For The Drunks Among Us

.
I'm not sure if it's the booze which turns me psycho or if it just brings it to the fore. In any case it mattered little: It was a freezing December evening and I was nineteen and hanging off Leatherby's balcony -  fourteen floors up, above a spiked metal railing with gravity and the weight of a gallon of beer and whisky conspiring to pull me down. And while hanging there like that, with the muscles and tendons in my arms stretched to snapping point, I realized I had gone out too far, that I was no where near strong enough to heave myself back up and over.
“So this is how it's gonna go down,” I thought, that I'll hang here until I can hang no more and then drop down to a useless, messy death below. So when they somehow managed to pull me up, a man wound tight around each wrist and tugging my arms out of their sockets, I collapsed back over the safe side of the balcony wall, clean cut sober, and promised: “I'll never drink again!”

They had no choice but to arrest me. Even if I hadn't have refused to come on out. An opportunistic play of sheer idiotic drunken lunacy: crawling under a police van as it sat quietly at the lights on Wardour Street. They at first must have thought I'd stooped low to pick something up, and when I hadn't resurfaced by the change of lights had sent one of the officers out to find out what the hell I was up to down there. He must have spied the back sole of my shoe or something, disappearing under the van, as next I heard his astonished voice: “Guv, you'll never believe what this fucking idiot has done! Fuck, we've got ourselves a right one 'ere!!”And then I heard the back doors of the Sherpa van push open, and looking out under the back axle I saw at least six black booted feet drop to the ground, and then four eyes were peering in at me and demanding that I come out. I refused. "I'm never giving myself up!" I screamed, “Fuck the Brits!” Over across the road I could now see an assortment of various other ankles and shoes, and further back down the road a man was down on his stomach, pointing my way and saying, “I can see him... I can see him!!!” Of the gathering crowd, brought together to watch my drunken 'non-protest', there seemed to be quite a healthy split of opinion: Some were urging me on, and others were a little less sympathetic, advising the police to run over me and invert my spine. They didn't. There was a much easier solution than that. Two of the officers knelt down, grabbed a hold of a foot a piece and tugged me on out of there – me trying desperately to claw into the tarmac and screaming all the while. When they finally had me out they cuffed me straight and then rolled me over for the big unveiling: an imbecilic young face, red and smiling with the drink and saying: "Go on then you bastards, beat me up!" They didn't. And I swore: I'd never drink again.

So it seemed like a dream when I found myself that Christmas Eve swaying on the edge of the underground platform, staring off with contempt into the pitch dark of the tunnel and praying for a tube train to come along so as I could chuck myself out in front of its thunderous rage. And as I stood there rocking like that, and sucking in the smell of carbon dust and electric current, the double rows of white fluorescents above seemed to glare and fade and glare and fade, pushing and pulling me in and out of some cynical world of self-hatred and bitterness. And I thought: "Fuck you!" to the sickly couple petting on the seats behind me, and “Fuck YOU!” to the young boys just over there smelling of Stella Artois and kebab and Xmas joy, and “FUCK YOU!!” to the sober Underground worker standing at the far end of the platform and looking down at me (or maybe just looking down). And sometimes the place seemed upside down and topsy turvy, and other times other worldly; the large pasted advertisements appearing ultra bright and ultra real and ultra evil like they'd been put there just for me. So then I'm laughing bitterly at some deranged thought which has passed through my head and before I'm even finished with that craziness I'm then dreaming of bed and imagining trying to stub out my last cigarette so I don't set the place up.

And then I felt a breeze. And somewhere far off into the black of the tunnel a spark shot out like a sharp elbow. Then came more cool black air and with it a low constant rumbling and I edged myself a little closer to the platform's edge. The rats scurried for safety well before the first bolt of electricity bandied down the tracks, and for a moment I wasn't sure if it was the drink playing tricks on my eyes or if the tunnel really was alive with blaring light and noise. But there was no mistake about it: a tube train was hurtling down the tracks and headed my way.

Since I didn't much fancy flinging myself out onto live rail, being electrocuted first and then decapitated, I knew I had to time this to perfection. I thought of toppling off the platform, not really jumping but kinda just relaxing and falling into the trains path. I reckoned that with the drink in me and the speed these things blast through at I probably wouldn't feel a thing. And barely was it decided that that was how I was going to enter history than my face was being blown back and I was growling and laughing at compartments full of people in their Christmas merry as they flashed by all blurred, the train inches from my nose. And I thought: "Fuck it, next year!" and then swore I'd never drink again.

And so I'm in a house in Chelsea with my brother and some weird girl who we'd met as we left a bar. We'd followed on behind as she danced off in front, bare-footed, screaming over and over: "I'm late, I'm late! The rabbits late! Follow Me.... " An upper-class, schizophrenic, problem child, left alone by her father and so she'd ventured out searching for bad boys like my brother and I. Well, she had found us. And the house, OH THE HOUSE, Jesus! Antiques and paintings and silverware and cameras and jewellery and now the trash of my brother and I acting as a counterweight against all that opulence. And with no talking, no discussion, not a single word at all, we'd been led in and straight up to her bedroom. And this crazy, unwell-bred girl, with a protruding forehead, pushed out by a deformed frontal lobe, was then showing us her forearms and tops of her breasts boasting how she cuts herself up with broken glass and sees a psychiatrist twice weekly. On hearing that I said to my brother: “We could be in here... I'll fuck her first!" And the girl heard. And now she was no dumb rabbit but Alice, on the bed, washing down a handful of psycho pills with red wine before pushing her trousers and panties down and laying there with her legs crossed but her muff out. And as planned I went first, though not as planned Madcap Alice was suddenly up on her knees, waving around a huge real psycho knife and warning me to stay back and not to rape her (all the while screaming that I HAD raped her). And then, when she felt she'd done enough to prevent me from violating her, she asked: “Are you boys hungry?” Said she'd fix us up a full Sunday Roast (from scratch) but after that we'd have to leave. Then just as quickly as she'd lost it, she lost it even more, saying that she needed DRUGS. Any DRUGS. So I said that this was Chelsea and that The Kings Road was packed six to a doorway with the homeless and that we could easily score DRUGS there. My brother found a bottle of Scotch, named it his, and we left.

Back outside and the night air was frosty and cut through with ice, but we were warm with booze and excitement and I had a hard-on and maybe my brother did too. And because I had mentioned the homeless and drugs and how easy it was Madcap Alice had then gone skipping and dancing up to a pair of beggars dressed in sleeping bags.
“Can you get me DRUGS!" she asked. And she wasn't even sane enough to know that there are different drugs, and that no-one in the entire history of scoring has ever tried to score just 'DRUGS'. So I pulled one of the beggars aside and said: “Look, the girl's completely cracked! My brother and I just wanted to fuck her a bit but she turned all mental and threatened to kill me. But tell her you can get 'DRUGS' and come on back. She's alone in her father's three storey house and it is packed to the top ceiling with every kind of shit that could probably help you guys out!"

And so Alice is once again out in front, leading us all back to hers, having started up with the rabbit nonsense again. My brother hands me the bottle of scotch like it's a relay baton and then goes dancing away too, trying to catch up with Alice and fuck her before I or the beggars do. I hang behind with the beggars, still dressed in sleeping bags and looking like winter caterpillars up on their hind legs. The beggars are either merry with the prospect of getting out the cold or they have realised that this is for real. As I stagger along sipping at the whisky, each one is at either of my ears asking again about the house and drooling and rubbing their hands together as I describe it over and over again.

We're in the Hallway of Madcap Alice's house. The beggars are staring up in astonishment at the low hanging chandelier.
“It's a reproduction,” says Alice, “everything's a fucking reproduction!” The beggars don't seem to mind though, and Me, I think: At least there'll be no trouble replacing everything then! Once again we're led up into the bedroom, only this time there's five of us. Alice is the only one who sits. The pills she'd swallowed earlier seem to be coming on strong as she's rolling her head around and laughing and saying weird things as if she's tripping. But she's not tripping. She just thinks that's how DRUGS make you behave. She's seriously whacked. Getting down to business one of the beggars asks: "OK, so how much DRUGS do you want?" Madcap Alice pulls out some notes from her jeans and says: “This much!” She's not got a single clue as to how much cash she's even produced. Still, as crazy as she is, she is not crazy enough to  give the money to the beggars. Instead she gives it to me, maybe as payment for raping her, and that's even worse. I stuff the notes in my pocket, my brother now diving in and trying to take his half. I fight his drunken hand out my pocket and tell him: “Later!”

The beggars say that to get the DRUGS they have to make a phone call. Madcap Alice, really out of it now, flings a hand towards the door, as if to say: “It's somewhere through there.. I don't know!” With the Beggars now roaming the house (casing the joint), my brother and I collect a few select things ourselves. I take a fake Ming vase, a brass fire poker and a Toby Jug while my brother fills his pockets with Silverware. Now resigned to our fate – a wank in the dark before sleep – we decide to call it a night and tell Alice that we're leaving, and that the two beggars are ordering her DRUGS, but to be very careful as I think they're planning to rob her. But Alice isn't as stupid as she is crazy, and she realises that I've told her that but am preparing to leave with a body load of stuff myself. She says that my brother and I can keep what we've taken and just to go, that EVERYONE MUST GO! My brother and I agree, and so drunk to hell we head off, now with Alice firmly behind us making sure we go. As we make our way down the stairs and off through the open plan living room we pass the beggars who are on the phone. But it doesn't sound much like DRUGS they're ordering: "Yeah, bring the fucking van, mate... I'm tellin' Ya, we can empty this fuckin place!" And then I wake up on a night bus and I'm kicking to rouse my brother as it's pitch black outside and I think we've overshot our stop. And we have. And it's raining and it's freezing and we're walking the five miles back home, weighed further down with the odd and useless bits of antiques we have. And my head seriously hurts, and my ears and the base of my skull are frozen. And not only am I trying to hold myself up but my brother too, and if this walk doesn't kill us I promise: I'll never drink again.

So I'm trying to light a cigarette but I keep missing the tip and it looks like the flame and tip are aligned but they're not and people around are pointing and laughing. And then the cigarette is lit, but I still can't get a drag off the thing, and it's there I realize I've kinda lit it in the centre and it just gives up the game and falls apart. I fumble another one out the pack and try again. And that's when the thick end of a pool cue cracks me a good'un right around the side of my head, and the fat loud-mouth guy in the QPR football top who'd been my best friend all evening is now accusing me of having made moves towards his old lady. I hear the wrap of the pool cue off my knuckles as I raise my hands to defend myself.

And it's a black wet night and I can see the moon and a fist keeps punching me in the face. I don't even try to stop it, just walk on into it, undefended, telling the fist I'm sorry and to calm down for just a minute. And then the police are there, blue swirling lights and radios in the night, and I'm saying: “Nah, he's my mate... he was tryin' t'help. It was someone else altogether who did this.” And then the police are gone and My Loudmouth Friend has his arm around my shoulder, shouting a drunks' whisper into my ear : "Nice one for that mate! They would've 'ad me back in The Scrubbs! Fuuuuck!” And then I'm back inside, being paraded around the bar as some kinda “Stand-up Guy”, and that's really amusing as without my friend holding me up I'd be a dribbling drunken pile on the floor. And I'm smiling, a huge wide affectionate idiotic thing, as My Loudmouth Friend shows me off to each table: “Look how I fucked his face up and he STILL didn't rat me out!” And everyone is patting my back and shaking my hand and somewhere in the haze I take a drag of a cigarette and it's strong! So now my head is spinning and the room is spinning and sounds are far away and then real loud and every thing and everyone  has this blurry halo of light around them and I feel detached and heavy-headed. And then I'm falling back down into my seat, across from HER, and I'm not sure what is real and what is not or what has happened or what has not. Then my friend is back, crashing a pint down on the table in front of me, an inch of beer jumping up and out over the lip of the glass, and it's the last thing I ever want to see. And I think I'm sliding down off my chair, like a piece of meat or a dogs exhausted tongue, flopped out  and struggling to see and so I'm squinting or peering or doing something, over across to the girl who started all this trouble. I put a cigarette in my lips and let it dangle. I'm thinking of fucking her and I imagine I look pretty smoky and sexy and cool, but now, I'm not so sure I did. And certainly the beating was real. I can feel it in my face, a swelling numbness that normally only dentists dish out. But maybe it helped? Maybe my friend's punches saned or sobered me up, as his woman now looks quite different too: Older, fatter, stupider, more vulgar, less leggy, less sexy, less fuckable, unfuckable, unanythingable, and God. is that hair on her face? And I swear: I'll never drink again.

And then it's broad daylight, around eleven o'clock (maybe), and I'm staggering down the centre of the road of Kensington High Street and I've got my cock out and I'm pissing along the white centre divide line. Cars and buses and taxis are hooting me but I carry on regardless and I think I put my dick back inside my pants while it's still pissing. And I did. So I scream: “ROCK N' ROLL!!!” and swear, I'll never drink again!

And then I'm in France, and I'm at a companies Christmas do, and I'm not sure how I got there but I recognize three people and so suppose they must have invited me. And before we've even finished our starters I've started: throwing food about and having a great time. And I go to the toilet and return with the handle off the door, and we're all laughing except one boy who I don't know and who seems to have taken a passionate dislike to me. And as a drunk the most annoying, boring fuckers are the sober, and no matter how blind drunk you are you can always see a sober man: and this man was SOBER. So now my attentions are on him and I start up with clever quips and subtle insults until the entire table is laughing him down. And I'm knocking back the wine and peering at this shit through two scrunched up eyes, and someone is obviously enjoying my insanity as they keep topping up my gtlass – and every time it's topped up I empty it again. And it's soon that I straighten up after my latest throatful of Beaujolais to realize, once again, that I'm floating on a different plane to everyone else, and I'm suddenly not sure if the table are laughing at Him or Me. Then I realize it's ME! I'm being ignored, pacified, my insults waved away and HIM opposite is being told to ignore me. He's won! Even my automatic refill has stopped. So now I'm seething, staring at him through a haze of drunken hatred and planning his murder to the chip of cutlery on plate. And then the entire fucking table jumps and everyone is pushing back, except Him, who's now leaning right across with a fork to my eye and screaming something about me pouring wine and candle wax over his Foie Gras and that he's going to kill me! And then I'm being dragged crashing through the restaurant, over tables and through romantic meals, towards the exit where he's gonna beat the crap outta me. And I don't know if he does or not because the next thing he is over the other side of the road, at a bus-stop, crying and being comforted by his girlfriend. And now I'm crossing over to apologize, staggering around in the oncoming traffic, halting cars and apologizing to them too. All the while his girlfriend is warning me off, shouting at me to “Just leave it!!" and “FUCK OFF!” So I do. Home. But the walk is a turbulent one and I'm making it with my eyes closed. I've a vague feeling of having lost my jacket, keys and money. And then I realize: I have lost my jacket, keys and money. And I'm laughing about it, a caustic bitter laugh ringing out in the shrill night. Staggering forward is hard enough, so going back would be impossible. “Fuck You Jacket, keys and money... FUCK YOU!”

And then I'm on the floor and the back wheel of a moped is spinning somewhere near my face and a boy who looks about ten is besides me in a helmet. And he doesn't hit me or anything, just rises and gets back on his motorcycle and scoots off. And the city lights are a blur above me and I'm not sure what are lights and what are stars or what is the moon. I try to rise but can't. I'm eating French pavement, and French pavement tastes the same as any pavement in the world. I feel sick. My leg hurts. I've lost my jacket, keys and money and home seems centuries away. And now my head is spinning, a vortex or noise and light and pain and liquid, all swirling around and pulling down and coming up. And as the vomit shoots and splutters out my nose and mouth I feel as if I'm dying. And I am dying. And every time I think I'm done another part of the evening comes rising up and spewing out. And now my eyes are open and once again I can see. The sick is all upon me and has collected in a sticky pool around the side of my head and in my ear. And it's bad, but it's better than before. And soon I'll pick myself up and drag myself on home, but before I do, and while I'm here, and once more just for fun: I swear, I'll never drink again!

*

A Song for The Drunks.  Love to all  the Dogs, Shane. X

38 comments :

dirtycowgirl said...

And I thought I had done some stupid things while drunk.
Clearly having read this I am an excellent well behaved drinker. Actually the worst thing it does for me is make me tell people the truth, as in telling someone "I know everyone else thinks you're a bit of a bitch but I think you're alright".

And I have been known to wake up naked next to who ??? But everyone does that. Don't they ?

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Dirty Cow Girl,

Oh, the drink makes me wild. I'd have been dead five times over if I'd have taken that route to God. It doesn't make me violent, or depressed or miserable, just wild. I'm bad enough sober the things I'm capable of doing, but with alcohol... I'd never have survived. I once jumped trough a glass window with a shopping trolley while drunk. I didn't put it in the post as it would have just made it all too unbelievable. Sometimes when stories are so crazy it's best to tone them down and separate them.

But I enjoyed writing this post. It felt nice and was purely written for the tale and the way of telling it.

I never really woke up with people when I was drunk. They got sick and shot of me way before we ever got to bed! I also don't like that kind of cold sex (personally), and even worse, I can't bare sex through alcohol fumes... it makes me feel ill. I think I saw too much of it growing up and it was never exciting just kinda sad. But you're still right, just about everyone I know has done and does it. I think the worst I did was give my dog Max, Rottweiler/Alsation crossbreed, a blowjob.

Love and Wishes, Shane. X

ps: Dog story's not true (I don't think).

Chef Green said...

Haha! Nice! A line from one of my favorite songs,"theres nothing like bathing in a bottle, nothing like ending it all for the world!"

Your drunk tales fall on obvious ears....lets one day polish off a few bottles of red and confess our million sins!

I liked the style in which you wrote this piece. It's redolent of the lilt and timbre, the peculiar cadence of a good drunk.

nat213 said...

I liked the primal flow of ideas here, captured seamlessly - brilliant

nathanwrites said...

i really hope the dog blowjob isnt true - agree about the drunken sex thing, sex without intimacy spoils the passion

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I just had a similar night on Saturday. I broke dishes, punched the wall until my knuckles were purple, and got into a fight with the stove and broke it. I have a bruise the size of a pancake on my thigh (from what, I'm not sure) and a bump on my forehead. I'll never drink again!

I love you, brother.

SB

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Ya Chef!

theres nothing like bathing in a bottle, nothing like ending it all for the world!

What song is that? I googled it and was going to pretend I knew it, but all it brought up was the following:

The Colbert Report - Wikiquote
A Clockwork orange
Buy a World Class Givenchy Perfume
Alcohol Quotations
EMINEM - STAY WIDE AWAKE LYRICS
Ulysses by James Joyce: Episode 18
Brave New World Aldous Huxley
Kenneth Grahame Quotes
PINK FLOYD - Lyrics to 'The Wall'

Some really interesting stuff, but no single song. It's not one of mine is it? Hahha

Red wine and sinning sounds good... You got yourself a future lousy date. Shane, X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Nathan & thanks.

No the dog story isn't true... I'd never suck off a mongrel hound! It was actually quite a fine looking Golden Retriever called Jake.

Oh, and I wasn't drunk either!

X

eyelick said...

Oh goodness, the countless displays of idiotic behavior that alcohol causes, it brings out the fool in us all! There are countless stories about my suicidal ideation/threats/behavior during blackouts, and some of them eye even remember. Never uttered the high aspiration of "NEVER DRINK AGAIN!" but have since imposed (after too many of these "stories" for too many years) a "drink number limit" that is usually followed, but not always...

Danny said...

ahhahaha - 'I'll never drink again,' the eternal refrain of the omnipotent, omniscient, grand cad with a mouthful of articulate and withering observations, the great wit when a drink (or many) is took...and i believe that the drinker's drunken self-image does chime for a bit with his/her environment and those therein - its the 'click', when the drinker experiences that 'click', as that character from 'cat on a hot tin roof' calls it - (can't remember the name of the character [Brick?] - Newman played him in the flick) when his thirst for the liquor's been sated - personally i feel a great messy complication in my brain's been quelled and i can see clearly the road ahead, can articulate myself as always desired - but you'll drink and you'll drink and it leads inevitably to these types of incidents you describe. identify with em all, Shane! Saying that, regardless of whatever substance i've ingested i would never take sloppy seconds off my brother - to me its incest bi-proxy....

first time commentor, long time reader. love what you got going on here :)

Chef Green said...

Its called "Lived In Bars" by Cat Power.

Your search did turn up some wild stuff. I just read Brave New World a few months ago...it was trippy. In it, Huxley details a dystopian society, the members of which are dependant on a drug called"soma"to behave civilly-or alternately to escape altogether.

While interesting, not my favorite read. If you've read it, what are your thoughts?

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya SB,

That story rings true as one of drunkenness, as any sober person would have just thrown the stove into the wall. Same result as you achieved, minus the bruises and sore knuckles.

As we're both never gonna drink again, I suppose I'll see ya in the bar next friday. Malibu isn't really alcohol so we can start of with a bottle of that.

X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Eyelick,

Well a 'drink number limit' sounds like the perfect answer, because then you could limit yourself to two bottles of whisky an evening and that way get home sober!

But a 'limit' wouldn't work for me. Firstly once I'm feeling good of the drink all cares of responsibly, moderate behaviour goes out the window. Drunk I could break every rule I ever made... I just wave them away over drinks. Secondly, I'm one of these people who cannot sit with a drink in their glass and not drink it. I try, but my hand just keeps reaching out and taking the damn thing. I'm the first at the bar, the first to finish the first drink and the first to be carried home. That's my drunken legacy.

It's why I now believe the safest place to get drunk is in rehab.

Thoughts and Wishes, Shane. X

Wildernesschic said...

Being married to an alkie and having tendencies to enjoy an Absolut or three.. this post made me laugh..

On Vodka I do not get into this state .. but with wine.. ewewww yup I can be rather ill..White wine I can be evil....

The amount of times I have had to pull my husband out of the flower bed.. and rescue him from drowning in his own vomit are too many..
I also hate drunken sex... so are the sleepless nights of being groped and eventually loosing it at 4:00 AM with a shout of "Just Fuck Off will you!!" met with total surprise that I should be flattered..

I have become a morning glory sex addict .. and I enjoy a Vodka whilst preparing food.. sometimes when socializing .. but I really enjoy being the designated driver because watching the antics of others and knowing that I always will go that one step further.. make me think " I will never drink again".. loved this post Shane xx

dirtycowgirl said...

Just hahahahahahaaaa

You funny funny man.
And for what it's worth I do agree about drunk sex, it's just I've been known to forget after enough Jack Daniels.
Tequila is what makes me crazy.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Danny and Welcome! I've seen your little avatar about and so you don't feel like a stranger.

I think bar drunks are very different to house and street drunks. Bar drunks love the bar just as much as the drink, and you're right there is always a part of the evening where everything kinda pulls together into perfection and it feels like everyone's a part of the same thing. That usually comes after the loss of inhibitions but before the loss of reason or before you're raising your glass and giving a bitter toast to some lost love. Chronic street alkies don't have that. They're often drinking to find an oblivious solitude and are mostly always out in a world of their own. I very rarely drink nowadays, but between the years of 15 - 21 I drunk a hell of a lot and during my last teenage years I was drunk or was drinking daily. At seventeen I could easily polish off four bottles or wine or a bottle of scotch in an evening. Nowadays drink just makes me feel crazy... like reality has malfunctioned around me or something. It makes me feel really detached in a weird way.

Sloppy seconds from my brother... Nah, that's why I bagsied first dippings! Anyway, I'm two years his elder and so he was used to my opld hand-me downs. Being two years older was fun. I used to frustrate his teenage wanking sessions so much. I could always tell when he was after one, he'd take control of the remote control, put some god awful shit on and then act like he was really interested and he'd watch it all night. Really he just wanted me to give up and go to bed so as he could zap over to the late night adult channel. So I'd let him have his way... I'd huff and go off to bed. Fifteens minutes later, just enough time for the head of a deluded young wanker to convince himself that the house was asleep ad it was now safe, I'd creep out the room, sneek real quietly down the hallway, and like death burst in through the door! Jesus, the boy would have a heart attack trying in the same instance to pull his pants back up and change channels.
"You dirty little bastard!!!" I'd say to him, "You dirty, disgusting little bastard!!!"

And I'd do this, and things like it all the time. And he must have never understood how I could have known... did I have some kind of inbuilt sensor that let me know every time he was cracking one off? Kinda, yeah. I knew because two years earlier I'd been doing exactly the same things, only I hadn't the misfortune of having a party-pooping older brother to burst in and ruin my fun.

But that may all be a little off subject...

Thanks again for putting in an appearance Danny and hopefully we'll see you around here again in the future.

Love and Thoughts, Shane.X

Wildernesschic said...

Sloppy seconds...giggle sorry this expression really makes me laugh and quite right not nice ;) elder first dip always lol xx

Wildernesschic said...

Sloppy seconds...giggle sorry this expression really makes me laugh and quite right not nice ;) elder first dip always lol xx

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hi again Chef,

Yes I've read Brave New World but so long ago now I cannot recall too much outside of the main story. I never rushed out and bought Huxley's other books and so that's probably the best guide as to what I thought - though there are some interesting ideas within it, and some which aren't too far from what's happened.

I enjoy writers who write for the art of the words rather than the art of the story. For me Huxley was a great storyteller without being a great writer. Some like Orwell can do both. But mostly I read for words and rhythm and very rarely for the story. It's not often I actually finish a book (and I never finish my own!). X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Ruth,

It's weird how different alcoholic drinks effect us differently. For me it's something like this:

Beer makes me want to sing along to the band.

Wine makes me want to be in the band.

And whisky makes me want to kill the band!

I've fucked up some great performances, and funnily enough, the only time a lead singer ever attacked me was when I pulled a chair up to the front of the stage and nodded out during the first song. My most passive performance of the decade and I got hit with a microphone stand for my troubles.

I don't nearly have the self-control to put myself forward as the designated driver. Not that I've ever learnt to drive... I haven't, but if I could, designated or not, I'd be a drunk driver.

I once asked on a forum:

Is it OK to drink and drive if you go slow?

They banned me.

XXX

JoeM said...

Shane you should definitely stick to the Heroin! If that's you drunk!

Funny I never thought you'd been much of a drinker. 17-21. I never even had one drink until I was 21. And only became a regular when I was going with an alcoholic a few years later.

In a way the most disturbing tale was the office party one, because it's probably the one that most of us are familiar with. Quiet - or at least slow-burning - desperation. The alky I was going with was one of those who was already verbally vicious but got much worse (and more articulate/more intelligent) when drunk. I love the way you talk of the transition from the crowd's encouraging automatic refills to 'He's won!'

Danny, I loved that line from Cat on A Hot Tin Roof, one of my favourate films - Brick (Paul Newman) 'just waiting for that click'. We all know that 'click' when you've tuned out all the bad stuff and feel the way you think you should feel all the time – stable, a bit happy, mildly glowing. It's like when Shane talks about sorting the fourth leg of the chair, getting the balance right. But trying to keep the balance is the tricky part.

Paul and Liz never looked better

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Joe,

Shane you should definitely stick to the Heroin! If that's you drunk!

Don't I know it! And for each one of those more extreme stories there's ten lesser ones which are just as idiotic. And the worst thing is that no matter how drunk I get I always remember everything, and so in a way that was my punishment - I had the shame of being sober and remembering what I had done.

Well 17 - 21 were the years where I was hardened to the stuff and could drink properly. I started drinking regularly when I was 15. I was out of school, working full-time, and had a pay check each week. It was then I started heading into Soho each weekend going to music bars, nightclubs, etc, and with that came alcohol. In those same years I was also permanently smoking weed & hash. The reason I finally stopped was a bizarre one and I keep meaning to write of it here. In fact I've a draft post already written so I may go back and rework it. The short of it is that one night I was smoking hash (as usual) and suddenly the world fucked up and I was tripping... it felt like I had taken strong LSD. It was really scary. But what was even scarier was that when I woke up the next morning it was still happening. My mum and her partner drove me to hospital that day, but they thought I was after free tranquillizers and sent me home. The hallucinations calmed down, but for the next three years I wasn't the same, having constant flashbacks and panic attacks. I became paranoid, thinking I was going insane. From that moment I could no longer smoke hash (at all) and even alcohol made me feel very weird. But a lot of it was in my head. I was/am a hypochondriac and my latest fear was schizophrenia... only this had some real basis and so went on and on. I knew it was my imagination as when I was reading or doing anything which took my full attention everything would be normal. This went on for three years, and was the initial reason why opiates (prescription, not heroin) became a regular thing in my life: they allowed me to have completely normal days. No panioc attacks, no constant thoughts of cracking up... everything was normal. I actually cried the first time I took them. I was so kinda relieved that I wasn't going crazy and that for a moment the world was normal. It still makes me emotional thinking of that day now and the weight that was lifted. Anyway, that how I finally stopped all other drugs and stuck just to opiates. And to this day I still touch no other substances, and only very rarely drink alcohol.

I've never seen Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (one of the few Newwman films I haven't seen) and so I'm gonna download it now.

Yeah that drink balance is a hard one, but some people seem to master it (or it looks like they do). The only problem is that by mastering it you become a slow burning alcoholic who's never drunk. There's a great description of drinking and its effects in a Steinbeck book 'Tortilla Flat'. He describes, using each bottle of wine as a measure, how you go from that wonderful initial glow to a suicidal depressive and all the stages inbetween. It's one of his early works and one of my all time favourites of his.

Hope you're well Joe and that the ear/throat probs have improved... Shane, X

JoeM said...

I had a similar 'bad trip' with marijuana. I only ever took the occasional puff when a joint was passed round but one day, when I was staying with my brother, who ate smoked and drank it, I took a big puff from a 'bomb' (?) and really freaked out. The blood seemed to be running up and down my legs then I thought I was on fire then just weird paranoia and 'time lapses'. I now can't even stand the smell of it.

I also suffered from panic attacks and still do to a lesser extent. Sometimes just getting to the corner shop is an ordeal. If I wasn't forced to go to work three times a week I'd probably become totally agoraphobic. I have a horrible feeling that opiates would be perfect for me too! When I was 17- a teetotal banker when you were doing nightclubs! – I went to the docs due to tension and hallucinations and got Valium, which was great. A lovely little glowing cloud.

I think it's probably possible to find an adequate way of drinking steadily so as not to get drunk but to keep on an even keel, but I think that's what alcoholism is and all the while the alcohol is eating away at your insides. It's funny to watch old episodes of Dallas when Larry Hagman, J.R, was slowly sipping Champagne all day every day, on set and off – until his doctor told him one more drink would kill him. You can see it in his eyes. As with old Mel Gibson films too. And Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

The throat thing has gone as have the original ear problems but now I have a new ear thing - constant hissing/whining. Of course I'm always thinking brain tumour, cancer etc, I went to the docs and they gave me the same spray but it didn't work. Suppose I’ll have to go back. I think I have a long standing date with an MRI machine, which I dread, being claustrophobic. But I'm curious as to just what exactly IS in my head...

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey again Joe,

Yeah since the marijuana thing happened with me and I've told people I've met so many who've had similar experiences. I think no drugs fuck people up more than hallucinogens, and I'll never take another one as long as I'm alive.

Oh, and you had a big puff from a 'Bong'. I still really love the smell of it. When I get a whiff (which is just about everyday) it really reminds me of the years of good times I had using it and makes me want to have a few puffs. The last time I did was four years ago and pretty much the same thing began to happen. So it's finished.. whether it's ever legalized or not.

During the second year where I was still having some mild hallucinations and panic attacks I went to the doctor. I was totally honest and said "Look, I feel like I'm cracking up, but logically I don't think I can be because certain things stop the visions/paranoia/panic." I told him for example if I read or play video games... when I'm deeply concentrated, it stops. But most the time I'm not doing that and so need something to calm me.

The doctor said: Just read more.

I never went to another doctor in England ever again (outside of being forced to in methadone clinics).

I'm definitely going to post what I wrote about this period. I went through it yesterday (and other old drafts) and don't quite know why I didn't finish and post it as there's some really nice writing within it. It's weird. At the time I must have really not liked it to have not finished or made a note to finish and post it. I've one other pôst to put up first and then I'll get that one done and up.

You know, I suffered from agoraphobia once... the weirdest week in my life! I won't write of it right now, but it just came on.. like that... and I couldn't leave the house without my legs turning to jelly and needing to get back inside.

Yes, it sound like you could have easily fell into opiates if they'd have been prescribed at the stage you speak about. The things is opiates work and you then become reliant upon them, and many people fall into it through exactly the things you describe. There's a lot of chance to it. I feel almost the opposite, that if when I'd gone to the hospital the first time they'd have given me a tranquillizer it would have calmed me immediately and opiates never would have had such an impact on me as they did. My initial dependence was purely because they gave me my sanity back. But, 'Mustn't Grumble' as Chas N' Dave sing!

That valium they gave you may have just saved your life.

I've seen horrendous side effects from alcohol. One of my mothers female lovers, years after when they were then just friends, came down with sclerosis of the liver after years of chronic alcoholism. Overnight her entire skin on the side she had slept, right up to her neck, had turned dark brown.. like a huge nicotine stain. We went there in the morning as she couldn't move and had phoned us. 2 weeks later she was dead. I've seen other people bloat up and down over night as their liver inflamed and was then treated. These things scare me so much and yet I do everything I can to ensure it happens to me. Maybe I am crazy after all? Maybe we all are.

Take care Joe and good luck with the MRI scan... I personally hope it finds nothing and you suffer on a little. That's friendship. X

JoeM said...

What I want the docs on viewing the MRI scan to say is, Shalamar-like:

There it is! There it is! What took us so long

- and then take it out and I'll be normal.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Just sometimes Joe these MRI scans show up things which can't be taken out or fixed. That's why I said I hope it shows up nothing. But your idea is much better and so that's my Hope A also now, and Hope B can be the finding nothing option.

I think I'm a bit biased towards MRI scans just at the moment. I'm writing a short post about the affects my stepfathers death has had upon me and it was an MRI scan which showed up his aneurysm and which was ignored until the thing had ruptured, he'd had two heart-attacks and been resuscitated twice. Wasn't the machine's fault of course, more a sleeping heart surgeon who didn't want to come in at 2am on call. X

Anonymous said...

Hi Shane,

Oh dear! You dirty dawg! That poor girl She was def batchy. Only bit that made me iffy was the cutting marks on the top of her breasts. A lot of self-harm (though not all) is linked to childhood sexual abuse and fact it's on a part of her body that was developing sexually, maybe she was trying to cut herself there to stop it growing/make it ugly to prevent that kind of attention. The fact she was amenable one minute then screaming rape the next also suggests something worrying. Though it's also unusual for a self-harmer to 'display' themselves like that. Self harmers don't do it to themselves but for themselves, so it's a very private thing.

Booze doesn't affect my behaviour at all. My main problem is high tolerance. I can easily finish off a bottle of wine myself and feel the same. Although I've found it very amusing in the past when a guy has tried to get me drunk and I've ended up having to carry him home (or rather chuck him in the back of a cab and carry on partying).

Sorry it's been ages. I been kept busy by continuing problems with ex. I've got my final hearing for my non-molestation order against him on Monday 23rd Nov so it will be sorted one way or another by then and hopefully I can have my life back.

Anyway, speaking of having a life back.... I'm having to seriously edit (censor) my online presence on certain websites of certain subject matter (DRUGS!!!) because it seems, prospective employers often google applicants names to see what else they can find out about them (that's so intrusive, what business is it of theirs what sites you visit and what you say in your own time. More importantly, it violates one of the most precious freedoms of all; 'freedom of thought'). So I've had to delete some comments I made here using my proper account. To be fair you did warn me. I've learnt the hard way. Anyway, I'm going to have to make up an alter ego, seperate email and everything to properly partake in this.

Favour: please could you remove or amend your response to some of my comments (mainly take my name out or change it. You can make it something daft or insulting for a laugh):
http://memoiresofaheroinhead.blogspot.com/2009/03/dennis-nilsen-killed-my-father-part-2.html

PS. I'm not sure what to make of this article: 'Our society is hooked on harm reduction'

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/11389/

I normally like a lot of their articles and politics but wasn't sure what to make of this one. What is he referring to when he says 'harm reduction'? Needle exchanges?
Would be interested in hearing your take.

xK

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey K,

Oh but there's many different types of self-harm and many different reasons for it. The two greatest types are kinda introverted self-harm and extroverted self-harm. I mean many needle addicts are into extroverted self-harm ad I mention in a post here how Ill let my shirt sleeve fall down and reveal an armful of track and bruises on the metro. Also there's a very kind of fake and deliberate self-harm which is intended purely for the audience it gets. People really gritting there teeth and cutting themselves and getting nothing from it but the cut itself and what it represents to others. It's like wearing painful make-up. So I would ever assume any generalities about that. The girl was also 19/20 maybe older. Heavily drunk and medicated herself and so the change of mind and thought in that state is often dramatic and without logic or understanding.

Oh yeah, almost all employers Google prospective employees now. I found it almost impossible to get a job here for that exact reason and no employment agency would take me as it is standard practice for ALL of them to Google applicants. Still, I refuse to write under a pseudonym. And in this way it forces me to continue with art. I will not give in to such things and will suffer whatever I must to use my real name - though I understand people who don't... it's personal politics. I've removed your name from the said post.

I skimmed the article, but I've read so much shit and so-called intellectual debate on such things over the years that I just can't be arsed with any of that shit any more. It's kinda stuff that you ca debate forever and still never agree on or bring about any change. Those essays and the time it's taken to write them (no matter what their final conclusions) may as well be huge turds flushed down the U-bend. They're a waste of time and thought and as with most of them are biased from the outset and based on preconceived ideas that are not necessarily true or are at best very general.

To me the following line (which I read absolutely everywhere and is always used as a kind of sly put-down) just proves further how biased these essays are and the lack of outward thinking which actually goes into them:

indeed the addict ought to be stigmatised, because this behaviour is self-centred, self-destructive, self-indulgent and, indeed, socially destructive.

They say that, and yet ignore the thought that breathing is the most self-centered, self-destructive and self-indulgent act there is... and we all do it and would fight and kill for it. Most human acts are that, but they bring it up about addiction as if non-drug users are generous and self-sacrificial for the moral or social good. We're all as self-centered as each other. It also doesn't make sense to say someone is self-centered and self-indulgent, yet self-destructive! How can they marry those ideas? Self-destruction goes against the very nature of being self-centered and indulgent.

As I've repeatedly said here and will say again: It's the world that needs rehab and not the addict. When the world is a fairer, freer, more just, less cut-throat and an honest place drugs and alcohol will become less and less required as a means of escape. We escape our surroundings mentally because there is no physical escape.

Oh Gawd... think I'm over my comment max length again... better finish.

Nice to see you around after such a while, hope despite probs with retarded Ex's you're fine...

Thoughts & Wishes, Shane. X

Anonymous said...

Hi Shane,

Thanks so much for doing that. Designers don't have as much autonomy as Artists I'm afraid. Even though drug use (admittedly mainly cocaine and cannabis and ecstasy - though you can't get that latter anymore since worldwide crackdown on MDMA labs) is so common in our creative and media industries it's passe, to openly admit use would invite condemnation and a very public assassination. There are just some things you're not allowed to say even though everyone knows about it. We'll turn a blind eye as long as you don't openly admit to it, (if you are vocal about it, we'll be forced to condemn you and distance ourselves from what you do even if we do it ourselves). Sickening hypocrisy. There's been a lot of that in the square mile too.

I got the impression the girl was way younger from the way she was behaving. Some of the most fucked up people I've met have been 'posh'. I've not been sure if it's pretension or genuine madness or maybe a mixture of the two.


Re: The article. I was a bit shocked partly because on Spiked a lot of their politics is anti-nanny state, pro smokers rights, pro freedom and choice what you do to your body. It seems the drug debate is the great leveller. It brings the right and left together. Both fear a truly open and honest debate. I found that bit you pulled out offensive. The number of times I've helped an old lady walk home, carried a mother's pram up the stairs, given up my seat for a pregnant woman - all the while with 4 or more bags tucked in the back of my jaw! Basically, he's assuming that to be an addict you automatically relinquish your morals, beliefs, values etc. It's the same old boring tired caricature of what an addict is perceived as and more poignantly what an addict embodies/represents. We're not seen as people but an embodiment of what people should strive not to be. Hence the point I made earlier about making an example of someone who publicly and unapologetically admits drug use. What never ceases to amaze me is how scared people are of even mentioning this subject unless it's in condemnation.

I'll be glad when the order is done and dusted though wouldn't be surprised if he ends up back in Belmarsh and of course it will be everyone else's fault. I think I've learnt my lesson. I'm fully devoted now to being the old eccentric lady with lots of cats.

Better get to work. Freelancing now but only got 2 weeks to go.

xK

The Total Impostor said...

That was a heart-warming Xmas story, my compliments to the chef. Watching drunks walk and talk has always been one of the great amusements in life. And I see we have something in common: I don't use alcohol either (I'm stupid enough already), and I use every drug except heroin. Especialy hallucinogens, the diamond in the drug-crown of jewels. Nice to have something in common: differences!
PS I was lying about the heroin.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Russell, heartwarming.. I hope so, it'd be the perfect set-up for my next post which will hopefully find it's way here tomorrow. That one carries the real Christmas cheer...

X

Dusty Rose said...

Mr. Shane,

I just caught up on your posts (I've read three in the last week or so.) I realized I can read them on my phone so I can read them on the train on my way to school. It was a great revelation, since I never have extra time anymore and I avoid everyone on the train like the plague even thought the weirdest ones are always super attracted to me.
Your work just gets better and better and I'll be proud to say, 'I knew that guy before he got so damn famous' someday soon. This post made me want to drink some whiskey really bad but, I'm supposed to stick to beer these days.

The Kingdom Comes,
D R .

Gledwood said...

The air in the London tube does indeed smell "black". And kind of warm and rubbery, dunnit!

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Gledwood, it is warm and rubbery and many things on many nights. Also the deep northern line has a smell very different to the central line and the two have a very different smell to the larger Hammersmith and City line. Some stations have a smell all of their own - like Baker Street, but whether it's real or an imaginary smell because of what we associate with it I'm not sure. It's kinda there,when you're writing, that you choose the smells and feels that are appropriate to the atmosphere of the piece. It's like when you're in love the winter is warm.

Alfs inswingers said...

hi shane, its dan, your drunken sidekick from the madcap alice tale, its funny i was telling caroline that story a few days ago, what a weird night that was, can remember us trapsing around sloane square at some ridiculous hour, swigging from a bottle trying to find a suitable tramp to drag back to her mansion, also remember waking up at mums with a rotten hangover and bits of kfc in my bed! you forgot to mention that i stole her purse, there was only about a tenner in it, which made me feel slightly less guilty about stealing from a woman with obvious mental problems, ha,ha. hope the cops havent read this!!!

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

For the record that last commenter, Alf's Inswinger, is my brother Daniel who features in one of the stories in the post. He kindly reminds me where we finally ended up that night, and owns up to stealing the poor girls purse and not even splitting the contents with me. I got him back lovely a few years later though: a £500 loan from his bank which I've still not paid back.

Yeah it was a weird night Dan, though those weird nights kept happening every time we went out for a drink. I think we started in the Slug and Lettuce on Fulham Broadway and then made our way up just about every bar on the Kings Road. I think that was me though, I wasn't drinking regularly at the time and was so smashed I wanted to move on to the next bar to stop the one we was in from spinning!

Two-Faced- Bipolar said...

I get pretty nutty too, but nothing like poor Alice! This post has brought to mind so many of my own drunken adventures and makes me want to write about them...

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