The Remains of The Day - A History of Murder and its Aftermath

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It all started with a scream. I heard it from the top of the road as I made my way home from school. Somehow  I knew it was my mother's pain. It was a scream from nowhere and of unbearable suffering. And it didn't stop. It was 1983 and my mother had just been informed that her lover, my father, missing for over a year, had been discovered: murdered and dismembered and stuffed in two black bin bags in the flat of serial killer Dennis Nilsen. It was an event that would blow lives apart. I was seven, and Hell was on its way.

*

My father, Graham Archibald Allen, was born on the 31st October 1954 in Motherwell, Scotland. He was a healthy, athletic child, raised in a stable home by two strict protestant parents. The youngest of two he grew with attention problems and failed miserably at school. The only thing he excelled at was football, at the age of fourteen making Motherwell's youth team. But Motherwell, not even the promise of professional football, could contain my father. By the age of 15 he had discovered Glasgow, alcohol and cheap prescription drugs. By 17 he was out of school, out of pocket and out of home. Having been laid off by the steel works in Motherwell and with nothing else for it, he made his way down south to London. It was there, 10 years later, that Graham Allen would one night meet another fellow scot by the name of Dennis Andrew Nilsen.This meeting would entwine these two Scotsmen together forever, and the events of that night would eventually go down in British crime and folklore history. One man would be remembered as 'the 14th victim', and the other for carrying out a string of macabre and gruesome murders.

My father arrived in London, penniless, in the late autumn months of 1971. He intended on finding labouring work with one of the many small building contractors who hired workers for cash-in-hand with no questions asked. Like many a young scot before him, Graham Allen hit the city only to find that the tales of easy employment had been greatly exaggerated, and that there were not jobs you could just step into straight off the train. To find employment would still take some effort, and what's more, it would also take a few quid. My father didn't have a few quid. He couldn't buy the early papers which advertised the latest jobs and didn't have the fare to travel to well known pick-up spots. Instead he walked his way into Central London, to the bright lights and the sex shops, a place notorious for runaways and a place where one could make a quick illegal buck and then move on to pastures new.

Whatever happened it didn't happen how my father had imagined it would. From the quiet industrial town of Motherwell, via the shit and pish of Glasgow, he was suddenly slumming it rough in London. Homelessness however wouldn't last long. After making a few contacts he was soon taking advantage of the lenient squatting laws of the time, living in abandoned buildings and stealing electricity from the mains supply. With a roof over his head, warmth and a few quid in his pocket my father suddenly had time to kill, and it wasn't long before he was sucked into the sleazier side of city life: Cheap strong booze and whatever pills were doing the rounds. This time though the pills weren't swallowed down with mouthfuls of beer but whacked up in syringes. It wasn't long after that heroin was on the agenda. Less than a year later, at eighteen years of age, Graham Allen was one of the city's many officially registered heroin addicts. He funded his habit through a mixture of government unemployment money, begging, stealing and robbing tourists around London's West End.

One of My father's regular drinking haunts, and one of the few places he was welcome, was the Kings Head pub in Leicester square. It was there where he met my mother, Lesley Mead, a blond haired blued eyed barmaid employed by her father who was the publican. Within weeks of meeting the two had fallen in love. But it wasn't simple. My mother was already in a relationship and had a child with a well-known local criminal, and so Graham Allen, the young Scot, became a badly kept and barely tolerated secret. But some secrets could not be kept hidden, not even badly, and in early 1975 my mother fell pregnant and nine months later I was born.

If my birth affected anyone it was my step-father. It was he who would raise and provide for me and he who I would call 'Dad' all my life. It was no secret I was not his by blood, but that didn't matter, he loved me with the same indifference as he did my brother and sister. What my birth did change however was home life. Graham Allen was then openly creeping in and out of my mother's bed and for all who knew them they were a sure item. Nevertheless, my father couldn't afford to support three children (two not his own), a woman, and a raging drug and alcohol habit. So more than anything else it was out of convenience that my half-surrogate-family stayed together. It was a fucked up situation for all, but it worked. Kinda.

In 1978 the squat in Liverpool Street where everyone was living was cleaned out. Due to having three young children my mother and step-father were officially rehoused into a two bedroom maisonette on the other side of London. They made the move and set up house together, though by this time their relationship was nothing more than a business arrangement. They slept in separate rooms and led separate lives. My mother's separate life was of course my father, and it was no surprise that this 'separate life' found itself in paying digs less than a hard-on's length away from the new family home. During that year Mum spent every available moment she could with her lover, and like that, with no-one even really noticing, my mother had flown the roost.

Living together in a single room, and without the fear of having to account for the bruises, my parents' relationship took a downward turn. It became very stormy, very violent and very unhealthy. There were substance abuses and infidelities on both sides which led to frequent violent quarrels and separations. For this reason my mother staggered in and out of two lives, returning back to the family home when her face had taken enough punishment or when she was sick of living in a single room with a volatile junkie who spent every spare penny on smack. Back home my mother could stay for minutes, hours, days, or weeks. No-one, not even herself, would know how long for sure. The only certainty was that eventually she'd leave and end up back in Graham Allen's arms.

My memories from this time are very diluted and hazy. I was very young and wasn't aware that these days were the calm before the storm. My memories of my mother are few and far between, and memories of my father are even more fleeting. Other than the night he disappeared I only have three:

1) Finding him unconscious and being taken away by paramedics after a drug overdose.
2) Playing football with him in the street and using dustbins for goalposts.
3) Slashing his wrists open with a meat cleaver during a violent argument with mum

There are a few other memories but they are very vague. I remember a Breton striped top, bleached denim jeans, thin legs, brown hair and a Scottish accent. I'm not even sure if those are real or implanted memories – descriptions of him which I claimed as my own. I just don't know.

*

During the last five years of his life my father was in and out of prison, in and out of rehab, and in and out of life. His living was hard and his addiction was harder – it was completely out of control. He was not just a drug addict he was a junkie. If that wasn't enough he was also halfway to becoming a chronic alcoholic, and with alcohol he got psychotic and even more violent than usual.

The 1980’s only brought more suffering to my father. He was in prison again on charges of heroin possession and was kicked off his drug program. To ensure he still had a heroin substitute to fall back on he took up the hobby of robbing chemists. With his drug habit unstable and drinking ever increased amounts of alcohol the relationship with my mother became ever more unhealthy and violent. On two occasions she ended up in hospital after taking beatings at his hands. The second time this happened was on Christmas day of 1981, when over Xmas dinner my father leaned across to kiss her and instead bit half her nose off. That act summed up their relationship. It was an intense melange of sex, violence and impulsive acts.

*

The night of my father's disappearance in 1982 brought more of the same. I remember him arguing with my mother and demanding money for heroin. He was drunk and cut and she had taken refuge inside the family house. His violent demands took place from outside, standing on the window ledge and shouting through the glass. He was hung up their like some perverse embodiment of Christ, black blood coming out his mouth where he'd punched his own face in, and screaming for my mother's purse. That was the last sight either my mother or I saw of him. Well, that and then finally climbing down before casually skipping the low garden wall and disappearing into the night. That image haunts my mother, and what haunts her even more were her very last words: “Fuck off... and NEVER come back!”

He didn’t.

*

During the year of my father's disappearance, my mother always believed him dead. This wasn't the first time he had disappeared, nowhere close, but it was the first time he had disappeared and hadn't made some kind of contact in the following days. That was a given. Even if it was just to say: 'I fucking hate you, You Cunt! PS: I'm in prison!' Or even worse: 'I fucking hate you, You Cunt! PS: I'm in Scotland!'  But no matter where he ended up he always wrote. This time he never did. My mother just hoped that he had succumbed to a peaceful, painless death and had quietly overdosed somewhere and died alone. Of course, secretly she hadn't given up all hope. I know she hadn't. Somewhere inside her she would have been desperately hoping for her love to return, and probably she still is now.


It was during 1983 that news started breaking across the country of a “House of Horrors” in north London. A man had been arrested there after human remains were found clogging up the drains outside the house in which he resided.. As with the entire country my mother was gripped by this story and followed in shocked interest as the gruesome tale unfolded. It turned out that over a five year period, between two houses in North London, 16 young men had been murdered, dismembered, and disposed of. Of course, my mother never imagined for one moment that her future would be tied up in this bizarre event. The news broke, went from the front pages to the second, from the second to the third, and then faded away completely awaiting the big trial. It was one afternoon during this quiet period that all hell would break loose in my life. That day my childhood would end and something without description would take its place. And as I mentioned: It Started With a Scream.

*

I never did make it into see My mother that day. Before I was even in the front yard a neighbour had gathered me up and was leading me clear from the wreckage. All I saw was the police car parked outside, my open front door, and a view down the hallway and out back into the kitchen. Sitting at the table where my dinner should have been were two uniformed police officers, and standing just back from them were two men in suits. My mother was out of sight, just a piercing noise that cut through the next ten years.

Inside my neighbour's I was soon joined my my elder sister and my younger brother. We all sat there, in the late afternoon, in a living room which wasn't ours, and as our mother's world collapsed two doors down we stared blankly at depressing cartoons on the TV, waiting for news and to be given permission to go home and see mum. I don't know how long we stayed there. I don't remember too much more of that afternoon. My next memory is of waking up, it then being dark outside, and my brother and sister fast asleep on the couch. Sitting up I sensed something was broken. Maybe the night? It was open and alive with lights and noises and worried voices. The adults were up, and in and out: we were all waiting for something.

How long we remained at our neighbour's, or what state Mum was in when we finally saw her, I can't recall. I don't remember seeing her at all that night although I know I must have. I imagine that the adults took care of her, kept a close eye as she drowned out the pain with alcohol and waited until my stepfather finally arrived home in the small hours of the morning to sit with her. All I know is that in the morning my mother's bedroom door was closed and the house was a few tones darker. My mother had barricaded herself up inside. It was my stepfather who explained what had happened. He was in shock too. He wasn't Graham Allen's greatest supporter (he had lost his woman to him) but regardless, Allen had made up a part of his criminal gang and they had worked together robbing tourists in London for the past ten years. So my step-father told us the news, but not even he could tell us about Mum and how her world had imploded.

When I was old enough to be worth telling, or when mum was drunk enough to be able to tell it, she explained the day of the scream.

She was in the kitchen preparing our dinner when there was a knock on the door. She opened up to find two plain clothes detectives, a uniformed policeman and a police woman standing on the doorstep. They confirmed her name and asked if she knew a Graham Archibald Allan. Initially she thought he had been found alive and was in trouble again. She let the police in and led them out back into the kitchen where she began attending to the potatoes.

“So what's he fucking done this time?”

It was somewhere here that the police told her to sit down and then explained that a skull had been found and from the dental records it had been positively identified as that of her lover. It had been retrieved from Cranley Gardens: 'The House of Horrors' in Muswell Hill. My mother says she doesn’t recall anything else after that. I suppose that's when she began screaming and her noise drifted on up to me, wandering down the road home from school. During that time there wasn’t police counselling or shock support, and so my mother was told the news and then left to scream the pain away with only the neighbour left to try and calm her. How she didn't try to commit suicide that night or the following days is a mystery. Though soon she would. As time ate away at her and she dulled her brain with vodka and martini, death and the desire to die crept closer. Very soon suicide would be the House Speciality. My brother, sister and I would be the only forces to stop it. For a while we tried, and then we just didn't care.


That Fateful Night

We know what happened before the murder, and we know what happened after, but no one really knows for sure exactly what were the last few hours of my father's life. At the pick up and the actual scene of my father's death there were only two witnesses: One is dead, and the other doesn’t recall much. From what I can piece together they would have went something like this:

My father skips the wall and heads into the centre of town. He somehow gets money, scores heroin around Piccadilly, has a few too many drinks and decides to head home. As he wanders down Shaftsbury Avenue in Soho he is accosted by Mr Nilsen. Nilsen, seeing my father's drowsy state decides to try his luck. He offers him the promise of more alcohol, a warm taxi ride, a bed for the night and something to eat. My father, probably with sinister intentions of his own, accepts. They arrive at Nilsen's north London flat at around one o’clock in the morning. Here’s what Nilsen describes as taking place:

“the thing he wanted more than anything was something to eat. I had very little supply in but I had a whole tray of eggs. So I whipped up a large omelette and cooked it in a large frying pan, put it on a plate and gave it to him. He started to eat the omelette. He must have eaten three-quarters of the omelette. I noticed he was sitting there and suddenly he appeared to be asleep or unconscious with a large piece of omelette hanging out of his mouth. I thought he must have been choking on it but i didn’t hear him choking – he was indeed deeply unconscious. I sat down & had a drink. I approached him, I can’t remember what I had in my hands now – I don’t remember whether he was breathing or not but the omelette was still protruding from his mouth. The plate was still on his lap – I removed that. I bent forward and I think I strangled him. I can’t remember at this moment what I used... I remember going forward and I remember he was dead.... If the omelette killed him I don’t know, but anyway in going forward I intended to kill him. An omelette doesn’t leave red marks on a neck. I suppose it must have been me.”

Nilsen then undressed my father, masturbated over him (he denies having sex with the body) and then moved him to the bathroom where he laid his body in the tub. He left him there for three days. During this time Nilsen would continue to wash, brush his teeth and do his toilet in the presence of my father's dead body.

On the fourth day Nilsen removed my father's body from the bath. He laid a plastic sheet on the floor, dumped the body on it, and systematically dismembered it. First he cut off the head, and then the hands and the feet. Next he opened up the torso and removed the internal organs. With the insides removed Nilsen severed the body at the waist and removed the arms. He disconnected the legs from below the knee. During the following days he gradually diced the flesh and flushed it down the toilet. To dispose of my father's head he boiled it for hours in a large pot on the stove. The skull with the flesh boiled from it, and my father's bones, were placed in two black bin bags, tied and stored in the cupboard. And that's where they remained. Nilsen was apprehended before he had the chance to get rid of them, though not before he had the chance to kill one final victim. I suppose my father's post-mortem claim to fame is that it were his body parts which were discovered blocking the drains of Nilsen's apartment building and which led to Nilsen's arrest. It's not a great historical footnote, but it's better than most.

I have explained the death in detail not for shock value or to be crude, but to give some idea of the horrendous news which was forced upon my mother that afternoon. I know the relationship between My mother and father was violent and unhealthy, but it was still love, and as we know, love is often twisted and never a logical emotion.

*

The months immediately after the death are vague. I hardly recall a thing. I think my mother was shell-shocked and maybe only thoughts of revenge kept her alive. She stayed locked in her room, the house growing darker, and alcohol keeping her afloat. My next proper memories of the event come during the build up to the trial.

The case was all over the papers again and there were journalists coming daily to our door. My father was the only victim they didn't have a clear recent picture of and they were offering up to two thousand pounds for a photo. It was during this time that we really discovered all the facts of what had happened. It would be the catalyst which pushed my mother into the abyss.

The last sane thing, or the first insane thingmy mother did was to attend Nilsen's trial at The Old Bailey. She had been warned by journalists not to attend as there would be gruesome stuff on display directly related to her lover's death. Mum ignored all warnings. I think more than anything she was there to try and reconcile something in her head, that she wanted to see Nilsen, the monster who had done this, and at least be able to soothe herself with the knowledge that he was a complete psychopath and what had happened wasn't preventable. Only Nilsen wasn't the monster she had imagined. In fact she said he looked “plain and normal” that- staring at him gave no hint to what he had done. There was no reconciling what had happened with the man who had done it – Nilsen looked as normal and commonplace as the judge. It wasn't a monster on trial but a human being, and then it made even less sense. My mother never hung about for the verdict. She left halfway during the fourth day of the trial, after my father's skull and the saucepan Nilsen had boiled his head in were brought before The Crown as evidence. It would be more than twenty years later that her sanity would finally catch up to her.

Post-trial I remember my mother drinking suicidal amounts. Drunk she would do nothing but cry and sit on the floor alongside a small stereo listening to old love songs and staring at the tender of her wrists. With the story now out of the media the victims' families were left at home alone without even the small comfort of the nation's empathy to help absorb the event. There were no more journalists offering comfort as they scavenged the victims for scraps of untold story, and no more newspaper reports mentioning their names and telling of their plight. It was over. The murderer was in jail and other news was more important. The victims now only had the torture of solitude and silence to take comfort from, and that was no comfort at all. My mother's drinking and suicidal tendencies spiralled to a climax. She could no longer take it any more. She decided that The Blackout was for her.

*

It was one afternoon, during the summer of 1985 that I saved my mother's life. I was only young and I was only coming home for lunch and I was only just in time. Fifteen minutes later and I would have found her dead and then I don't know what I would have done. As it happened I found her worse than dead: I found her dying. And that is an even more brutal and traumatising thing to see.

I remember the house was dark. But a weird darkness, more a sense of it, like how you feel when a door is shut that should be open. There was also no smell of food and that was strange as well, as I was home to have lunch and then return to school. I peered up the stairs. My mother's bedroom door was closed and the the landing outside was in darkness. I called out but there was no reply. Hungry I dumped my bag and headed into the kitchen to make a sandwich. With two slices of bread spilled out on the table I took a healthy knifeside of Peanut Butter and began spreading it. As I did so I heard a noise. It was faint. I stopped what I was doing and listened. There it was again, drifting down from upstairs, and sounding like someone in the midst of troubled dreams. I laid the knife down and followed the sound down the hallway and upstairs. Outside my mother's room I stopped and listened. Coming from the other side of the door was the same murmuring noise, only this time clearer and with the added sound of wheezing air or something. I knocked on the door and called out to Mum. There was no answer, just the same groaning noises as before. I knocked once again and with no reply I opened the door and froze. Covering the floor was broken glass, empty Martini bottles and hundreds of dropped tablets. And then I saw her, Mum, sprawled out on the bed, her eyes faintly open, and bright white foam frothing up and out of her mouth. She wasn’t conscious. I knew that much. I didn’t call or touch her. I couldn't bare to. Laying there like that something disgusted me about her and scared me right through to the bones. That was my mother and she was hurting and not well and maybe even dead. I turned and scarpered, off to get some help.

I can't remember what happened or what I said after knocking on my neighbour's door. What I do remember is her pushing past me and sprinting off, two doors down, and into my house. Moments later she was back, passing me without a word, down her hallway and straight to the telephone. At that moment my step-father arrived. He had been in the betting shop and on returning must have seen me upset outside my neighbour's and her rushing from our house into hers. Having called an ambulance the neighbour came out to meet my step-father. She pulled him aside and frantically told him something. Together they rushed back to be with my mother.

I wasn't allowed upstairs. I was ordered to stay down and outside. My job was to wave the ambulance in just so they didn't drive by or do something silly like that. After more than an eternity the ambulance finally arrived. Three paramedics stomped in the house past me and up the stairs. There was some commotion, paramedics leaving and returning with equipment and a stretcher, but my mother wasn't brought out. I didn't know what they were doing. Ambulances were supposed to get people to hospital quickly. It turned out they had to pump my mother's stomach on the spot and fight to keep her heart going. After a while they stretchered her unconscious body down the stairs and out into the ambulance. I really thought she was dead. My last vision was of her laying in the back of the ambulance, just her head visible outside a thick red emergency blanket, and white foam still frothing out her mouth. Then the back doors of the ambulance swung closed and it pulled off, the sirens flashing and wailing as it went into the distance.

I wasn't taken home. Instead I was once again left with the neighbour while my step-father went to remove my brother and sister early from school. When he returned he dropped them off and then left to make a meeting he had for the evening. Once again we were left waiting with our neighbour, this time for news if mum would live or die. In the early evening we got news. Mum was extremely ill but would survive. The hospital said that if she had have been found just fifteen minutes later that she would have already been dead. It made us all cry. It was too close, and at that moment in history we all loved our mother dearly.

Mum passed five days in intensive care, and remained in hospital for almost three weeks. She had been pumped and resuscitated so intensely that her entire chest and stomach was one huge bruise. I remember the day of her release, us collecting her and being happy that she was sober and seemed clear in words and look. She was frail and so we took a short bus ride home. Her sobriety wouldn't last long. That same night she got paralytic drunk, fell off the toilet and split her head open. My brother sister and I dragged her body into the bedroom and pulled her up on the bed. That's when we knew that all was not fine, that there would be more ambulances and more anxious waits. Over the next seven years she would attempt suicide on at least ten occasions; twice very earnestly. It got so bad that we had to hide all the knives (and forks) in the house. We spent the next few years on permanent suicide watch.

That episode, and my mother's then chronic alcoholism, highlights some of the knock-on effects that the murder had in our household. It shows the secondary victims. It also shows what became of my childhood, and just how far the murder had affected my mother. For my part I hold no ill will towards Nilsen. I'm honestly not sure life would have been any less traumatic if my father was around. And anyway, we cannot spend our time pondering the butterfly effect of our own and everyone else's actions. If we did we'd never move an inch, and even that would probably hurt some poor soul. They're not my reflections as a conscientious adult either. I have never felt ill will towards Nilsen, and I’ve never blamed him for my mother's alcoholism and the hell which that conjured up. After everything, we still determine our own actions. My mother choose the bottle; it didn’t come to her. It’s the same with me: I choose the needle. We must live and die by our swords. We cannot blame our enemy for us taking up arms. That is a bitter and all consuming road to take.

My mother's repeated suicide attempts very nearly led to me, my brother and sister being taken away and placed into Council Care. If it wasn’t for the stability that my stepfather offered we would have surely been carted off, separated, and brought up by middle-aged religious nuts as their ticket into Heaven. Fortunately, just as much for them, that didn't happen. Another thing that didn't happen was mum looking after us. From that point on my mother would stop being a permanent fixture in our lives. She would spend the next few years drifting from bottle to bottle, from lover to lover, searching for a man who no longer existed. Each time she found escape in someone he would mistreat her. She'd return home skint, covered in blood, and with a big bag of rattling vodka bottles. For a while she'd stay and then without warning she'd be gone. Just like before, no-one knew where, and no-one knew if she'd ever return again.

My mother's behaviour followed me all the way through my young and teenage years. As I grew older I learnt how to cope with her better, but unlike my sister I was never able to ignore her completely. I always had that lingering fear that the day I did would just be the day she was for real and my punishment for turning her away would be to have her death on my conscience. And so I stuck with her, as did my brother, phoning ambulances twice a week after fake suicide claims. But it wasn't all bad. There were also some good times and some fun memories – like the time she punched out my least favourite teacher. In the midst of all the perversity there were still moments of love and joy, and even odd days where I could be a child again. They were precious days, and it's those that mean the most.


The Me-effect – The By-product of Murder

After the death of my father I was all that was left of him. In my mother's eyes I was him. My brother and sister were from different blood and as a result my mother's attentions turned mostly towards me. This caused jealousy between my siblings and our relationship secretly soured as my mother heaped her drunken affections my way. Little did they know, they were the lucky ones. My life had become horrendous. My mother would keep me besides her at all times. I would wrestle knives out her grasp, watch her drink her death, see her break down, attempt suicide, and watch her fuck her way through a myriad of different men. She would also call me to her room, and in tears claim she was dying from terminal cancer and had only months to live. It was all unwanted attention. I didn't want to be my mother's favourite. Still, I was a boy and I loved my mother and I would have defended her to death. She was untouchable, and she still is.

Concerning my heroin addiction the actual murder has little direct association with it, but the physical death of my father and his image I began to compete with did. I am the by-product of murder, but not the product. Some of the problems I have are the waste fluid from that event.

In many ways I have (unintentionally) given my mother back what she lost. I have recognised her needs and fulfilled them. I have become a cleaner, non-violent version of my father. I am him without his worst faults. I have become a more rounded version of the man my mother loved. Yes, I'm a heroin addict, but even that gave my mother something back which she had lost. I doubt she enjoyed seeing me sticking needles in myself, but in a way it was like having my father back and sitting there all over again... a confirmation that he still lived on in some physical form.

Heroin, and the kind of image that gives off, is a part of the reckless, wild side of boys which my mother has always fallen for. She has never praised me for taking heroin, but in her reactions to it and to the footstep's that led me there, I sensed an admiration. And it wasn't just heroin. My wilder acts have always gained my mother's attention. And though she would scold my actions, there was always a little sparkle in her eye. The way she would report the incidents to her friends told me she had secretly enjoyed them. She enjoyed my first cigarette, my first joint and my first whiskey. She enjoyed my first arrest and then watching me stand in the dock of the Juvenile Court reciting Oscar Wilde. She enjoyed my first trip, and my first line of speed. She enjoyed the fights, the late nights and the love bites – me returning home with some woman's passion tattooed up my neck. It impressed her. She was watching the return of my father, and I was willingly playing the part.

Of course, I am not my father. There are huge differences between us. From what I know he didn’t read, didn’t write and didn’t paint. He had no artistic or intellectual hobbies. He wasn’t into literature, philosophy, sociology, politics, film or chocolate. Nothing. Just junk, love, alcohol and violence. All that really connects us is heroin addiction. That's no small thing, but it isn't very much either. Still, in part I have given my mother back what she had taken from her. I often think if I hadn’t she would have been dead years ago.

But drug addiction, as with any behaviour, doesn’t stem from one event. I cannot tell you all the parts of this, but I can tell you it would have probably happened anyway. The truth is, the idea of using drugs first came about as a way to overcome shyness. After that there were silly, immature reasons for first trying heroin. More than anything else to live up to a certain image and to exude a certain recklessness. That was probably aimed at impressing not only my peers but also my mother. Of course it also pissed a lot of the right people off and that was just as rewarding. But drug use and drug addiction are two very separate things. I soon found that heroin gave ME something. Not my mother, not my father, not my peers or my image, but ME. It gave an inch to an unbalanced leg. It made me feel more stable. Up until then a strong fart could have toppled me.

This is why I don’t hold any ill will or shove the blame towards Nilsen. It is also why I equally hold no ill will towards my mother. I stuck needles in my veins for me. As an intelligent, stupid adult I took my decisions and I will live with the consequences of them. I will not do what others have done and portion the blame for their mistakes and problems to others. I will not become bitter with life or death. I accept it all, and it's all my fault: the good and the bad. I'd have it no other way. I am happy within my body, and every bruise, and every scar and every smile and suicide rescue has contributed to that. I am my own history; the answer to my own equation. I cannot regret the past, none of it, without regretting myself. And I don't regret myself. I'd not rather be anyone else.. not even You.

It is now 28 years since the murder. My mother is two thirds on her way to death and I am even further along the line. Nilsen is still alive and languishes in HM Full Sutton maximum security prison in Yorkshire. He is 66 years old. My mother is drink and drug free, finally kicking the heroin and crack habits that she picked up later on in life. She no longer is haunted by the murder and can talk freely of it. She continues to hate Nilsen with a passion and hopes he is never released. I on the other hand would one day like to see him free. I would take no pleasure from him dying in jail. My mother would slap me for saying that, but what's a backhander at my age? It's just something you wipe away.

      My Thoughts and Wishes To ALL, Shane.X

Link: Guardian article on Nilsen from 1983.
Tags: Dennis Nilsen. Dennis Nilsen's victims. Serial Killer. True life crime. Mass Murder

91 comments :

Brian The Postboy said...

Hmmm. Well I for one can certainly relate to ya poor old mother in this post. I mean, who wouldn't go cock crazy an' turn to every drug under the sun after the man you love has been horrendously crunched out! I had a man who I just luuuvved an the same happened to him only the dog run away with his cock. Hee hee. It really was a torturous affair. I still get a twist of the winter shivels when I think of it. Though I didn't turn to drugs to escape... I'm so much stronger than that. I moved to Milton Keynes and invested all my hurt and anger in my new job there. You know, that's how I cope. I give other people hell for my troubles and angst and that somehow makes me feel better, I mean BETTER!!!!

Anyways, this guy, My Guy, you know, the one who got crunched out in a similar way like ya Pa, he was called John and he had what I used to refer to as a 'super Dong'. Did your Pops have a Super Dong? I mean, OK, you wouldn't know that, but your mother would. Have you ever asked her? You know, kinda outta contempt for the maggoty little thing you've got? Hee hee! An' yeah, I know what ya thinking now, that mine was infamously described as a 'painted little toe', but that's forgettin what happened once I got my rise on! Hee hee. Then people ran for cover alright! It was like when Alice drank that potion and started growing! Hee hee. Opops, just farted as I laughed!

Oh well, was just really lettin ya know I'm still around an can really relate to this post. Hope ya get well soon, Brian! X

Hee hee. XXXXXX Mwaaaaah X

dirtycowgirl said...

Genius, as ever.
I know I've read about this before - when I first found your blog I read it from start to finish. Reading that makes me want to do it again :)

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya DCG,

I'm not sure then if you read this post, as it's not a repost of what I put up before but a complete rewrite of that. There's at least five full pages of new writing here and what I did keep from the old post I mostly rewrote and repaired.

I done this because I was never happy with those early posts, and really not happy with the posts concerning the murder and the events. I wrote them in the very early days of Memoires and thinking I had to get everything in one or two pages I really, really condensed the tale and ended not having said what I would have liked, or how I would have liked to have said it. Really, then, that was the only way I couald have written it. People didn't know me and wouldn't have read ten pages. That priviledge has come only in the last year when people have decided it's worth reading.

Now I'm happy with this post. It doesn't leave me cringing like the first one. It also tells everything and doesn't cut short or leave huge parts out.

Anyway, just really saying that if you kinda looked at it and thought "Ah, I've read this one." it's actually ot a repost but a brand new telling with pages of new words.

Hope you're well regardless, Love and THoughts, Shane. X

bugerlugs63 said...

malheur! c'est dingue. Incroyable. Il faut que je la relis. C'est ok si je te parle en francais des fois? J'etait contente en France . . . Un peu trop contente pour moi. Had to go self destruct some more first. Bon Je vais la relire, a bientot. Merci bien pour etre venu chez moi :-)
Buggalugz x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Bugerlugz,

Oh here You can write in any language you like. Me, I'll stick to one that doesn't sound like a throat infection and which I understand fully. I only speak french with the french, and mostly then we end up drawing pictograms. Arguments are just impossible!

X

_Black_Acrylic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
_Black_Acrylic said...

Oh what an extraordinary, humbling story this is. When I can formulate a fuller response I'll write more, but be assured you have my utmost respect and admiration. I never saw the original post so it's the first time I saw such detail. I'm away to alert anyone that I think might be interested x

JoeM said...

I'd forgotten that your father was so young when murdered – not even 30! I wonder if subconsciously, living beyond the age your father did gives you that pessimism about your own longevity - My mother is two thirds on her way to death and I am even further along the line. I presume you think you'll die young because of the Heroin. Which I don't think is inevitable. (But we've had this talk before!)

What struck me most was what you call, and I know what you're referring to, The Butterfly Effect. There are so many near misses/hits where things could have taken a different path.

Obviously there are a million different ways your father and Nilsen could have passed in the night(The Different Corner Effect). And what if he hadn't conked out eating the omelet (I don't remember it being a possibility that he choked on that – almost Ortonesque: the autopsy discovers he wasn't murdered after all. Nilsen is somehow annoyed). He might have fought back or just left before Nilsen tried anything.

But if he had survived he might well have finished off your mother! Or vice versa.

As you say, there's no point blaming one fork in the road for our present predicament. There's no knowing what else would have happened for better or worse.

It's strange but understandable that knowing the Nilsen after-death details is so upsetting. I mean the victim was already dead and we ALL end up as skull and bones. But to imagine a loved one being calmly cut up, their head boiled in a pot, sort of lends a more horrible edge to the after-life.

I wonder how differently your mother would have acted if she had heard nothing more of him. Maybe she thinks Nilsen cheated her of some (surely unlikely) future reconciliation and happy ever after.

I suspect though that the guy who wrote 'I fucking hate you, You Cunt! PS: I'm in prison!' she was better off without! But nobody except her is able to decide that.

It was good to read several of the older shorter posts together. I remember anxiously waiting for 'the next episode' – so this was like a mini 'boxed set'. I don't think the early ones were clumsy. But it's a good thing if you re-read them and think you could now do better.

dirtycowgirl said...

No, I didn't think it was a repost, just that it was familiar. Have you got any further towards getting published ? I am going to read this all again too...this was after all the blog that inpsired me, although I never did write about the stuff I started it for. Instead it's evolved into the warped bit of my brain on the net. Ah well.

_Black_Acrylic said...

Hmm Blogger was being a bit weird with my comment earlier, and maybe it still is, but everything that I said still stands.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Ben, Oh that's very kind! X

What problems were you having? It seems you've not been the first.

X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Joe,

yeah he was 28 when he was murdered. There's still only one photo of him that's surfaced and it's not very clear. The only other photo, which is clear, my mother has. The press tried so hard to get it, and my step-father also, but she wouldn't give it up for any money.

I think I've been a bit unfair on my father. I'll have to add a paragraph after reading how you took it. I concentrated on all the troubles and fights and problems, but there was also a lot of love passed between my mother and father and most days there wasn't fighting. The fights always happened when he'd been drinking. The stuff turned him psychotic, even just a couple of pints. But my father was very well by everyone. Even my stepfather liked him, and he'd lost his woman to him. So I think I'll add a paragraph just to balance it outr a little.

My memories are of bad things because they were extreme and stuck. But that there's not so many must say something.

The omelette. Yeah, that's a weird thing until you know heroin. From Nilsen's description I'm 100% certain my father was gouching on smack. Every addict has nodded out while eating... many times I've ended up face first in my dinner. Though you'd never nod out swallowing, so I'm sure my father had put a bit in his mouth and before even really getting to the point of chewing his nodded out. Easy prey for Nilsen.

The after death details tortured my mother. Death she could handle, but the images she had of her loved one (and it really was the love of her life) being cut up and boiled, etc... it was too much. I'd be the same. God, we get traumatized enough when our lover walks out on us... imagine being snatched from us and then treated like that? I know my mother still thinks of it at times. Sometimes when we're speaking she'll drift kinda distant and ask something silly like:

"Shane, if there is a Heaven do you think Puggy will have gone there? Do you think I will?"

It's sad. And of course I can't answer.

As for my mother, even while he was alive she was an alcoholic. The difference was she wasn't self-destructive and hateful with it. After the death it became chronic and really, really unhealthy. So even if he'd have lived, or died i an easier way, she'd have had problems anyway. Though I don't think all the suicide side and self-destruction would have happened.

(Cont'd....)

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

(Joe M cont'd)

'I fucking hate you, You Cunt! PS: I'm in prison!' she was better off without!

My father never literally wrote anything like that. I wrote that! And the second half of it was written specifically to amuse you (Really). Though it was also a way to explain that even if the notes weren't always loving he'd always write and say where he was. And often when he disappeared he was either in prison or had gone back home to Motherwell. I never read any of the real letters, but I saw them and he'd fill all the borders with drawings and sketches in pen, cartoon characters, hearts, birds, etc. My mother loved them. She may even have them somewhere.

My main problem with the older posts is that they were well written in parts, but there was also a lot of really terrible writing too. And I had really condensed the history so as people would read it. But since those early posts I've put in a lot of work to clean up my writing and improve it... paying special attention to the stuff between the nice lines. I think that older writing showed enough promise but it was kinda unpublishable, and really does make me cringe now when I read it. But since then (and i've explained before this came about due to your very first comment over on DC's) I've been really seriously studying writing and the art, and paying close attention to everything from sentences and paragraphs to passive verbs (as you know! haha) So I felt I needed to rewrite this, and I know it's a fair bit of text to read all at once online, but I've stopped paying any attention to that. I'm much happier with this post now, and I think it's worthy to be here.

Though next week I'll hate it!

Hope you're well Joe.

Shane. X

JoeM said...

I've found myself that in writing - fiction or fact - a lot of stuff that I thought I'd put down actually stayed in my head. Like you knew there was a lot of good stuff between your mother and father but didn't elaborate on it so the bad gets foregrounded. Or maybe that's just my reading. You could get trusted friends like Verity to read it and ask them to look out for specific things.Get different points of view.

I would say that if you're going to publish Memoirs as pure fact you could maybe get your mother - or at least brother and sister - to read it first. Then you can accommodate any complaints they have, even if you just say 'my mother remembers this differently'. Because she will see it! Some 'well-meaning' relative or neighbour will bring it to her attention. (I never in a million years thought that my mother would ever see a story loosely based on her that appeared in a tiny little mag called Gay Scotland. But a well-meaning cousin showed her it. Same happened with the book).

Maybe at this stage she'd actually like to fill you in on stuff you didn't know and give her side of the story. But just a bit. It is your book. But then you'd have to leave out the stuff about not minding Nilsen being released etc. Or at least let her know you think that.

And she'd probably object to factional letters. Or maybe she'd get the joke and realise they were just hyped up versions giving a flavour of what happened.

I think a publisher might actually ask you to get your mother involved - to get those actual letters and photographs etc.

I hope I haven't put you off the idea of getting it published after so much cajoling about it! I mean you can always say No this is my story, my perspective and put a forward saying this is not a word for word record but remembered impressions.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey again Joe,

No, of course you’ve not put me off writing Memoires (I’ve never wanted to write it I the first place!). Though seriously, no you haven’t. Anything you say or advise I’ll always respect and give proper consideration to. I think you’ll have probably remarked before that I’m not scared to revise my work or ideas on someone’s recommendation, and will always accommodate outside ideas and opinions. I will especially do so of those, like you, who I trust and value their input.

I think any book I could put out about this I’d certainly say something like you suggest:

These words are not an objective account of events but a deeply personal telling. It is the truth as I remember it,, though certain events may be told or remembered differently by my family.

Something like that. I’m more concerned that is emotionally and atmospherically honest Joe. You know, the truth in parts is so hazy that it’s not uncommon that between me, my brother, sister and mother we all tell the same small part in completely different ways. We’re all being truthful as we remember it. The main thing is not all the little kinda sub-stories, but the main facts and the bigger picture of what happened, and on that we all agree. So the history is absolutely true, but a lot of the smaller details are seen differently from different eyes. I think it’s no different to any family history in that way.

Even things like conversations at the time. I was seven, Joe…. I can’t remember word for word. My mother was drunk, so neither can she. So I have to write an interpretation of it and what I imagine would have been said. It’s not so important. These are things we can never know. Even if I did know, you can be sure my neighbour would read it and say: I NEVER SAID THAT!

Here’s a nice example:

My mother, ten years ago, ater years of refusing to make any kind of profit from the death of my father, had a change of heart and wanted to sue the two Mirror journalists who had written a book on the case called The Nilsen Files. In the book three pages are given over to describing my mother and fathers relationship, our family life and personal details of my father and the life he led. There were a number of quite blatant errors in the text. It claimed that me, my brother and sister were all in council care on account of our home life, then in the next sentence contradicted even that saying my mother only had one ‘ten year old son’, and also in another section kinda said that my father was homosexual. (There were other things too but I’ve not got the book to hand to go through it). Anyway, my mother wanted to sue the writers and even found a solicitor willing to take the case. Of course, what upset her most was the idea that her lover was homosexual. That was her truth: he absolutely wasn’t. However, my stepfather doesn’t quite agree (and I take his view) that my father had slept with men, did for money, and was still doing so and rolling gay men at the time of his death. There’s no real truth either way. My mother says that my step-father said that just to get back at her.. To annoy her. She on the other hand had her own interests in not having her lovers name (as she saw it) marred. So she was going to sue the writers, and would have probably got the verdicts, on something that was actually probably true! So even truth’s are contested in these very personal histories. We all have our own agendas.

(cnt'd)

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

(Joe M cont'd)


So my disclaimer would be that its how I remember the event. And of course, the book wouldn’t be trying to tell my brother and sisters ordeal, nor even my mother’s, but the focus would be on me and how these things affected my life. In that sense the real REAL truth doesn’t matter. The perceived truth is all that is important as that’s what has affected me all these years.

With all that said, any publisher wishing to trace the history back or have it verified (the main facts of it) would have no trouble doing so. I also think my mother would now give up what she’s got, although I’m sure she’d make some conditions and demands. She would certainly get involved. A friend of mine through Memoires, and Times/freelance journalist Russ Coffey is currently writing a book about Nilsen and is in contact with my mother concerning hers and my father’s part in the history. So she’d certainly help.

It was for the sake of verification that I made the decision from the beginning to write under my real name. I wanted to be certain that if any journalists or arseholes read the story and wanted to try and proove it a lie that they could easily trace my history back, find my family and verify it. One actually did… Contacted my mother! Regardless, there are still those who even now refuse to believe that I write under my real name. But the few people I’ve gotten to know personally, and of course friends like you, who have been on my Facebook and seen my brother and sister in my friends list, know that I really am Shane Levene… and if not a bloody good impersonator!

And that’s another thing: my brother and sister actually read these posts. As you saw when my stepfather died, my sisters eldest son left a comment under the post. So they do read and that they don’t rubbish or contest the posts, or leave horrible or accusing comments here or on FB, says a lot. They don’t agree with everything I’ve written, but know that my truth is just as true as theirs. It’s a complicated thing. Facts… the objective truth. I’m not sure there’s any such thing. And yes, you’re right, my mother will see the book (and this site). She knows about Memoires but isn’t online and so has never read it. Yes there are things that will annoy and upset her, but I have to put that out of mind or the truth will get even further lost. Already some subjects I can no longer write of as they’ll cause the family to implode. It’s only one subject actually and I’ll explain that to you in private and not here.

Have I covered everything? I’ve written an awful lot if I haven’t! Oh well, if not I’ll be back… the days of one paragraph replies are truly over… X

JoeM said...

That's good that your mother knows you're writing about it. The fact that she didn't sell the photo/take money from the papers that she would have needed underlines what you say about their relationship.

The laziness and duplicity of the press knows no bounds. When Amanda Knox was cleared recently the Daily Mail had already prepared a report for their blog saying she had been convicted as well as one saying she was freed. Unfortunately they published the wrong one. So we got to see that they had completely fabricated events before they'd even happened:

A few feet away [the victim] Meredith’s mother Arline, her sister Stephanie and brother Lyle, who had flown in especially for the verdict remained expressionless, staring straight ahead, glancing over just once at the distraught Knox family.

Completely made up!

A great example of how memory fails us is in Paul Morley's great memoir Nothing. It's about his father's suicide, (and also about the suicide of Ian Curtis).

He, his mother and sisters all sit down and discuss the night they heard about his death (his aunt getting him to clean the oven!), the funeral etc. And they all disagreed on many small and big details. Morley couldn't even remember the year it happened.

Even if a memoirist gets every detail factually correct there's also decisions about what to put in and leave out, how much emphasis to put on some things. I think the more 'subjective' the better.

JoeM said...

Here's a link
about the Mail/Knox that hopefully works this time...

eyelick said...

The actions of serial killers can be so horrific and disgusting, but somehow they remain kind of fascinating. Does that make me sick? Or is it all part of the "human fascination with death" that you've mentioned?

Strange the ways people become... your father raised in a "good home," but through a combination of bad choices and bad circumstances, ended up as he did. It almost seemed like he was doomed to have some kind of tragic end. And you are very well-adjusted and even... Productive! despite your traumatic childhood. (Own "good adoptive home" didn't matter, also ended up with bad choices and circumstances - and with this + "bad biology" - biological parents include criminal drug-addicted father & mental illness on mother's side - added to "the way this world has become" = will not have children! Refuse to "doom" someone else.)

It's funny the way that heroin is so demonized, but alcohol is what caused your father to act out violently against your mother. Yet, what remains legal? Am not for alcohol-prohibition, but do find it ridiculous what society deems acceptable vs. forbidden.

Glad your mother has moved past her addictions and has seemed to become adjusted. Own boyfriend also had a dad who was murdered. His dad (not father, his birth is the result of an affair) was violently murdered right in front of him! One of his first memories was a loud BOOM! of the shotgun, his dad falling to the chair, the horrible sounds of his last gasps for air. His dad was also a junkie and was involved in the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang. He robbed pharmacies. His death was the result of someone wanting a bigger "cut" of the previously robbed pharmacy. His mother still idealizes him, saying how he would have been a good father raising him as his own son, etc (which was probably not true, especially considering his dad was involved with white supremacists & boyfriend is half-Hispanic from the father.) However, there was no "justice" of the killer being locked away for life, he spewed some paranoid, possibly made-up, psychotic ramblings and was instead just put in a mental institute for five years, then set free. Even though at 16, his mother shot a gun at him when he refused to get her more speed, about 4 years later he reunited, and he remains, like you, loyal to his mother. They talk at length every day, he gets pills & drugs for her (she has not moved past her addiction), he leaves the state when she has doctor appointments in order to take her to them (she's agoraphobic.) Your parallels are interesting & was actually what first drew me in to your blog.

As always, beautiful post...

Wow - didn't use "eye" for an entire comment!

Chef Green said...

Shane,
In some way I was expecting a post of this nature in october. In truth, your previous mentionings of the murder were "not my favorite"of your entries, but this ove was beautiful.it held emotion and humility, hope...acceptance. It is a fine literary piece and a fine human piece.

What could I possibly say? This: I am so glad, so thankful that you have turned out as you have-an incredible, kind person with a rare dignity and grace. You inspire me, comfort me, and I think of you often. In a way you are perfect, as we all are, in our flawed and fleeting ways.

In many ways your stories remind me of my life, of the ways we must find beauty in the rubble, relief in uncertain promises.

And as always-thank you.

CG

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Dirty Cow Girl,

Well publishing is like one of those mirages that dying people see in the desert: It either always stays at the same distance, or it gets closer only to disappear at arms reach, or it's not a mirage at all. So let's just say I see the mirage.

I don't think so much about it. A deal can do no more than pay the rent and make life a little more comfortable. It doesn't help with anything else and it certainly doesn't make writing this shit any easier. So we'll see... but I'll die and write regardless.

X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Joe,

My mother would never profit from the crime in any way. She wouldn't sell photos, she wouldn't sell stories, she wouldn't giove interviews (not even to the more serious journalists)... She just refused to make a buck out of it in any way. Now I think she would if she could, but it'd be under her conditions. I'm different, I think we've every right to profit from the tragedy. It affected all our lives, and not in small ways. I'm here 28 years on, my family walking around London like wounded war vets, and so I think we've that right to use the history for our own ends. It's ours as well.

*



God, that Mail fuck-up is insane, and scary. The only thing it isn't is a surprise. We know journalists do that, and I think You and I as writers can understand why, but it kinda makes you question every news story there's ever been.

I think that the art of journalism is not to report the truth but to make whatever is reported sound like the truth. That's why it's scary. There's no knowing. It's also a style of reporting that only will exist in capitalist markets, as its really originated through the rat race of getting an exclusive and reporting the story first. It's competition that makes us try to be quicker than our competitors... and it's not a race to the truth, but a race to the dollar.

*

I've not read Morley's book but would really like to. He speaks about it in one of those great docu's about Manchester/Factory/Joy Division, but I can't recall which one.

Do you like Joy Division?
Have you seen the film Control?

I do like Joy Division, but it's rare I listen to them. I like my depressing music to be a little more upbeat. The Smiths and The Cure are perfect. At least with them you can laugh while you cry.

X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Ya Eyelick,

Sick? I think it makes you probably as normal as that boring guy down the road who wipes his arse the same amount of times after every shit he takes. Things we don't understand fascinates us. It's love doesn't often last. Once we've learnt all there is to know we get fascinated with something else. You're normal. Don't listen to the doctors.

A 'good home' can also be a very damaging home, and anyway I don't think a strict religious upbringing is a 'good' home but probably one of the worst anyone can have. Those guys always come out fucked-up. You'll never find a bigger or better group of freaks, psychos, pedophiles and rapists than you will backstage of a church just before Mass. It's like the foreign fucking legion in dresses!

Anyway, thanks or all you say and the story, all My Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey ya Chef,

Those earlier posts weren't my favourites either. I wrote them under the clock of expectation and was more concerned with having something to post to people reading than whether if what I posted was actually worth posting. Though saying that, probably at the time I couldn't have written anything else, and they still went down well at the time (though I suspect for subject matter rather than the words). Anyway it's remedied now and I can sleep well! haha

As to your second paragraph, well, I'm at a loss for words. Kindness and gentleness shut me up. I'm like one of those Tamagotchi toys: feed me and give me love and I'll shut up and survive.

And on that rather sad note I think I better stop!

Love and Wishes, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Eyelick:

That was supposed to read:

it's why love doesn't often last...

Anonymous said...

It was nice to get an insight into your early life and what ingredients went into the pot that made your home life what it was. Going to a point you made about having nothing in common with your dad. It wasn't until my dad passed that i started to realize that i had more in common than i thought, even if it was just little quirks in behavior. I hope your well and hope to speak soon. My man's just knocking now, its lovely when you hear that knock you have been waiting ages for. Now comes the struggle to hit somewhere. Kympton

Anonymous said...

Hi Shane,
I've been furtively reading your blog; initially found through my own searches for addicts/ users etc who were writing, but now slavishly followed as a result of the devastatingly powerful writing with which you present your biographies, musings and scenic descriptions.
I found this post fascinating as it helped to piece even more of the jigsaw together of the person that is yourself, a person whom I have never met, but a person who provides me with more interest, comfort and identity than you will ever know.
I am currently walking the line (have been for 8 years now) between using and stabilising on Meth.I've been fully 'clean' inthe past (3 years ago, no M or H)and now I've slipped. I can't bear the speed at which my mind rocks and rolls and soars and falls without H, but I have a 'life' which dictates that I 'Should Not Use'.....
Ah, I don't know. I miss it, basically. I have no other vices (well, except Caffeine and Nicoteine) and 5 days in (again) with none I wonder why I'm doing it. And I know all the 'reasons' (money, health, life etc) but I prefer my life a little cushioned......
I do apologise- I know this has little to do with your post, but I've been talking to myself for days, and, well, wanted to talk aloud, I guess.
Keep writing, Shane. You are, without doubt, the most poignant, literate and spellbinding master of the written word I have found in my 37 years on this wee world.
Take care x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey ya Kympton,

I'll never know any the little quirks I have in common with my father as IO hardly even recall what he looked like let alone mannerisms, behaviours, etc. I've huge amounts in common with My Stepfather though. He's 'My Father' (or was because he's dust now.

I'm having the same fixing troubles. It had improved over these last years (or I'd just been taking bigger risks) but now I'm sometimes probing and puncturing myself for an hour, and not even drawing blood! In a way that's better as you're not gonna have to end up squirting your hit away, but it kinda makes it feel even more hopeless that you're not even anyway close.

X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Anon (give us a name next time)

Well thanks for reading and enjoying and saying all the kind things you have.

Concerning H and meth I've found a nice balance which I'm happy with and which allows me to live and die all at the same time. Though in London I couldn't stick to my juice. Not one day did I not use smack on top there. I never tried at all, but it would have been easier financially some days if I could have and I couldn't - methadone just didn't seem to do anything. It was only after moving to france and being straight(ish) for 5 months that I realized Methadone does have a use, and allowed me to do things which I couldn't ion H (like writing). But, you need to have a period of 'methadone only' to realize that. So that was one of the nice things about being away for H, just realizing that it does hinder some things and that methadone can help as a short term substitute. And >I continue like that to this day. In this period my heroin use is the lowest it's been for 11 years. I don't say that as a 'good' thing, just a fact.

*

Oh here you don't have to talk of things relevant to the post... you can comment on anything you like. I think because of the weirdly personal nature of this post that it's hard for people to say anything.

Ok, well thanks again for all you say and hopefully we'll see you around again in the future...

Shane. X

Kell said...

Hey Shane
Cheers for the response- I'll sign myself in as Kell from now on- it's kind of my nickname- Glaswegian roots and all that....
I'm sort of on a permanent on-off H thing at the mo- for about 3 years it's been 4 days off- any old excuse to score- back on- love it but feel guilty- stop using etc etc repeat ad nauseum. Truth be told I find myself almost wanting any excuse (drama, pain etc) to go and score- but the pleasure is offset by the guilt. I'm in a relationship where we're both doing the same thing- and it makes it harder tbh- sometimes the fear that we will never be what we were when we were using regularly is just too much for me. I think i've romanticised everything and I'm sure you're right- stabilising on M for an extended period would probably give me the reality check I need.....
Cheers for the words and response- look forward to chatting again soon. How's France btw? I spend lots of time there- often consider moving permanently- but I'm still in love with London. Ach, but maybe that's the gear too :)
Take care x

Paul Curran said...

Hiya Shane. Needless to say this is incredibly powerful writing. I do remember reading and being blown away by the earlier post after Joe linked on DCs, and I love what you've done with expanding it with extra perspectives. There's something about the compulsion of narrative that is even more addictive than drugs. Have your ever read James Ellory's memoir My Dark Places, about his mum who was murdered when he was 10, or the way Steward Home writes about his mum? If not thought they might interest you. By the way, thanks for that link. That was a real surprise and total honour.

JoeM said...

Paul C's mention of James Ellroy reminds me that I sent a comment a few days ago that doesn't seem to have taken. Here it is:


The scariest thing about the Mail lies was that if they hadn't published the wrong version nobody would have known they were reading a complete fabrication. Makes you wonder how many more totally made up stories we read every day.

There was a great documentary about Manchester made by Morley's sister, mostly about her alcoholism - The Alcohol Years. Nobody gets away from their Parents' problems without the scars...

It's funny, when you asked 'Do you like Joy Division' I was thinking about what I was going to say – 'Yes I do like them, especially Atmosphere/Love Will Tear Us Apart, but they're so bleak I can't listen to them often, have to be in a certain mood. Whereas with The Smiths you can laugh and cry at the same time'.

Then I read the next bit and you said almost exactly the same thing! Today Mark Gattiss (from League of Gentlemen/Dr.Who/Sherlock Holmes etc) chose There is a Light that Never Goes Out as one of his Desert Island Discs. Every time I hear those Smiths records I still re-marvel at the genius lyrics and evocation of a mood.

I liked Control. It was good, workmanlike. The best film of that scene I think was 24 Hour Party People. Highly inventive with the material. And Steeve Coogan was great as Tony Wilson.

Now I'm listening to a Desert Island Discs Revisited with James Ellroy. Who’s mother was murdered. God he's INTENSE. Says he never reads contemporary books by other authors. Has no computer, no mobile phone, no TV. Writes by hand.

'I don't go to the movies, the store, the dry cleaner. I isolate myself from the culture'.

Gattiss also picked another brilliant record that is almost as lyrically bitchy as Morrissey – the ultimate Fuck You record: yes I know you ditched me but I'm doing just great!

Yes

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Joe, God, (that reads weird!) but anyway...

Joe, God, that was my fault... the comment disappearing. I did read it and must have then not OK'd it. Sorry. If that ever happens again just drop me a little mail as I know with that moderation on they disappear after sending and you're never quite sure if it went or not.

I'll see if i can in any way allow a few selected and trusted people to comment without moderation. It may be possible.

To the comment I'll drop a reply tomorrow as I'm just about to hit the sack. Sad, I know.. it's only 9pm! There goes my wild and reckless image down the drain.

Anyway, before I ruin my myth any more I'll say goodnight and get back to you properly tomorow. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hi again Kell,

OMG, Glaswegian roots! You poor thing. No wonder you turned to smack.

I've never had that constant internal battle to stop and be clean, and I'll never feel guilty for using. I hate all that nonsense about 'fucking up' and 'had a slip', etc. That's kinda how they want you to feel. We normally feel guilty when we've disappointed someone other than ourselves.

The clinics over here are very different. The philosophy behind MMT/subutex is more to make the life of addiction easier and to take away the desperation that comes with getting sick. Here you can use on top of your script without any problems. You still have urine tests, but only for statistical purposes. Actually, if you're using heroin on top of methadone or subutex they'll give you more substitute, not less!You won't ever be punished for a dirty urine. You relate to your drug worker here as a friend... it's that kind of relationship. And of course, they don't despise you either. They're not expecting anything from you and so they cannot be disappointed. In the UK we have awful relationships with our drug workers because if you use, or 'have a slip' they take it as a personal insult and then are pissed off, feel you've let them down and punish you for it. Most drug workers I met in the UK were sadists. They enjoyed kicking junkies off the program, and it was with sick delight that they cut down scripts and put you on earlybird appointments on freezing january mornings. I'm just astonished that there's not more 'Key Workers' murdered each year than there are. That's disgraceful.

Oh, I wasn't advising you to stabilize on methadone.... I'd never advise anyone to quit or start using H. I was just saying that if you're ever in a position where methadone is all there is (even if it's forced or by bad luck) you'd probably learn that it does have a value, and though it's not like heroin it can give you things and allow you to do things that heroin can't. Most addicts here use smack when they've the money, and when not, without a qualm, they swallow their juice. They've learnt it's no huge loss, and though they'll not nod they'll feel well (in a different way) and finally do some of those things they'd been planning but never got around to do.

France is fine. She's beautiful at the moment in her autumn dress. The sun still lingers but it no longer has any heat. I can finally sleep again through the nights and the mornings my little heater goes on and I hunch over it with a cigarette and a coffee. It's good.

X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hi Joe,

Yeah that's weird that Paul mentioned Ellroy too.

I think the saying "Don't believe what you read in the news" has been so overused that people think it's a sceptical joke, or is only relevant to the really shitty tabloid stories. Though even them, half the nation accepts without question... stones people and puts them on pedophile lists without even questioning if what they've read is true or proven. Still, I think you and I and many others knows this kind of reporting goes on, that they have pre-written stories and documentaries incase of the Queen's or PM's death. Aside from that, those kinda 'either way' stories were really popular (probably still are) amongst sports journalists. It's still insane though.

I've not seen the alcohol years. I'll try and track down a copy or nick it online. I've watched most the docs concerning that period, and haven't seen a bad one. Though 'Inside The Smiths' was a bit disappointing, and I could't bare watching Andy Rourke swaggering around like a fifty year old Liam Gallagher (that's my job!)

Bleak, yeah that was what I wanted to say about Joy Division. They're not depressing in an emotional sense but bleak and hollow. Their sound feels like an echo through industrial wasteland. I've had some really black nights with Joy Division playing in the background. Nothing happened, the blackness was coming out the stereo! Funnily enough I used to listen to JD when I was painting. Atmospheric stuff is good to paint to; melodic stuff not. With melodic stuff I ended up dancing and singing and not really doing any painting.


I think it's not just the lyrics with the Smiths, even their sound is still fresh. Those jangly guitars have influenced the sound of music ever since.

I've never read any Ellroy. I'll have to put it on my list. I know he's a bit of a stylist and so just that interests me. Luckily for him you can lock yourself away and be a stylist.

X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Paul, I always hated those first posts and cannot even reread them now without feeling slightly suicidal (not because of the life related within them, but because of the writing.) Though they were still important, as it was those early posts which started getting proper readers and made it possible for me to write ten page posts and still have them read. I just can't help looking at them very critically now, but I think that's normal. As you get better at doing something you look back and see how little you really knew. It also works as a reality check.

Yes, I agree about the compulsion of narrative. It's really that which has made me curb my drug use and mix it up so as I can be productive as well as totally hammered! Hahaha.. that's a joke. I think.

But seriously, the compulsion to write and to put certain things to words, and to capture perfectly tiny secrets and in a beautiful way, is an obsession. And how you feel when you read back lines, or a paragraph, and feel you've got right to the essence of some truth, there's really no other feeling like it. And when I've been zoned in on a piece of writing, and it's finally finished (or there abouts) I leave the computer and feel stoned and exhausted and on edge (in a good way). It's not a release or an unburdening of the soul or anything like that... it's... well, I don't know what it is. It's probably something very shallow in the end and so I'll not too hard on it!

I'm gonna try and pick up an Ellory book and so I'll make it that one.

Stewart Home

The London Review of Books has praised Home by saying: "I really don't think anyone who is at all interested in literature has any business not knowing the work of Stewart Home."

Well, I have to admit I had never heard of him, and so I better rectify that as the last thing I need is The London Review of Books on my back accusing me of negligence.

Dope keeps you very badly read. You end up living on the scraps other people toss out. Got hit on the head by a Joe M book the other day!

That's cruel, Joe, I apologize!!! XXX

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

PS: Paul, the link was my pleasure. The only thing I just thought is that your name may then come up alongside 'heroin' in searches. So if you'd like me to remove your name I can. I could integrate it in the image and in that way it can't be read by search engines. You just say.

JoeM said...

One of the reviewers of Towards the End said it annoyed him so much he through it across the room. So it's finally arrived through that wormhole onto your head!

Darren said...

Hello Shane. hope you don't mind that i'm commenting here on your fabulous 'Underclass'poetry here. really i just wanted to ask you do you read other poets when you are writing poetry, and if "yes" who inspires you?

thanks
daz

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Joe, someone really said that? haha That's something to treasure. Didhe justify why it annoyed him so much? If not it could have been he was an aspiring writer himself and reading Towards The End made him realize how lousy his own stuff was.

I secretly enjoy the major put-downs. I wish people would write more!

X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Darren, no you can post here... wherever you like. I would only say post under the post if it is specifically about that.

Actually I do read poetry when I'm writing it. It helps get your mind into that frame of writing and searching original ways to describe things which are a little more abstract and creative than what you can get away with in clear writing. But I NEVER read rhymed poetry when writing poetry as the rhythms stick in your head and influence your own rhythm. So stuff like Dylan Thomas is perfect for me. His metre is complicated and not at all obvious and so you can read it just as words and phrases and it works well to get your head into the right mindset.

One of the poems over there I gabe a little nod to Dylan Thomas by titling the poem using the first line. 90% of Thomas's poems were titled that way and it works to remove an initial abstraction from the text and immediately make it clearer and more accessible. If only that bastard hadn't already done it I may very well have made that one of my signatures. X

Paul Curran said...

No problem, re the name thing, Shane. I don't mind at all.

Chef Green said...

Wishing you the happiest of birthdays, Shane! I hope it's full of joy and laughter.

JoeM said...

Yes the reviewer actually said that. Very constructive criticism. I can't remember who he was or anything else he said, just that it was all bad!

And they say you remember the bad reviews. I don't!

Gina said...

Hiya Shane luv. Not heard from u in a while, just wondered if everythings ok? Il mail u anywhere soon. Take Care and take it easy.
All my luv, Gina.x

Shane(I'm a girl) said...

Shane, Amazing writing...That is all.
I lead a life completely different from yours, and yet I find your writing completely relatable.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Chef,

Well it wasn't the greatest day.. it was a disaster: when I stepped off the chair the noose pulled free and brought half the bloody ceiling down on top of me. I won't be trying that again in a hurry.

I hope that doesn't sound too morbid... X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Gina, I've just been a bit busy with everything but things are great. Yep, email me and we'll kick the horse into action again.

Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Shane (I'm a Girl),

Well you probably don't lead such a different life to me, just the parts I write about are the parts worth writing about. Aside from that I live and breathe and do shopping and laundry and pay the rent and electricity and fret about the housework and putting on weight and sniff my mother's underwear and find cheeseburgers sexually attractive and snip my toenails on the bus and make ghost noises down supermarket aisles and walk with a limp on sundays and have a pet banana and wear sunglasses to bed... just like any other average Joe.

So probably we're a lot more alike than you think.

Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Anonymous said...

Hi Shane, :)

I'm really enjoying your blog. It is written with such honesty. I only wish it was in a book so i didn't have to carry my laptop around to read it :) You have a huge talent, your blog really draws the reader in. Its been a tough 11 months, this drought seems never ending. If i used my head i'd use this as a good time to get completely clean, but at this time i'm just scoring low grade crap & hoping things return to normal soon, whatever normal is! I started reading your blog two nights ago & i've enjoyed every word! Its a crazy world we live in, made even crazier by heroin addiction. I have read a good few books about other addicts, but your blog is the best & the most honest. I'm looking forward to reading more! Take Care mate! Keep writing!!

---Gill :)

Wildernesschic said...

Hi Shane I read this the other day and haven't had the chance until now to respond..
To say I loved this sounds really macabre, as it the story of you and how you came to be.. I have read most of your work so I am already familiar with your story, yet this was wonderful, so heartfelt I feel you were even more open and it was written with more feeling .. less detachment..
I found myself really feeling for your mother this time , which has not happened before. To love someone so completely like she loved your father, can be so wonderful it is an addiction in itself and yet so destructive.. She was selfish to abandon you children and your stepfather.. but maybe she had not the strength to do anything else. So when your father was no longer in this world.. I can imagine she wanted to die...
Its is just so terribly sad, I have a vision in my head of your father hopping over that wall so vividly like I saw it with my own eyes...
Saying all this .. it is life's experiences that shape us, you have a wonderful artistic side to you that you embrace and have found what makes you tick.. that is something a lot of people go through life and never find..
Ok you are an addict.. but aren't we all.. keep safe lots of love Ruth xx

AK said...

Another great post. Apparently Nilsen wrote an autobiography in the can, but the authorities are blocking its publication.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

I know... I'm against all kinds of censorship and think it should be allowed to be published. He's a great writer... he really has a way with words. I have no ill felings towards him. It would piss my mother off though... so would my comment. Lucky she's not on the net!

Starrlight said...

I feel badly being this engrossed over something that was so awful for you, but your writing draws me in. Your poor mother. Bad relationship choice or not, she should never have had to endure that.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Starrlight, you don't have to feel bad... there's nothing wrong with enjoying it. I think I'd enjoy it myself if someone else wrote it!

modernaged said...

Mr. Cave tends to lead to interesting things.

As a professional journalist myself, I quite like what you're doing here.

As someone who moved to London from New York a few months ago, eek.

Be good :)

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

I'll be good... you be careful!!!

New York to London... that's like heroin to methadone.. a slight improvement. ;)

Actually, I'm in love with New York... it's one of the cities I dream of visiting... & I love the accent.

Take care Modernaged & thank you for the comment.

Sydney Savage said...

Do you ever feel like perhaps his death was a blessing of sorts? I mean not that he had to die in such a painful way, but just that he was not allowed to invoke pain on others anymore.... Or am I an insensitive asshole?

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

We all invoke pain upon others... my mother also invoked a lot of pain on him & upon me. In my life I've hurt people. I don't think anyone should be killed for being human.

I don't think you've really thoughtyour question through. If you were insensitive you wouldn't even question yourself... you seem to want me to say yes. You're not, no.

You take care, HH.

Longy said...

Another compelling read Shane. When I think of happy memories of my late parents or someone I've lost,I sometimes cry too. I call them "happy tears"

I hope that writing all this is Carthartic for you. As you get more and viewers you may feel pressured to write more and more to satisfy your readers. Make sure you take things at your own pace and don't fall into into a "people pleasing" trap.

I look forward to reading more too.....but only when you are ready to write it.

Thanks again for sharing and take care Shane.

Kohk_addict said...

Stunned..

I sit here reading your blog, and you have left me feeling as bad as my last little bump of when its gone, and i know theres no more, no way to get it till another day. All i can do is ponder the smell and after taste in my mouth, and the occasional drip.

The Wait has begun...

p.s. your writing style is euphoric!

LOU said...

Aside from the engrossing story, what struck me was your statement..there is a difference between a heroin addict & a junky.
My son is a junky. He cannot work, write a blog, bathe, etc when using. I understand that sentence completely.
Maybe in a future post you can elaborate on that.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Longy, Cathartic... no, as I don't break life down into events or tragedies that need resolving. I see life as one block, and at any time we are everything that is within that... the good and the bad - the ugly and the beautiful.

When I look in the mirror I am comfortable with who I am, and as it is my history that made me, I am also comfortable with that.

Have no worries that I will ever start playing to the crowd... that's one bad habit I've never picked up! ;) I have always been true to myself.. & that won't change. I do understand what you mean though... & it's something every writer must be careful to avoid.

Happy tears... there the only one's I cry. They're healthy tears.

Keep well and we'll speak more soon, Shane.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Kokh_adkt, you're too too kind!!! You'll give me a big head!

Enjoy your wait... I know that's impossible. It's agony!

Take care, my friend. Shane

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Lou, nice to see you back & I hope you're well.

I will expand on that point in a later post as it's a very important difference and one some people are not aware of.

If people leave my blog thinking all addicts are like me, you and I know they are completely mistaken. I will have failed if that happens.

Again you're right... junkies cannot keep a blog, cannot keep a job... cannot keep a promise. I said to you once before that this doesn't mean they are bad people, it is their habit that forces them to act in this way. Thats of little comfort when your on the wrong end of the dirty tricks.. but it is true.

Take care Lou & i'll be across to your blog soon. Shane.

Quicksilver said...

i've heard of people who prayed for suffering. Intense suffering inspires art, remember? In that sense, you've got enough material to write at least a couple of books. :)
good writing.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Quicksilver, thanks for joining us & for you're comment.

I've heard of that as well, but I don't agree.

When I was young I used to invite tragedy, I used to dream of it... but when real tragedy comes a knockin' it's really not creative.

I've only really suffered once in this life (nothing to do with Nilsen or drugs)and during that period I couldn't do anything. From my experience extreme pain nullifies expression.

I understood what you meant though.

You take care & keep reading, Shane.

JenX67 said...

Shane - I continue to find your memoir a welcome journey. It is hard to read of such macabre, but you write with such ease.

There were two lines in this that were most memorable for me. One may suprise you, one won't. The one that won't is the memory of your father playing in the street - you crying at this rememberance - offering up a question "Why???"

The other line was, "In retrospect I think my neighbour done well." You have so much gratitude - more than people who have lived nearly perfectly charmed lives. God is reading this memoir and crying too, because he loves you. I know He is crying, b/c I don't even know you and I am crying, and I can only assume that it is God in me crying through me and reaching out all the way to France to hold your hand in some weird and virtual way - through the dying and the living. Oklahoma is such a humble place, you know. And, I am nobody special. I often wonder why in the world I have to be so weird. (Bear with me. It is all so strange, isn't it?)

I thought of you yesteday as I thought of the thief who hung on the cross next to Christ, and how, in the hour of his death he believed, and this belief carried him to heaven despite a life of regret.

And, why have you chosen now to share your memoir? You say heroin will kill you. Do you think you are leaving us sooner than later? I believe a greater romance than heroin awaits you.

Rejoicing, jen

Darren said...

Again, I'm stunned. Apologies if this sounds crude, but I am really enjoying your story. If it was a piece of fiction I'd be riveted. The fact that it's your own past just adds to the tale's emotion.

Sir, you are a remarkable and strange person (I mean this as a compliment). I can't wait to see how all of this unfolds...

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

JenX67, once again thank you for all you say.

In this speedy modern world of business, technology & money, it always touches me when someone gives up their time. Not only to read my journal, but to reflect and comment... it really means a lot.

Secondly, YOU are someone VERY special... I won't hear otherwise. You are to me anyway... I feel that.

Have no fear that I am thinking of doing anything silly or harming myself. I write my memoirs now because the internet offered the perfect platform to do that.

I've always been a very confident person, though quite timid. This shyness has prevented me from forcing my story into others direction. With the internet I do not have this reservation... and so it comes out freely and naturally and willingly.

A few people have been concerned about my remark that "heroin will kill me.." This wasn't a veiled suicide threat or a subtle way to say I will one day take an OD, it was just a statement on what long term heroin usage does. It devastates the body & ruins ones internal organs. I think after 9 years of addiction the damage may be irreversible... hence "...I think I've already done it."

I hope that answers everything??

Once again, thank you for your time & your concern... best wishes, Shane.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Darren, I'm glad to have you back... your presence is the the greatest compliment you pay me.

Keep well.. keep reading & keep enjoying...

Best wishes, Shane.

Gledwood said...

If he started in the early 70s, your Dad must've been using neat heroing "jacks" then... I had a friend (until she died last year) who took up using around the same time.. used to knock off chemists too. ~Aparently it used to be way easier than now, not that I'd have a clue about that sort of thing ... As for Nilsen, his shadow has been cast (indirectly) across my life a few times now. e.g. a few years ago I used to share a house with a girl who worked in Kentish Town job centre and worked with lots of his former colleagues. In the end I got the book and one day (I was staying 1 mile from Cranley Gdns anyway) a mate and I ventured to the House. I was determined to go right up to have a good look at the garden and that drain...

When it came to it this tall dark empty house with FOR SALE sign creaking in the wind was way too spooky for my taste and we hastily fled!

It's a fascinating story you're telling and I can only commend you for having the courage to post it up...

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Sir Gledwood, thanks for venturing across... I was just on your site reading more comments about Yorkshire pudding... It's brilliant.

What, the house still hadn't been sold??.. The landlord must be cursing our favourite son! It's a little surprising, as there are many people that love all things to do with serial killers and macabre crimes... i would have thought such a person would have snapped the property up. Maybe people aren't as sick as I imagine! ;)

Take care, my friend... Shane

sylvied said...

what I find really admirable is your detachment telling your story...then again the fact that you cry while typing says something else...my English does not convey what I want to say...tant pis...
Take care.
Sylvie

Boston Joe said...

wow, powerful stories.. I just came across your blog and can't stop reading it!! I am an H addict from Boston, who,due to family reasons (wife, kids, other fam members) is currently not using. I used to be open and honest about all my "vices" before I got married and had to take shit from everyone over who I was.. I admire your openess and honesty.. keep up the good work and stay safe!!

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Sylie, Merci pour de m’avoir lu et d’avoir pris le temps de commenter.

Vous pouvez toujours écrire vos réponses en français, car je peux très bien le lire. C’est juste que mon français parlé est plus difficile. Pour la prononciation, j’ai un gros accent anglais et j’ai beaucoup de mal avec la lettre “R”. Et je ne crois pas que je puisse un jour progresser... Tant pis, indeed!

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Boston Joe,

Thank you for joining the party... & glad you enjoyed. Maybe the family is a good exchange for the 'H'? ... I've yet to try it! ;)

I'll stay safe... you stay around.

Shane.

sKILLz said...

You love New York huh? Well I'm born and raised here. I'm in Brooklyn, so whenever you get youself down here be sure to drop me a line...Would love to meet up with you one day.

Now as for your post:

I'm sure your father did intend to rob him. Make like he was going to have sex with him or whatever and then rob him and at some point Nilsen got the upperhand and killed him.
From what I have read on him it seems that he strangled or drowned his victims and then hid the bodies.
He is a sick fuck and deserves to rot in prison.
He would put body parts under his floor boards, and then after months get them, chop them up and then put them back.

It's crazy to me how no one smelt the dead bodies. I mean I have smelled one before and theres NOTHING like it.
He did this for years and the way he gets caught it because he was boiling the flesh off and putting it down the drain and the drainage for the flats were getting clogged...thats just crazy to me...dont you think?

I have had death in my life as a child as well and who knows if made me turn to drugs or not, whos to say really.
Do you think that was your reason for turning to drugs? Besides your mothers breakdown and the schools turning you away? Or do you think they all played a part?

I said in my other post I would like to email you if you dont mind that is....
Stay Up!

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Skillz, of course I don't mind if you mail... I never sleep! No, I do sometimes.

It's crazy alright. He also took some bodies up after a few months, brushed them down and had sex with them. it's bizarre, hey?

I don't think it's the reason I turned to drugs... though it played a part. I think I would have gone there anyway. I will speak about this soon.

I await your mail...

Ryan Field said...

I saw your post on another blog. I thought I'd find something cheesy. But I was wrong. It's really good. I'm linking you to my blog right now.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Ryan, thank you... I appreciate your comment & the link. Sometimes I go a little too far and it seems like my blog may be a joke or some sick prank... I'm sure I would have had the same reservations as yourself. Anyway, glad you discovered that not to be the case.

If you've ever any questions fire away... I'm always very open. Take care & we'll speak again soon, Shane.

Betsie Zombie said...

wow. u could write a book...u have so many stories to tell.
I'm looking forward to the next "chapter".

till then, please, take care and keep posting.
Kiss kiss,
Vanessa Mota

Strange Esteban said...

hello, ouch what a story :( i hope all should become more better much for your future , this blog is really interesting. My english is poor sorry, but i can read too!

i have many friends addict to H. it's complicated, i can understand you, the elements around you, but i can't feeling the same addiction

i have my owners addictions ...

take care and enjoy, the life is better than we can understood it

rahhhhhhh sorry sorry for this bad english ... :(

ciao

esteban

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Vanessa... thank you for coming back, that makes me happy!!! :)

As long as there are good people like you around I'll take care.

The next post will be coming soon... you've not too much longer to wait... (I promise!)

TC, Shane.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Sir Esteban,

Ton anglais c'est mieux que mon français!!! Tu peux toujours repondre en français... ce n'est jamais pas un probleme. Comme tu veut.

Merci d'avoir me repondre

Prends soin de toi, Shane.

Ps: oui, l'histoire c'est dûr, mais on doit pas se concentrer sur ça... c'est la vie, c'est tout. je ne suis pas un poète en français... excuse-moi!

Smack Happy said...

So Shane - when you're thinking, or dreaming...is is French or English?

Looking forward to your next post.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

SmackHappy (I always love typing that name) exclusively English.... my story in french can seem a little depressing!!! ;)

I'm proud of that joke.

Next post will be soon, My friend... TC, Shane.

Shivi said...

It seems ironical to me...I ve read some posts of yours now, and I see in every post of yours..you send good wishes and ask your readrers to take care...but I feel you don't really take care of yourself..do you...may be you need someone to do that for you..

Fool said...

He does mean it Shivi, its a cloiched conviction to end a massage that was in our western societied. What do I mean, do she knew?

gimme brains said...

I feel very far from the life you write about on this blog, but either way I wanted to say this post is kind of inspirational to me. Not to be a violent psychotic person when I'm drunk. I've self harmed in the form of making my own nose bleed over a girl. She's made MY nose bleed because we're both on a path of inevitable liver failure and used to drink until the bottle was too heavy to lift and we fought through drunken slurs. I haven't sent her to the hospital but left her bruised and crying with emotional scars showing behind her eyes. But I'm only 22... and I think, as a lot of druggies advise, I should quit while I'm ahead. Or at least, moderation is key. Because stories of disastrous relationships warn me away from my own actions, especially ones that end in gruesome disaster. I'm so addicted that I didn't quit when she had symptoms of bleeding ulcers. Now for hopefully a minor infection, I got worried as hell in the waiting room of the ER yesterday hoping it wasn't fatal.

You're openness to the killer is surprising. You still have the heart to say a person doesn't deserve to die in prison. From what I know, I'm shocked at his nonchalance. Seems too malicious not to be scornful towards.

Andy Frankham-Allen said...

I posted this on Facebook, and it bears repeating here (especially since there are many new readers on this blog who were not around when you wrote the original post).

I'm never entirely sure why I read this stuff. Maybe it's because it sheds light on something that remained such a mystery for a great part of my life, or maybe it's to better understand the lonely and painful world my friend inhabited. Either way, it rips me apart, knowing the people who's lives were affected.

I knew none of this when Shane and I were friends back at the tail-end of the '80s, but I certainly saw the fallout, and in some ways also became a part of that fallout. There's a post on this blog (http://memoiresofaheroinhead.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/post-from-ghost-guest-spot.html) where I explain something of Shane's and my past. It's worth reading, if only to confirm the truth of what Shane writes. His truth. My own experience of it.

A. x