the same as you. No one EVER feels the same as you. Maybe similar, but never exactly the same. Things fall apart. Nothing last forever. From the moment you are born or. an idea conceived, it begins to decay.
Rust never sleeps.
Also, you get the other side of it. Back then, I decided to invest in a little known, and crazy idea. One of the reasons, I think, that life shattered and fell apart. The love of my life couldn’t understand the £10,000 investment I had made. In her words, ” Now you’re worthless!”
The crazy investment was bitcoin. Last year, just when I thought I had nothing left. That investment almost made me a millionaire.
I don’t know what time I got in from Dante’s, but it seems I managed to get the supplies from the shop. The first thing I saw, was a yellowy, polystyrene container with bits of meat hanging out of it. Along side it was an open bag of cheese balls, that had spilt and cascaded on to the floor. I’d fallen asleep in an upright position, on a dining room chair. I wiped the dribble from my mouth and surveyed the rest of the table. At least I’d eaten. It seems to have been, some sort of kebab. Cheeseballs, ashtray with half-smoked joint, 3 empty Grolsch bottles and the small mirror with one of the 8-balls, opened, and started. By the looks of it, I hadn’t got very far.
I lit a cigarette. The light coming in between the curtains looked pure. It was definitely morning.
“Echo. Play BBC Radio6!”
“Playing BBC Radio6”, she replied.
“wait….Echo. what’s the time?”
“The time is seven sixteen a.m.”, she said.
I felt awake. I mean, really awake. Mentally aware and clear thinking. I started to feel a little paranoid. The clarity was scaring me.
“Echo! Play BBC radio6.”
“tired of lying in the sunshine,
Staying home to watch the rain…….”
The lyrics resonated through my whole body.
“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”, I thought. I’m having an episode. I’m definitely having an episode. I pushed the kebab remains to the floor, along with the ashtray, and grabbed the mirror. I quickly, roughly cut a ridiculous line and snorted it hard……then another. The second one hit the back of my eyeball and made it water. My mind was racing.
After fifteen minutes or so, of repeating this procedure, only one thought remained in my brain.
I NEED TO ESCAPE.
That was a lie. It wasn’t the only thought. There were a million. A million insane, paranoid, poisoned and unrealistic thoughts. But that was the one I chose to fixate on.
I think it had been 2 days since the escape revelation. I wasn’t quite sure. The only thing I was sure of was, I had booked a holiday. I had some vague recollection of excitement, planning and endless cocaine. I had definitely slept. I was in bed. Completely naked. Staring at the ceiling and listening to Mrs. Kline vacuum and sing.
I was waiting for her to leave, but realized I would have to talk to her. Tell her my plans. Pay her. I glanced around the floor for clothes. They were neatly stacked on the chair. I rolled over and looked for my cigarettes on the bedside table. The table was clean. Empty ashtray. Cigarettes and lighter within reach. Mrs. Kline had cleaned my room whilst I was slept. I love her sometimes.
I smoked a cigarette and got dressed. I was trying to remember dates, location, etc but all I could remember was something about a train.
“Mrs. Kline. I’m planning on going for a bit of a holiday”, I said as I left the bedroom. She didn’t hear me. She still had the vacuum running. I went and sat down at, now polished, dining room table and opened my laptop.
The last three emails I had received said, “BOOKING CONFIRMATION”. I clicked on the first.
“The Trans-Siberian”, said Mrs Kline. She was standing behind me. I didn’t hear the vacuum stop. I was staring at the booking confirmation, unable to process the information. There was a neat stack of print-outs next to the laptop. Neat in a way only Mrs Kline would make them. I looked up at her from my seat.
“Very posh”, she said and returned to her vacuuming. I clicked on the second email.
Depart: London Heathrow
Arrive: Moscow Sheremetyevo
I checked the date, then looked at my watch. Then checked the date again. Departure is the day after tomorrow.
I checked the details, my watch, the details, then the calendar on my laptop. Fuck. It was real. This is what I’d booked. I had no recollection of it. My heart started to pound in my throat. I needed a downer. I really needed a downer. I lit another cigarette and clicked back on the first email. Mrs Kline walked past and placed a bloody Mary on top of the stack of print-outs. I love that woman sometimes.
I threw the straw and the celery to one side and downed half of it, pushed the laptop out of the way and picked up the prints.
DAY 01 – Arrival in Moscow
“S Priezdom! Welcome to Moscow!” You meet your tour guides at Moscow airport and they will transfer you to the hotel. There will be time to relax before this evening’s dinner.
DAY 02 – Departing Moscow
A full day sightseeing tour which includes the magnificent Red Square, and the grounds of the world famous Kremlin. This evening transfer to the Railway station. Your private train the “Grand Trans-Siberian Express” is waiting for you to board. The first leg of the almost 6000 miles long journey to Beijing is about to commence. Welcome dinner and accommodation on-board the Grand Trans-Siberian Express.
DAY 03 – Arrival in Ekaterinburg
Evening arrival in Ekaterinburg the “Capital of the Ural Mountains” Overnight in a 4★ hotel.
DAY 04 – Departing Ekaterinburg
During the course of the city tour you will see the newly erected Cathedral-on-the-blood, a memorial erected to mark the assassination of The Romanov Family in 1918. This afternoon an excursion into the Ural forest takes you to the Ganina Yama, which today is considered by Russian as a “holy place” Then back on-board to continue your journey passing across the plains of Western Siberia.
DAY 05 – Arrival in Novosibirsk
Arrival to Novosibirsk which is situated in, the heart of Siberia. Today’s city tour includes a visit to the Opera House, which is the biggest in Russia and situated in Lenin Square. You will also have the opportunity to see some remarkable orthodox churches………………………….
Jesus! I just couldn’t take any more in. 15 Days! What about drugs?
I downed the rest of the bloody Mary and went back to my bedroom to get my phone. If anyone could help with my supply situation, it would Silk.
A few hours later, I was sitting in Union. A tacky, cocktail bar with a Cuban theme. It was Silks idea to meet here. I hadn’t been here before but was very pleased with the Cuba Libre I’d been served and the extensive collection of Tequilas behind the bar.
I had told Silk my worries but he had refused to talk about it on the phone. He text me 2 minutes after hanging up and said to meet here. Two Cuba Libres and two journeys to the toilets later, Silk arrived.
He wasn’t alone.