WOKE UP at 3:30pm today, wishing I was a robo-hammy*. Somehow, if I could curl up, like a furry pingpong ball and have another hamster gnaw my fur for me, it might be OK. In robos being groomed means you are bottom of the pecking-order. I don't care about hierarchy; hamsters don't use heroin. Mass-grooming-wise, robos are the opposite of Russian hamsters, where the youngest smallest one washes the oldest biggest one. The old one died and the young one was there, carefully taking care of his body. It was heartbreaking. When Bashful robo died, Spherical, the last one, kept dragging her body across the cage to put in the nest. I moved it out. She knew this, and dragged it back. Perhaps she was trying to bury it. I kept it in there overnight. Perhaps this gives hamster-closure..?
Well this is crazy. First, on methadone I do not really feel inclined to do anything bar the utmost necessities. This is not what is "supposed" to happen. I thought people on methadone got their lives back. No glimmer of that, so far.
It took me so long to get up I missed Iceland, source of £1.50 Chinese chicken fried rice. So I went to the takeaway for £3, £3.50 mixed vegetable fried rice. It was to go with Iceland £1.50 Satay Chicken Curry. I could have done with a vegetable or two. But: CLOSED! They didn't used to close on Sunday. Maybe somebody has died.
Then I hung about on the street corner. No gear! No Chinese!! This is beyond the pale.
I didn't feel cold when I woke up. I am not clucking. The methadone is holding me, though the time was approaching to take a second dose. But I still rang a dealer. I knew he would answer but would have nothing. I know him well enough. Nothing's going on, is it? No mate ~ you know I'll let you know. I know, well, take care. You too mate. Things must be rough! At least he's not trying to sell rubbish.
Dose 2 on methadone is drunk. I'm OK now. I don't get why the urge to use is eating at me. It was doing the same thing on Friday. I didn't score then. I have not tried to score since Wednesday. If I can get today out of the way with I will have spent just £12.50 this week on "B". A record low!
I'm still broke. Food (£40 maybe!!) Socks (£6). Andy Warhol book £10 (and it was 2nd hand! I felt really "clean" devoting this much to an old book!!) Whatever else... O I know what it was!! Cyder at ... quite a lot per day, considering it is 79p a can. My drinking has slidden downwards since the beginning of the week. Very high Monday. (High enough to impair my memory, reading and writing ability considerably.) A bit lower Tuesday... and down down down to maybe four cans yesterday. Every single one was mixed with fruit juice. This lowers to alcoholic content to that of pub beer, about 4.5%. But cocktail is like a very nice alcopop. Highly addictive!
OK I'm not going to any Chinese takeaway now. Something called "chicken tikka lasagne" is in the oven. The Chinese takeaway expedition was partially a mission hoping I might bump into a drugdealer with heroin. (Fat chance of that!) Or "heroin" (higher chance).
I found an article by the way, exploding the myth which anyone who uses will know isn't true, about glass, brick dust, curry powder, bleach in street heroin. To those not involved (good on you!) let me explain: if you smoke it, glass and brick dust will be left behind at the top of the foil. Real heroin runs in lines. It melts and the vapour is inhaled. (Not set on fire, as in smoking a fag.) Curry powder would smell exceedingly strong. Bleach would also reek, and probably go black and smoulder. In a spoon, again glass and brick dust would be left at the bottom. Nothing except truly microscopic particles would get through a filter and into a syringe. The 1ml insulin syringe most addicts use has an integral needle only a THIRD of one millimetre wide on the outside. The passage inside that needle would be minuscule. Curry powder would reek very strongly when cooked up. Bleach would also smell strong, plus it is alkaline and would mess up the reaction with vitamin C or citric acid, which breaks down brown (or occasionally white) base heroin.
Drought-wise, the word here is it's WORSE THAN EVER. Though I just heard from Bristol there's good stuff there. (Will it last?) The news is here.
People using in the 70s always told me you just had to put up with shortages that lasted a couple of days or so. In the 80s after Middle-Eastern "brown" became the norm (imported in much higher quantities than the old "Chinese" gear) there were more users, especially in the north where heroin hit large housing estates for the first time (v early 80s). I was told, incidentally, that because you could chase it from foil, some people really did believe that "brown" was some new kind of hash! Well you believe what you want to believe... Anyway drought-wise, point being, shortages were still more common than they have been lately, though they corrected themselves quickly.
The three great waves of heroin addiction in this country were:
1. late 60s/v early 70s, mostly middle and upper-class bohemian types. Main centre of the trade was in Soho. Also South Kensington (which, if you're reading on distant shores is very posh). Heroin was very much a minority interest. Outside London you'd be very lucky to find it, except perhaps in Liverpool
2. early 80s. Brown didn't hit Britain in any amounts until the Islamic Revolution in Iran (1979). Suddenly it was "all over the place" and people didn't know what to do with it. (Smoking heroin was unheard of, here.) If they couldn't get citric acid, or vit c for injecting, lemon juice was used instead, which really can cause to fungal infection leading to blindness (one rumour that is true)
3. Mid-late 1990s, the price of gear suddenly halved at street level. Bored or frazzled by uppers the rave generation turned to it as a comedown-soother or merely as a new drug. I am of that generation. With "ecstasy" pills appearing in all variations, some rumoured to contain heroin anyway (an almost certain lie). LSD made a resurgence in the early 90s. Cocaine, formerly the "rock star's drug" made its presence felt pretty much everywhere. Used to trying new things, to this generation, heroin seemed a logical next step, to those (like me) who were "just trying it once" for "the experience", then "just trying it again" ... and so on. Curiosity, as they say, killed the cat...
Now one last thing.
UNUSUAL HEROIN WARNING
If this drought doesn't sort itself out, there's a chance that heroin from other parts of the world than Afghanistan might make its presence felt here more than it has done recently.
The stuff I'm talking about particularly would be China White, Colombian White heroin and Mexican Tar.
If you encounter gear that smells of vinegar, it might be one of these.
Heroin comes in three basic forms, depending how far along the manufacturing process it is taken.
~In Britain our heroin is normally heroin base. It's normally brownish, as y'all know. Sometimes known (esp. online) as "Number 3". It smokes well from foil. Injecting this requires addition of a fruit acid, hence citric/vit c. White heroin base is also manufactured, and can be very pure.
~In New York City, and the Eastern United States, as well as Australia and other places the gear tends to vary from a very light blond/yellow/beige colour to pure white. This is heroin hydrochloride, aka "Number 4", designed for snorting or injection more than smoking. "China White" is usually from Burma. Most heroin in NYC is said to originate from Colombia. Cocaine, of course, is Colombia's most famous product = Coke is popular here = Heroin could make its way over in mixed shipments. This type of heroin is EXTREMELY STRONG with purities at manufacture in the high 90%s (good Brown is 70-80%). It can sometimes resemble crack. If it smells of anything, it tends to smell of vinegar. It is mixed cold in a spoon, or gently heated. If it needs vit C, it ain't China White!
~Mexican Tar appeared in Los Angeles in the 1980s. It's black and sticky and heavier than the gear we're used to. Has a strong vinegary smell. The hash-looking stuff we sometimes see is not "tar", which is stickier. Tar is banged up by cooking WITHOUT CITRIC. It's black (or brown) because the Mexicans cut corners in the manufacturing process, swapping chemicals, leaving steps out. UK dealers probably wouldn't know how to cut it, so if it hits the streets, it may do so at import-strength. BE CAREFUL. I have heard you can smoke tar from foil. It may spit and sputter more than ordinary Brown, because it's damper, but it's still supposed to smoke. Far safer than banging this into your veins.
~Lastly there is a gear called MEXICAN BROWN (powder). Smells of vinegar. Said to melt into a tarry substance when hot (e.g. kept all day in jeans pocket, as ordinary B wouldn't). Doesn't require citric for injection. Sometimes snorted. May not smoke anything like as well as our "B".
IF YOU FIND UNUSUAL GEAR, TAKE CARE. GO EASY.
Please don't be tempted to inject, just because something won't smoke. It might not be one of the types of heroin just mentioned. Snorting is safer, but has still killed people. Contrary to popular belief, you can die chasing. A batch of 80% B killed a girl in Bristol in the 90s and she chased the killer dose from foil.
Bear in mind all our tolerances have fallen. Whether using on top of methadone or using just "variable" street gear, if anything of knockout strength comes back, that's what it might do ~ KNOCK YOU DEAD. Please take care.
Hope this isn't too much of a mess. If I edit, I'll never post
Sorry this goes on and on. Emails I should have got to by 9pm. I feel like a dr's surgery. Appointments, appointments. Everything behind time! Thanks for all the comments, I will answer as many as I can ...
*robo-hamsters are the tiniest hamsters in the world and curl up pingpong-ball sized. I used to have them as pets (see below)
MARIANNE FAITHFULL INTERVIEW ~ 1994, her autobiography had just come out
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