The other guy was on gear and crack. The last time I saw him he was in our (dead) friend Lucky's bathroom, sticking a needle in his neck. He is now 18 months clean.
He said one thing that prompted him to give up was dealing with kids on mountain bikes (all over 18, thank God. We did have a big dealer who was FOURTEEN, about 10 years ago. I remember watching my friend score her crack from him. Couldn't help but notice he was being shadowed by someone much older.
When I scored off this individual, which I didn't really want to do but it was after I'd found and consumed 10.5 grams of heroin (3.5g China White, the rest "brown" ~ I weighed the brown on post office scales, it came in at 7g!) over about 5 weeks and got myself (mildly) addicted. When I scored, I noticed a young black boy of about seven come round the corner and eye me up in an obvious way. The drugs are coming! I thought, and I was right. (It was Shamps, the actual dealer who served me, not this little boy.) At this point I had dabbled in heroin, mostly to be "naughty". Nothing to do with rebelling against my parents, who had a horror of drugs, but against my peers, so many of whom thought they were so cool snorting cocaine. And yet crack, which is basically the most efficient way of delivering coke to the brain (feels indistinguishable from cocaine injection) ~ and even more so heroin were utterly taboo. I was informed several times when I broached the subject (admitting nothing) that they didn't want anything to do with anyone who dabbled in heroin. Much less a heroin addict.
I befriended local street addicts who sold cut-price Travelcards each evening at the local tube stop. These cards got you all over London. A zone 1-4 card cost about £4 at the time and the going touted rate was £2 before 8 or 9pm, £1.50 thereafter and
As I say I got to know these people well and found them surprisingly nonjudgemental and more accepting than any other group I had ever met. If I felt miserable I could talk about my woes without being called a buzz-killer, or being thought of as a loser. Because most of my life up to then I had been unhappy. Note I say most, not all. All these people were heroin addicts. One day, I was standing there shivering, because it was cold and someone I knew thought I must be sick. I had £10 on me and they offered to score for me.
I smoked the heroin off tinfoil, which is called running it, or chasing it, or "booting". If you've no habit, you get high within about 2 mins in this way, and you only need about £2.50 worth of top quality gear to put you into dreamland. London street heroin is ordinarily 20-60% pure. A £10 bag weighed 0.2g or a bit more if you're lucky. So £2.50 worth of B would be about
I smoked my heroin alone and in secret. None of my "normal" friends knew anything about what I was doing. I was into heroin to get high. It wasn't an image thing and certainly had nothing to do with being "cool". I had two groups of "normal" friends. One lot liked party drugs, the other didn't. Ironically (or perhaps not) it was the straighter people with whom the friendships ran deepest. It was a long time before I used heroin with other heroin users. I did know a mad French girl who injected prescribed methadone amps and crack ~ £15, £20 worth in one hit. The crack at that time was 70-80% pure, so that's 200-300mg neat cocaine in one dose. No wonder she looked like a rabbit in the headlights afterwards. I smoked my crack with her. Because she didn't smoke, I learned the techniques on my own, myself.
When I eventually asked her to inject me with heroin, she insisted I cook it up myself.
Right from the word go I was scoring my own gear when I wanted it. Which was only occasionally. Heroin dealers expect calls every few days at least. So when I rang back a month or so later, I usually had to explain who I was.
The point to all this is that by the time I found that 10.5g stash ~ lying right on the high street in a shop doorway. I thought it was a bag of sweets! ~ everything was already in place. I was already an adept heroin smoker (though I had to snort the China white, it's heroin hydrochloride and doesn't smoke well). I already had a collection of dealers' numbers. I knew at least 6 or 7 heroin addicts who would score for me if I needed them to ~ not just one. So everything was set up for what happened next to seem rather inevitable.
My only reservation in all of this was that I utterly hated the process of scoring. Didn't like dealers. And was unjaded enough to feel the bad vibes that emanated from most of them.
And then I fell in luurve with a junkie. Who was like my twin. Like Kurt and Courtney were twins. And I fell in love with heroin ~ the only drug strong enough to make me genuinely not care about anything ~ more. And the rest is history.
And now I'm drinking cyder, shlucking down chill-pills on top of methadone (methadone has no buzz). And knowing that I probably will throw away at least £10 on the lousy gear that's been around, because I know who's coming to see me today. And this person always wants to score when he sees me...
It's not as bad as it was. But it certainly ain't over yet...
SONIQUE: FEELS SO GOOD