IT'S TRUE: ADDICTION HAS TAKEN SOME OF THE VERY BEST PEOPLE; and still has many in its relentless grip. I got talking to an old friend today. His name is Peter. He is about ten years older than me (about 44) but he looks 60. Sensible. Kind, reliable. And, in an age when I meet a fellow junkie on the street and say nothing about my business because I know that if I do mention anything to do with drugs or money they will inevitably start whingeing and begging off me, feigning a sickness that, two minutes previously, just wasn't there. We sat down talking for over an hour. This guy's life is an utter shambles. Drugs have taken some of the very best people.
I had a nasty dark alley experience this evening. Awaiting runner for a dealer aptly named "Wicked". Twenty minutes of hanging around this alley behind people's flats a shadow emerges. "Who sent you?" I insist on knowing. I wouldn't be the first person to have given money to the wrong man who just runs. The shadow wasn't up for speaking. Full sentences seemed too much to manage. "W," he eventually managed. "Whh-kid." So I gave the shadow my cash and got two lumps that looked like Wicked's by their distinctive wrapping. Wicked has a penchant of some sort for demanding clients meet his people in locations of the most utter degradation. His old favourite was a park of the most loathesome after-dark atmosphere I've encountered in a long time. Shadows gathered in corners. Eventually some turned out to be acquaintances. How any woman managed to push herself to brave this place alone I have no idea, but many did. One man was ripped off; another was, so the rumour goes, beaten up and left for dead there. Nasty, nasty place, that Shadowland.
Nasty business, I can hear you muttering.
Due to a glitch in appointments, I got to see my very first methadone key worker. Not having freely volunteered very much information since I don't recall when, and feeling too overflowed to stop myself, I spilled out my heart. Told how down I'd been. How much in a mess I really had got myself (though I'm dragging myself out of the pit. I'm truly trying.) How doctors and psychiatrists have fobbed me off. How my mental, emotional and spiritual "situation" predates in many aspects my drug addiction years. I fully used up a 20-minute appointment to overflowing. First Worker insisted that, if he does see my Present Worker, he will tell him what I said. But if he doesn't, of course, he won't be able to. And he might not. So I won't know where I stand next time. This heart-outpouring is exhausting.
My own lifestory is so immensely complexicated that I've more than once been accused of lying merely while attempting to tell of how some situation relates to one of however many past ones that have repeated however many times. Perhaps forgetting the precise specific one. I cannot trust myself to make self-statements anymore, not the "when did I first do this" kind of thing because my past is such a tangle.
One day I shall work myself loose from that tangle.
One day, at last, I know I shall be free.
LOOKING FOR LUIGI - Casa natale di Luigi Pirandello As a French and Italian undergraduate back in the late sixties and early seventies, one of the authors whose work was to h...
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