28 May 2020

Confessions of an opium eater.... Who reads this shit anyway?

It’s all a big nothing.  What makes you think you’re so special?  

[Livia Soprano, Series 2, Episode 7]








Pace Dominic Cummings, who, for want of a better idea, just delivered the most mediocre masta class in (a) how to lie and (b) that it matters not a jot what one does....


Pace everyone. Lockdown does funny things to you, and you never know whether you are telling the truth or making things up as you go along. Here are some drug-induced ramblings that may or may not be true, even if I tell them in the first person.  I could even be the filthsome Dominic Cummings.....




I first discovered opium when I was seven.  The pressures of Dame School had got to me, and, on a certain afternoon I had been abandoned upstairs in the house which posed as Miss Benham's educational establishment while the rest of the 'senior' pupils went to partake in Physical Recreation at the  Boys' School Gymnasium. I must have transgressed in some way - perhaps I had not ingested my flapjack in a way consistent with Latin Grammar?  I recall not....

But I do distinctly remember being ostracised and left sitting in her first floor room, the window blindly offering a street view, the fireplace black and dry.  My predicament was that I needed to micturate with bladder pressure rising to eleven.  The choice was between the window and the fireplace, or, I could check Miss Benham's desk drawer and take a risk that she rarely opened it herself.

It was but a minuet, and I was in the mistress's chair, rifling the contents of her incontinence.  My urinatory desire heightened and nearly overcame my sphinctorial controls, but then I delighted on a small package of yellowing resinous material which seemed entirely suitable to one of my tender years.  A sniff, a slight salivation and a voluptuous suck - and I was a hophead (an hophead?  Who gives?)

Oh Miss Benham!  Your spinsterhood revealed.  Nothing becomes you like  your poppydom!

I spliffed.  I chewed!  I wretched, I mewled.  

Then, without compunction, I poured my juvenile effluent into her fireplace and slept.....

And so began - I cannot reasonably trace this further back - a life of cocktails and drug abuse to make Keith Moon seem second triangle in an infant nativity.....

Oh, it's good to confess!  I suppose it's something to do with being an orphan?  My parents, both now well cindered, can't dock my pocket money any more, and I, on the gradual approach to the mausoleum myself, have precious little to lose.  If I ever had a career, it is rarely talked about in court circles these days..... 




To be honest, I don't think that drugs, per se, were ever a problem for me.  They were, at various times and in various milieu, available...  Sort of like the Daily Mail - poisonous, but not compulsory.....

So, in a sense, it was natural that I experimented, dabbled, tried, developed an interest in, sampled, sniffed, snorted, smoked and ingested.....  Think puppies.  Hard to stop them trying to dismember the carpet. Then think poppies....

What kept me aloof, in a way, was that, despite a tendency to fall over, I was not actually in favour of losing total control.  So the harder the substance the less I enjoyed shelling out loads of moolah to be intoxicated.

Which is why, when all is dead and son, I actually like poisoning myself slowly with Al Cohol.  

 But let's take an example.  

Some good long time ago, in the years before Alexander Johnson was priapic enough to endanger pigs, I was given two small pieces of what seemed to be absorbent paper, upon which there were designs.  A very upright friend of mine and I were bound that day for a small island off the Italian coast (Giannutri), and, not overburdened by these wafers, we proceeded.

As the night approached, and a salty dusk slipped off the wine-dark sea, we stretched out our sleeping bags in the remains of a Roman Villa, amongst the curry plants and macchia that sprang through the remains of the mosaic floorings.

Having dined, as one does in these circumstances, on fish and bread, olives and wine, we settled back, as it were, on our imaginary triclinia, and indulged in a little chemical digestive - the very papers our friend had offered.

Nothing happened.  

I have to disappoint.  It was a very quiet night.   The only thing I can report is that I did not sleep well - I fear the air was damp - and the continuous interruptions of tribunes and centurions made it hard to shut the eyes. I remember very clearly a bulky man dressed in a clanky set of metallic clothes and a hessian vest, holding his helmet under his left arm.  He stood by the ginestre (broom) and sort of actively disapproved of us in our sleeping bags, though he said not a word.  The bush, instead, shimmied and quivered, all  night long.....

Nothing happened.  It was just an other night in a Roman Villa, in 56 BC.  

The real surprise was that my friend, who was normally a relatively quiet man, simply would not stop talking.  All night.  And talking absolute bollocks.....




What else?

Well thanks to recent communications from a dear friend from the past, I have been fondly reminiscing of my passing involvement with crime and hard drugs.  Of course, this is entirely made up.  

Lockdown does funny things to you, remember?

But suppose I was a criminal?  Dostoevsky tells me that punishment is in the act.  We don't need courts, and judges.  Luis Buñuel had a go at it in The Phantom of Liberty, when, turning a greek myth on its head, a judge releases a mass murderer knowing that his punishment is within himself.  And, as he exits the courthouse, he is applauded by the press and populace.

How very different the world is today!  Ha!  Oh, Yes!

But I (at least I imagine I) dabbled in other drugs, not just mass murder....  I remember the slow buzz of morphine as the wax melted and the drug crept into my system.  I remember the fuzzy blur as opiated cannabis resin dulled my consciousness and opened up the dream machine.  I can still see those little men inside my head, stomping on my brain, stomping, stomping......

And the sudden hiss as heroin swept through the blood, seconds after the tourniquet was released and the thread of blood in the needle backed up and the infusion washed through from syringe to vein.  A hiss, a distant swish, a cold tide flooding through the system.

And then a foul listlessness, a sick incompatibility, a spongey, lousy incompetence, where nothing, but nothing was better.

Or, if you prefer the really heavy dullness of barbiturates.  Like drinking cement and then trying to dance.  The nights I languished by the juke box in pubs on West Street in Sheffield (of course, I am making this all up) feeding florins into the machine to insist on Rod Stewart's version of What Made Milwaukee Famous..... 

Or, when I was released from the court, the freedom to drink a pint or two and to hear Maggie May in The Raven again and again, before going home with Maggie and then finding her man had finally been released from jail and wasn't too pleased to see me in his house....

And speed.  Whooo!  I've lost track of the times I was raped on the back of a fish truck when under the influence of amphetamine or even cocaine.  The scales still won't fall, the bones will stick.  But it went on for ever (before they picked Peter Sutcliffe up on the corner....).

And then, having just dissolved a benzedrine inhaler in orange juice I set out to hitch hike down the M1 from the Tinsley roundabout, and, as luck would have it, I was picked up by a lonely policeman, who enjoyed my 75 rpm ramblings for many miles before eventually he had some crime to solve.....

Obviously all this is as true as Mr Cummings' Goings, so don't be upset if there is no corroboration.  But, in all seriousness, consider this.  

Does it matter? 




Does anything fucking matter these days?


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