I HAVEN'T BEEN SLEEPING at all well since the end of last week.
I had met one of my old drug dealers who gave me a sample of the most shyte hot heroin I had tasted in a long time. I could actually FEEL it. And so I was scoring off him every single day for over a week. Blew loads of money I'd saved up. I felt like I did in the early days of my addiction: too scared to stop. Scared in an indistinct, distant type of way and not knowing what I was going to do with myself without this wonderful heroin. My veins even started to behave, meaning I got 90% of my hits straight in. The warm buzz of yesteryear was back.
Then the dealer started taking the piss with timing. Leaving me waiting 4.5 hours one particular day. All he said was that for another £5 I could have another bag so of course I got one more. The next day he answered and promised to come right round but it transpired he had no driver and to add insult to injury he'd picked up a new batch of "B" ~ call me cynnical but it was probably nowhere near as good as the old stuff. Which is just about the only B of normal quality I've had this year. All else has been cowshit and how junkies can queue up on street corners for the crap most people sell is beyond me. They must have seriously low tolerance. I'm only on 70mg of methadone and I literally cannot feel most people's heroin AT ALL... just the vaguest opiate tinge, which could be imagination. Then nothing. Even this good stuff made me feel good for all of a minute or so then I was just tired. But not in the cross-eyed nodding out semi-conscious state heroin is supposed to put you in.
I was terrified of stopping because I was terrified of withdrawals from the extra tolerance I thought I had built up over my week and a half of using. On the last day I scored some B that was so weak I couldn't feel it (ie it was the rubbish most people buy and convince themselves they're getting some sort of buzz out of). I got my weekend methadone so I could at least take my doses when I felt I really needed them. This helped a lot.
Another issue was that I was fighting off a particularly nasty bout of depression that just made me feel my life was over. On heroin life felt OK. Without it, life was intolerable. Please please let my mood switch. When I'm manic I go vehemently anti-drugs (why waste money on illegal chemicals when you're high already?) ... It's not mania as such, but my mood did switch from exceptionally sour, down and ill to normal, up and interested. Suddenly life seems full of possibilities. Life has meaning and the meanings are beautiful. The downside to this has been pretty bad insomnia. For a couple of days I can't have slept much more than 2-3 hours. I remember one day I huddled under a duvet on my chair and just slept a while as BBC News blared away. I was taking Valium which took the edge off my ragged mood but did very little to help me sleep. Eventually on Sunday daytime I slept and slept all day. I did sleep about 4 hours on Sunday night but something's going on. I know it's not depression. When I'm down I nearly always sleep hours longer than usual. In my brief periods of "euthymia" (that is "normal mood" to me and you) I sleep almost exactly 8 hours. I am not sleeping eight hours. I feel like I've been out clubbing all night on illegal stimulants that will not wear off. Not drugged out of my head, but buzzing enough not to want to BOTHER wasting the time and effort involved in putting my head down. I dropped a sleeping pill last night and still spent longer reading The Andy Warhol Diaries than I ever did sleeping.
Good news: I've thrown out on SCART-less television, one microwave, one foodmixer. The charity shop won't accept electricals. I've given them maybe as many as 40 classical music albums on vinyl. People who should know better, people like Deshane, my Jamaican support worker, say to me "vinyl's worth money man! Don't give it away! You should sell that." The last thing a compulsive harder like me needs to hear. The ONLY records I have kept are Mike Oldfield's Tubular bells on vinyl and UB40's Signing Off. Which I very nearly gave away, thinking all the writing on the cover meant it was a Brahms concerto!
I've got to go and take my computer to the shop it came from but I'm not relishing the experience. This store is well known for having the worst customer service in the business. On the two occasions that I ventured in the staff were uninterested and dismissive and one didn't even appear to know what "dual core" meant. There's a problem on my hard drive. Not with the drive itself (so it seems) but with the cable. Unfortunately the cable is integral to the drive. I know this as I've removed and reinserted it on several occasions in my attempts at getting better connections. So they're almost certainly going to insist that I pay for a new drive thus leaving me with a totally empty computer. No Norton. No Microsoft Word. Both of which I paid extra for. What am I going to do? Does anyone know if/how the shop can reinstall these products for me. I only use my computer for blogging and wordprocessing. Oh and it MUST wordprocess in Chinese and Japanese, like the old one did. Yeah man I'm a true citizen of the 21st century. I can input in Mandarin Chinese!
Which reminds me, I really must get back to my Spanish course. Unfortunately I rapidly realized that Spanish is inferior to French. Not linguistically, but culturally. French literature, for instance, is the only modern literature that can seriously vye with English as the most superior body of writing of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. French is spoken in some amazing places. Example: I made Friends I never would have been able to talk to without the French language when I spent a couple of weeks in Morocco over Xmas/New Year 1991/1992. It was hardly a glamorous vacation. We spent new year's eve sleeping with the homeless at Fez station in bitter bitter cold mountain weather. I woke up in the very early hours seriously worried that the local man next to me, shrouded as he was in a peaked ethnic hoodie really was dead. Then the railway station master came out at 6am to loudly shoo us all away. He piped down when he saw me and my Japanese friend. Gave us a funny look. And we got on the next train to wherever. I still think back to Morocco, the most evocative place I've ever been. Even more so than India. Berber coffee, North African cigarettes and tangerines on the trees in December. I wandered the perimiter of the royal palace at dawn watching the king's trees bathed in golden light thinking: WOW, I'M IN AFRICA. Africa! How cool is that. I'd so love to go back. And I got there from West Wales taking trains and boats the entire way. It took three days but it's only a three hour flight. I can't think of anywhere else in the world, apart from the crossing from Spain to Morrocco, where two entirely different universes come so close. The one European and "Christian"; the other Berber-speaking and Muslim (Moroccans aren't really Arabs, they're Berbers. The Arabic language is mostly used in government and by the media. We got to stay in this doctor's house we met on the train and he had satellite television. Now I always think you haven't truly seen a country unless you've watched their television and I spent a couple of days glued to Egyptian soap operas and the Moroccan version of "songs of praise". The doctor could not understand my fascination. I really wish I'd known Arabic, but as I say, French is just as useful as Arabic out there and English (at least in 1991-2) was almost exclusively used for tourism (and probably international trade).
The weirdest thing that happened to me in Morocco came when the official guide joined heads with the manager of a carpet shop then came up to me and offered me a kilo of hashish on credit card!
Ho-hummm... such is life. I'd really like to go back to Morocco if and when I ever get myself 100% opiate clean. I'd rather do my healing in a faraway place... and Morocco does feel a LONG way from home ~ except it's only a 3 hour flight back to London! I could reinvigorate my French. Hashish is no temptation to me; I absolutely despise the stuff. And I doubt there's much heroin in Morocco. Morocco was the only place I could think of that I'd really like to go to that ISN'T a notorious production or transit country for opiate narcotics. So maybe I will go. One day... one day... one day.
And how are YOU today?
PS Reading Andy Warhol has inspired me to become a great pop artist in my own right. My Mum sent me an art easel for my birthday which I'd really like to get some 2x2ft canvases for, so I can paint cartoons in acrylics. Cartoons are probably just about all I'm capable of producing art-wise... I'm going to save up and blow £100 in an art shop. I'll try and slap up the results online... (dont' hold your breath until this gets done...!)
Andy Warhol ~ diarist extraordinaire; the mysteries of the "east" (actually the West (Morocco is just as westerly as the UK)); hashish ~ it is exactly what it looks like
Khat - from Yemen to Israel - fresh khat leaves* *The 'khat' plant (khat is pronounced 'gat' in hebrew) is a stimulant and appetite suppressor. The plant is native to Yemen, Ethiopia, ...
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