Venison Wild

It was a dark, wet, shiny night. I lay on a mattress in the back of a stolen van, a cold wind seeping in and annoying me from the loose back doors tied close with string. The driver was Lee Laws, a wiry blond crook. In the double-spread passenger seat besides him was Paul, and to Paul's left, Alan. All three boys were in their late teens or early twenties, and all three were repeat criminal offenders. I was too, only I was much younger and my crimes much less serious. Barely a week ever passed in which one of us wasn't up in court on some misdemeanor or other, and for the two years I'd known Lee he had spent over half that time in Feltham Young Offenders Institute. In the back of the van, partitioned off from the others by a metal grille, I lay on my back, smoking the roach end of a joint and looking past the ends of my feet at the uniform motorway lights as they filed by. I was fifteen and we were heading out of London, into the black of the country, to rob a house which Lee had previously cased and promised was a safe, straightforward job.

Bored watching the lights and the purple sky I closed my eyes and listened to the stories of the older boys. They talked about girls and crimes, recent arrests and upcoming court appearances. They mimicked and laughed at how they had responded 'No reply' to three hours of brutal police questioning and had kept their cool while being rough-housed by the station staff.  Lee Laws was especially shrewd in that way - or so his stories led everyone to believe;  though there were others who said he was "the biggest grass in West London" and that "being caught with Lee was like being caught red-handed and bang-to-rights". Whether there was any truth to such rumours  or not I had no idea. What I did know was that Lee Laws sure did look and talk the part, and I also knew that I had visited him in prison that summer, had sat there feeling terribly out of place as his girlfriend kissed a sixteenth of hash into his mouth. I also knew it was Lee who had spun into the estate two weeks prior, in this same white van, the wires ripped loose under the steering wheel  and twisted back together. The truth on nights like these doesn't really matter. Stories float in and are as true and as real as the places they carry you away to. Sometimes, when the van slowed down, I'd raise myself from the mattress and on my knees make my way over towards the partition. From behind the grille I'd stare out at the rain and watch the windscreen wipers working away. In other moments I'd focus on the motorway, miles and miles of dotted lights with black fields either side, stretching off through wherever. Occasionally we would overtake the red rear lights of another vehicle, Lee remaining in the same lane until the very last moment before pulling out to the right and cruising past in a classic manoeuvre. But, mostly on this black wet night it was just us, driving out of town in a stolen Sherpa van and telling stories as we mowed down the road. I often wished we had no destination, that we could just drive – drive and never stop and the sun would never rise again.

“Right, now listen up, boys,” said Lee, a good inch of a joint poking out his mouth. “When we're there and inside don't be going all fucking doolally and grabbing just anything. Most the antiques are shite reproductions and worth fuck all. What we want is the silver, the two carved bone ornaments in the hall, and the large painting above the fireplace. Any jewellery, money, cameras, small things like that, take 'em. But remember, leave the pots and the vases alone.”

Alan and Paul nodded away to Lee's instructions. I lay on the mattress in the back, more than blissfully stoned, smiling and thinking about taking the pots and vases anyway – struggling out into the night with a huge fake Ming vase that was no good to anyone. I began laughing out loud at the mad world of thoughts and craziness that was playing out in my mind.

“Oi!!! Shit for brains, r'ya listening?!” Lee shouted, darting a roach of the joint at me. “No fucking around, OK, or it'll be ya first an' last time out wiv us. Got it?”

Sucking the last bit of death out of the roach and holding the smoke, I nodded. Then I exhaled and the van was  suddenly deathly quiet, Lee and the others in a trance like state, their eyes intent on the road. It was hard to imagine they had just been extremely animated. I wondered if the conversation had ever really occurred or not.

By now we had been driving for maybe ninety minutes, maybe longer. The City was an unimaginable length of distance behind us. In my stoned mind I imagined it as resembling something like Bethlehem, only without a saviour. Even the big green motorway reflector boards were not out this far; the lighting on the motorway had changed too – was duller, darker, creepy – a row of thinly dispersed twin lamps down the central divide. Sometimes a little square of light would glow out in the black of a field, a lone country house or cottage and nothing else.

For a moment the stories and talking had ended and the joints had stopped circling. We were all heavily stoned, sat or lain out in the hash-smoke filled van, withdrawn into our own individual existences. In moments like that the only reality we all had in common, the only thread which tied us into the same physical existence, was the shiny wet road ahead. Without that road we would have all surely floated off into our own worlds of madness and despair. In the back of the van I now concentrated on the sound and the feel of the wheels, understanding atmosphere and terrain from  the most subtle changes. Shortly after that I heard a dislocated noise beneath the van, felt us slow and drift to the left, and made out the lonely night time click-clicking of the van's indicator. It made me feel sad and forlorn – I could have willingly laid in the back of that van, like that, forever. The van turned and my insides and brain seemed to turn with it. What light there had once been from outside was suddenly quenched and the road beneath was slippery, bumpy and uneven. Trees and bushes scraped and beat on the sides of the van, and for the first time  all evening I became aware of the rain pelting down on the roof. I got on my knees and took myself to the partition, looking out the window from over Paul's shoulder. From what I could make out we were on a well travelled country lane, that may or may not have been an official route. What was clear was that the way had surely been cut out by smaller vehicles. The van had a difficult time passing through, and the added weight caused our wheels to sink and spin and go nowhere. The only light we had  was from our left headlight. We'd knocked the right one out hurtling over speed bumps in the city. The van dipped and jerked and bumped and made awful grating sounds. The few tools we had in the back jumped up and crashed down on the metal floor. We all peered out, looking for something to show up ahead.

It was the sound of gravel under tread that let us know we were approaching some place. It at first came in little spurts and then a constant scrunching - pestle and mortar. Up ahead, picked out by our headlight, the road widened and a few black shapes came into view. The air smelled and filtered into the van. It wasn't unpleasant, just different, like a hamster's cage or rabbit hutch or muesli. It was a farm. The van crunched into the opening and turned right, and there, as if it had just materialized from nowhere, stood a house – perfectly still and black and empty in the night. Lee slowed the van, turned it around so as the back doors were facing the house and then stopped. With the engine still running he sat there with a huge thin grin scarred across his face. I started up to say something but my voice seemed so loud in the cut of night. Lee shussed me with a raised finger and a pained expression, as if even though there was nobody around they still might hear. That's what living in the city does to you. It's a very certain kind of paranoia. After that we all spoke in whispers, and tried to act as silent as the fields.

Up in the front, with the small overhead cabin light on, Lee and Paul slipped into black gloves. Lee shot Alan a quizzical look and held his hands up and wiggled his fingers. Alan shook his head. Lee scowled, before screwing his face up in suppressed laughter at Alan's amateurish mistake of not bringing any gloves. He turned my way.

“Give Alan your gloves,” he said.
“What? No, they're mine. I need'em. The police have my prints!”
“Give 'em over ya plum! You're not coming in with us. I want you here... keeping dog. And if you hear so much as a ghost's fart you're to hit the fucking horn, OK.”
“But you said I could come in with you!”
“Next time. Give Alan your gloves. While we're gone get the doors open and skin up a zoobie... but don't cane the fucking thing!”

Begrudgingly I fed my gloves through the grate to Alan. He yanked them from me and was soon spreading and wriggling his thick, stubby fingers in them. “Perfect! Just a right good perfect fit!” he said, knowing it would wind me up, as if my gloves fitted him better than they fit me. I didn't really care. My heart was beating furiously thinking of entering a stranger's house and rummaging around  taking things. I'd really only wanted to go in with the boys so as I wouldn't be left outside alone. Finally it was the prospect of being allowed to roll a joint which won me over – the chance of having first smoke on one I had rolled myself and purposely top-loaded. It was a novelty too novel to turn down. The only other time I was given anything other to smoke than cardboard was on the rare occasions where I had a note of my own and bought a ten pound draw myself.

 Down under the steering wheel Lee turned a torch on and off and handed it to Paul. Paul took it and then did the same. Lee took out a second torch, flashed that too, turned it off, and kept it for himself.

“Ok,” he said, very seriously, “we can get in around the back. All we have to do is put a small pane of glass through. There's no alarm and no dogs. Let's go.”  The boys filed out the van. I unstrung the back doors and then went around the front and sat in the driver's seat.
“Lee,” I whispered, “can you turn the van around so as I can see better?”
“No. Never. Just incase we need to make a quick getaway.”
“Oh, Ok,” I said. Then, “Lee?”
“Where's the hash?”

A huge grin spread out across his face. “Don't miss a fucking trick this one,” he said, taking his kit out his back pocket and handing it me. “Hash is behind the rizlas... and don't take the fucking piss!”

I took Lee's kit, fondling the Rizlas to make sure the hash was really there. It was. I closed the door and watched in the wing mirror as the boys headed across the gravel courtyard, made their way to the right of the house and then disappeared. Alone in the dark I felt half terrified, the whole of Britain black and wet and deadly silent around me. How in such blackness I'd ever see anyone before it was too late I didn't know, but I was dog; so dog I was.

In the front of the van,  crumbling a good pinch of hash into the head of a joint that was perched up on the dashboard, I heard the sound of breaking glass. I stopped what I was doing and concentrated on the noises outside. Another little pop rang out and a thin piece of glass shattered on the ground and tinkled like a Chinese wind chime. I continued on with my joint, one eye on the wing mirror all the while. And that's when I saw it, to my horror, a dim light flitting about high up in one of the attic windows. At first I wondered if it was the boys already in the house and up top, but no, it was too quick - the last shard of falling glass had barely stopped singing out. I jumped out the van and sprinted off in pursuit of my friends. When I arrived around the back Lee was sidled right up tight against the backdoor with a strained look on his face, his hand the other side trying desperately to locate the door latch and release it.

“There's someone inside,” I hissed, “There's a light upstairs!”
“Fuck off , Shane,” said Paul, who'd never really liked me, “you're just shitting it!”
“I'm telling you's, there's someone inside! Lee, there's someone up in the fucking attic.” Lee withdrew his arm out the door. “Where?” he asked. I led the way.

Back around the front of the house I pointed up to the window where the light had come from. Of course, now it was black and as indifferent as any other, but still, I sensed someone looking down at us.

“Lee, I swear there was a fucking light on up there. I din't imagine it!”

Lee stood looking up, figuring whether to take me seriously or not. He seemed to have pretty good information that the house would be empty but something was niggling him. While we were all stood looking up a feint light then showed itself anew, this time visible through the middle windows. Whatever it was, it originated from somewhere deep in the thick of the house. This time we all saw it and went sprinting for the van. As we bundled in I warned Lee and Paul to be careful as my joint was sitting unrolled up on the dash. Then I regretted top-loading it, as with the boys back it'd be nothing more than roach supper for me again.

Lee started up the van and put his foot down. Desperate to get up some speed he kinda pushed and urged the van forward like he was giddying on a horse. Then we were up and running, skidding back through the soft wet path, me holding the doors closed where there had been no moment to slam and tie them shut. I watched Alan take my half prepared joint and twist and screw it into a cigarette. Secretly I still harboured hopes that he'd hand it back for me to spark up, but he didn't. He lit it himself, took five or six huge holding drags and then passed it on to Paul. All the while Lee was speeding in the wet, through black roads that led to God knows where. I sat there in the back, waiting for the joint to be tossed my way, my heart pounding and thinking of blow-outs and 100ft drops into blackness.

* * *
It felt like we had been in the black an eternity, driving around dangerous country drops. The joint had left me completely wrecked, spaced out in a universe where time and space held no meaning. I was lain back on the mattress, my mind chasing a million different inter-connected thoughts which I had visualized in my head. In one instance I even imagined that I was in my bedroom, it somehow being driven around Britain. Every now and again I'd hear Lee droning on about joining a different motorway home as the police may be waiting for us along the expected route. He said that over and over. I gave a look up and out the front window. God, it was really black out there. Visibility was reduced to maybe a metre ahead by the power of one fading headlight. It felt like a film, or a video game. Everyone had that sensation, I think. No one was talking. We were all staring straight ahead, tuned into the moment, focussed on the single sabre of light we illuminated in the dark, all in the zone, hypnotized by the road ahead as we drove on an endless spot.

I saw as little as anyone else, though being in the back I felt and heard it more. Lee was suddenly shot up straight in his seat with his foot hard pressed on the brake. His arms were out straight, gripping the steering wheel and fighting desperately to keep control of the van. Something big bounced of the driver's side and made a god-awful sound doing so. As it had happened I was hurled back on my arse on the mattress. The van skidded, trying to take a grip in the wet. And then it stopped, the pit-pit-patta of rain on the roof and steam converging from all sides.

“What in da Jesus!” screamed Alan. “We fecking hit summin... we hit summin!”
“What was it?”asked Lee. “Did anyone see it?” We  gave a collective shake of our heads.

I scurried over to the back of the van, pushed the doors open a foot and peered out. Nothing, just darkness, the smell of wet bark, and exhaust fumes.

“Maybe it was an animal,” Alan said.
“What kinda animal?” said Paul, “This is England! D'ya think it was a six foot badger?”
“Ya never know what lives out here in black country, boy-yo. Back home there's an all manner of unknown tings... live out in da forest at night which no-one dares or wuld want to know about.”
“Maybe it was a scarecrow,” I said, seriously.
“A fucking Scarecrow!!!! Fuck off back to LaaLaa land, Shane. A scarecrow!”

That's when all but the very palest colours suddenly drained from Lee's face. “But you know what, though,“ he said, ominously, “I think he's not so far off. Only I don't think it was a scarecrow but a man... I think we've just fucking hit someone.”
“A man? Who would be out here? Walking the rain, going nowhere?” asked Paul.
“A tramp. A local,” I said. “There must be some people who live around here and these carrot-crunchers love nothing better than a ten mile walk in the freezing rain. It's kinda like how they water themselves.”

Paul turned round and darted something vicious at me. It wasn't the roach of a joint, but a cigarette filter or something. It meant, shut it! It was the peak of all our nerves before the tension set in, before the van fell deathly silent for a moment. Then Lee spoke. His face was sucked in, withdrawn and shock white, cut out against the black backdrop of the window,  the windscreen wipers ever so mechanically squeaking away.

“I think we've killed someone,” he said, like in a trance, “I saw the head.... An eye. It took a second out of its tragedy to look at me, like one of those weird flashed messages they're not allowed to advertise with. I really think we've killed someone.” Now finished, he looked at each of us in turn, an expression of great foreboding in his regard, as if this were a night in which our lives would be irrevocably changed.

We all sat staring back into Lee's handsome but ghostly chiselled face of fear, the mystic buzz from the hashish prickling through our minds and skin. Lee's eyes were now universally wide, the pupils huge and agitated and full of dark night tales. Carried along in the moment we were all thinking the same thought: the gravity of murder. And even though it was an accident, we were nevertheless in a stolen van, stoned, riding the night with only a single working headlight, no driving licence between  us, and each with a long history of repeat criminal offences. Aside from that there was the small matter of the house we had attempted to burglarize. God, we'd be fried -  even if it were only a carrot-cruncher we had mown down. It was Alan who finally broke the silence, a calming pragmatic Southern Irish voice:

“T'is where it's at, boys. We'll  hafta ged'dowt an take a look. It'll  not be doing us a single bit a good sitting here, sure, imaging the worst of what we've maybe done and scaring the bejesus outta us. And sposing if we're roight, if it tis indeed a fellow a ways back d'ere, well, maybe he's not dead? Maybe we can help him, boys?”
Lee shook his head. “And what if he's not dead? He'll have seen our faces. I think we should just go... drive on and not look back.”
“We can't just drive away, Man! To do such a wicked ting as that'ud  make it ten times worse, so it would. We'd be tried for being evil, man.” And then Lee was nodding. And then we were all nodding. Lee chucked Alan a torch. “Lead the way,” he said, “I don't wanna see it.”

The three older boys slipped out of the van and into the wet. I opened the backdoors and joined them as they came around the sides. Alan and Paul led the way; I was just behind, and Lee Laws just behind me – though not so much so as to be alone in the dark. We cut a long diagonal line across the road to where whatever it was we had hit would have landed. Alan shone the light around, showing up thick, inaccessible bush and tree to either side. The road really had no right to be here at all. And then without quite realizing it I was jogging, and then pushing on between Alan and Paul who had  now stopped. The torch light had caught something, the beam stopped a short meter ahead and the light opening up. And there it was, in the wet mud of the road, a head and a large sad eye, the rain running off it's face, so tragic and sad: we'd hooked ourselves a deer.


The animal wasn't dead. Close to it, but not quite. It lay there subdued, its eye staring out through the gathering swamp flies, a slow and drowsy heave and fall of its chest; a composed exhaustion of life. From its underside came blood, deep red in the yellow light, streaming across the road in rivulets with the rain. There was also blood and mud on the bedraggled fur near its front hoof. Lee, who had all but melted at the thought of having killed a human, now reformed and once more took the lead. He strode in and, without a single word, knelt down besides the deer and clenched its nose and mouth tight shut. In a loving, two minute long embrace, he snuffed the remaining life out of it and then laid its head gently down. He rested there like that for a moment, his eyes closed.

“Can't let the poor thing suffer on like that,” he eventually said. “That'd be the same as driving off.” And just when we thought Lee maybe had some kind of a deep, soft humanity, he added: “Ok, now let's get the fucker in van.”
“What?” I, or one of the others, said. Maybe all of us.
“The van,” repeated Lee, walking off.  “I'll back her up. Let's get it inside. I know a South African butcher who'll take this off our hands.”

Downcast, replete with an indescribable strain of sadness, I looked to Paul and Alan. Paul and Alan were stood in silence looking at the deer; and the deer was looking at something which no man can ever see.

Lee backed the van up. On rejoining us he climbed in the back and stood the mattress up against the side, then hopped down. With Paul's help the two dragged the deer around so as it was positioned longways with its head by the exhaust pipe. With Lee and Paul at the top end of the animal, and Alan and I either side of its middle, we tried lifting, but weighed down by death the deer was having none of it. It sagged and got heavy in all the wrong places, making it impossible to lift. Lee said we should lift it by the legs. Somehow that idea seemed too grievous and no-one was very keen on so doing it. Instead, in a clumsy, awkward fashion, we all lifted the deer by its top end and set it down half inside the van. Then, with Lee pulling, Alan, Paul and I heaved and pushed, slowly inching the beast into the back. When it was finally inside we all slumped down, wet and exhausted, staring at this thing which we had somehow happened across. The three older boys  were laughing in amazement, and between heavy breaths talked excitedly about its size and weight, and about how unreal it all was. Alan grabbed an old A-Z from off the floor. He laid it on his lap, took out his spliff rolling kit and began skinning up a joint. I watched Lee who was poking a twig into the deer's ear.


The laughing had been going on for a while before it dawned on me that the guffawing and snorting concerned me. I turned around, heavily stoned and confused. I could feel a bemused, childish grin across my face, the grin I always elicited when I was stoned and baffled, when I was fifteen and not sure if anything at all was actually happening. I tried to figure out what the joke was. “What?” I asked. “What?” When they saw my face, my stinging red eyes, they laughed even harder.

“Would ya look at the state of that cunt,” said Lee, pointing at me, “he's out his fucking tree... fucking wrecked! D'you think the Deer'll be safe back here with him?”
“Will it me bollix,” said Paul. “You seen the ways he's been eyeing it up! Oi, Sicko, no fucking dodgy business when ya think no one's watching, OK? If your hands start wandering or you try and mount the thing you'll be walking back to London!”
“Yeah Shane, go easy on her she's had a rough night!” was Alan's quip. The three older boys were in hysterics, their laughter echoing in my stoned and cushioned head. That in turn set off a chain of visions in my own mind and then I too was bursting red and laughing like a madman at the bizarre images which were playing out in my mind. And then I blinked, or breathed, or something and it was suddenly like nothing had ever happened. In my mind I began doubting reality. Had I just started cracking up laughing while the others were talking serious? I looked at each of them for a moment, confused, but now they were with grave faces and surely they couldn't have been laughing hysterically as I had seen.  Only they had been. And then their words hit me. Not what they had said, but what they had implied.

“You must be fucking joking,” I suddenly cried, “I'm not getting in the back with that thing!”
“No?” said Lee, “then I suppose we'll see you back in London in about three days, 'cause you'll be trotting home.”
“I fucking will. I don't give a fuck!”

Lee looked at me like you would a kid who won't go to bed. Then the harshness in his eyes gave way and he said I could budge in with Paul and Alan on the way home.


I slammed the back doors shut, tied them as tight as I could from the outside and joined Paul and Alan in the double passenger seat. Naturally, I was on the far left, squashed right up against the cold metal door and the leaking, draughty window - last in line for the joint as usual. I didn't mind. I was sitting wasted anyway. They could keep their hash, I just didn't want to lay in the back with a dead deer.

Lee turned the engine over and pulled off. We sat mostly silent, like we were grieving. Out the radio floated the voice of a weird talk-show host called Caesar The Boogieman. It gave a fantastic, hallucinatory feel to the journey but brought with it a disjointed aura of loneliness. The van drove on. We sat hypnotized by the road and the light from our single headlight. We stared at the blackness out the window, watched  a sign float by, and then there it was, the motor way – a huge concrete river that would take us all on home.

The ride back down the long stretch of motorway was monotonous and sleepy. All that changed was the occasional passing on of a joint and then we'd zone into the road again, pondering over the stars and the universe and how lost we all really are. Now crammed in the front, with the widows closed, the smoke went to my head and made me feel hollow and strange. I didn't know whether to laugh or be petrified, or if reality was a fantastic dream or a hideous nightmare. I was wasted and didn't want to sit on it in silence as it crept up and turned me insane from the inside out. Solely to have the occasion to speak, escape my interior world, I began  getting a little brazen with my older friends, talking crazy, stoned nonsense. The boys laughed along, though not at what I was saying.

“Skin up, ya tight cunt,” I said, staring at Paul. I got a slap around the head for that. Everyone laughed.
“I'm second on the zoot!” I declared. “Don't want no skinny little roach end this time!” They all laughed and the joint bypassed me anyway. Sucking on the roach, of the joint I had said I didn't want, Lee looked across with pink rabbit eyes and said, “You given up inhaling or what?” They all cracked up again. The truth was I had given up inhaling. I was far too high already. But now I'd been caught and I was embarrassed.
“I could smoke the lotta you cunts under the table," I said. "I'm not even stoned, just nice and mellow.” The van erupted once more in shrieks of laughter. Everything I said was one huge joke.
“Alan, you got any speed?” I suddenly asked. That final daft question sent the boys into such a fit of hysterics that Lee had to pull the van over so he didn't drive it off the road. Now at a stop they all creased up in uncontrollable fits of laughter, squealing like a mini litter of pigs. I sat in my chair feeling hot and flustered, staring ahead with my childish smirk, feeling immature and completely out my depth. And that's when it flushed over me – came rattling down like a shutter; my mouth and back of my throat suddenly as dry as a desert. I thought I was gonna choke on my tongue. My colour and strength drained like a bath of water with the plug removed. I was throwing a whitey, terrified and wanting to be sick. And everyone laughed that little harder still.

After vomiting out the side door, I sat in silence, squashed back into my little hovel, sweating and praying a joint wouldn't be passed my way. Of course one was, a huge fat-headed special for me to spark up. As they all knew I would, I waved it away. Lee lit it himself, and with it sticking out his mouth like a parsnip he pulled out and drove on, soon joining the city ring road and looking for the correct exit off.

By now the best part of night had fallen. It was still dark but the sky no longer had the depth of colour that it had done an hour previous, and way over in the distance, with the city beneath it, was the breaking light. By the time we came off the A road and landed in the city proper the joints had stopped passing and everyone was tired, depressed by the weak light and anxious to know what we would do with the deer. Lee spoke again of a South African butcher he knew in Hammersmith. He said that he'd be there now, preparing cutlets of meat for the day's trade. Lee said we'd go there, unload the deer, get paid and then get home. It all seemed like a bit of a tall story, and from the look that Alan and Paul swapped I suspected that they were with me, secretly wondering if the animal in the back could even be eaten (let alone sold). And so we went along. Lee certainly knew some pretty bizarre people. And if the worst came to the worst, if the sale fell through, well, we'd dump the dead deer and be home in just about the same time anyway.

Inside the city the rain had long stopped but the air was still wet. It was almost 6am and the light had properly broken, but the kind of early morning light that still holds a memory of darkness within it, makes one think of hospital visits, work and other bad things. Far over town there hung a drizzly mist; the street lights were on their last minutes of time. Lone people jittered away at bus-stops and steam poured from the tops of certain buildings and drifted on out. Lee rolled up to the lights on Chiswick Highstreet. We sat there, all drowsy, looking out at the depressing morning which had forced out the night. And that's when all hell broke loose.

With no warning whatsoever the van erupted into a crazed violence of rocking and banging and thumping, horrendous animal noises screeching out from behind us. Alan was thrown forward into the dashboard. Then, what sounded like a team of panel beaters began simultaneously working the sides of the van, angry and grunting and crying in pain, as they hammered out the frustrations of their existence. I turned around and the head of the deer came smashing against the grilled partition, the crazed retarded eye of a trapped animal looking through. The deer must have only been badly stunned, unconscious, and had now come around and was trying it's damnedest to smash its way to freedom. This was its buckaroo for life.

Aside from the crazed deer, our major concern was of the police being called. It was 6am, in a decent neighbourhood, on the highstreet, and our van was sat alone at the lights, thumping and crashing away while emitting monstrous noises of rage that not even the damp in the air could muffle. Alarmed, we clambered to get out the van. The deer seemed hellbent on getting through the partition and stamping us all to death. Out in the street Paul reckoned we should just leg it and leave the van. That would have been the easiest and wisest option were it not for the fact that our finger prints were all over the place, and in the van's two week tenure, under Lee's charge, had been involved in a plethora of local crimes and robberies. Running away would beat the immediate problem, but come 10am, once the police would have had time to apply for arrest and search warrants, we'd all be hiding low, fucked. So we didn't flee. For a moment we didn't do anything. Just stood around in a panic as the van rocked and thumped and the back doors bounced to the tune of the enraged beast inside.

Lee rushed back to the driver's side door and searched behind the seat for something. He returned holding a handy length of lead piping. “Come on,” he said to me, “Come on!!!”

At the rear of the van he handed me the lead pipe. “Take that,” he said, “and when I open the doors get ready and crack the fucker on the head!”
“Fuck off! You're crazy! That thing will be all over me before I've even swung!”
“Will it fuck! It'll take it a moment to even realize there's an escape. Now quit the stalling and get ready to whack the thing or we'll all be fucked!”
Bludgeon the deer to death? After all it had already been through? I couldn't, and I told Lee as much. There was no way the animal was getting its skull bashed in by my hand; it was maybe just about the most innocent thing in the world at that moment. I didn't have it in me. Death in such a beast of that size is something real and serious. And when it isn't quick, or doesn't work first whack, then it is something brutal and horrific too. My hand held the lead pipe; but my arm would never swing it

“You fucking pussy!” Lee said. “Give me the fucking bar and I'll do it. You open the doors.”
Ok, I could do that. I did not want to, but I could. Anyway, I thought that not Lee, or anyone else, had a chance in hell of felling the deer as was suggested. As I moved myself in front of the doors Alan arrived alongside Lee wielding a small handled mallet. Terrible thoughts of cracked skulls, shattered bone and animal yelps went through my mind. I thought of the deer; of rodeo ponies; of great racehorses rearing up in the stalls. On the count of three I untied the double back doors and in the same movement flung them wide open and run out the way. And in that moment, in the shrill misty morning with London waking up and rubbing her eyes, there was a moment of sheer, unadulterated, natural beauty:

   the deer burst forth, out the back of the van – a desperate leap to life and freedom, a sleek tan flash that filled the world with hope and victory and beauty. It landed in the road, skidded, turned real low to the ground and then came up straight, its great breast pushed forward and its head back. It found its hooves, found the road, and shot bolt off, away down the high-street. Lee hadn't even time to think of swinging the lead pipe in his hands and Alan looked pathetic and weak, the mallet so small and insignificant compared to the fury and passion of the life that had just shot out the van. The boys had shot right out the way with me, had too seen the full stretch of beast as it bolted. We all saw the utter beauty in that leap, and in the same moment we understood that the deer had more right than just about anything to live, and we were all glad and rooting for it.

“Fuuuuckiiing hell!!!!” was all anyone could say. "Fuuucking hell!!!"

For a moment we had lost concern about the police, forgotten the city and the morning and the skinning up and passing around of joints. In exact contrast to the deer, we were grounded to the spot, all staring in wonder down the road as the animal galloped through a red light, went up onto the pavement, back out into the road, zig-zagged through the early morning cars, flared up and then ran on some more in its mad pursuit of freedom. The lights on the high-street went from amber to green, from green to red, and back again. Still we didn't budge, just stood there awestruck, staring. And, when finally the deer was out of sight, we stared a little more, then at the calm of the empty road, at the lifting mist, at each other, something glorious having passed our terrible, youthful way.

- - -
Thanks as ever for reading, Shane. X



Nessa Locke said...

A friggin' brilliant story. One that should be told and retold and warped with time. Like a fish story. ("That deer had antlers THIS BIG and eyes like Satan's minions.")

Anonymous said...

Another great post Shane .This has to be true story only junkies get in these type of escapades .

_Black_Acrylic said...

Yep, that's a story for the ages alright. It's got the lot; fear, excitement, comedy and a beautiful, life-affirming ending. Also brought back memories of my own teenage years, spent stoned on passenger seats in cars on country lanes. It was a good time. Nothing like as spectacular as your own tales, of course.

darren said...

hi shane. with each entry you post now your making history. it really is amazing to be around while its happening. when i see a new post of yours in my inbox i save it for the evening and what i'm reading at the time put to side. in years to come i'll be one of the few with the very original emails as you posted them. i just hope you reap the rewards in your life time, i really hope so. Daz

bugerlugs63 said...

Love it . . . Dint just read it, I watched it. Brilliant. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Nessa Roo, thank you.

Antlers how big? and eyes like what?

That's why I would never personally write a sentence like that. For me its a waste of words as the reader is left not a lot nearer to what you're describing than if you'd written nothing at all. It may sound very nice but has little meaning and so when the editor's scissors come buy will get chopped out. I'm going to start another page here explaining a few things of my choice of words, similes and metaphors, as over the last two years I've put a lot of thought into stuff like that and work hard to be as clear as possible, in simple words with no abstraction. My poetry is probably a better example of how I write and my ideas for the use of language. I find that stuff interesting. Love & Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Anonymous and thanks. None of us were junkies at the time, and it was only me who went on to become a junkie, so i'm not sure that has much to do with it. I think anyone who breaks the law, or who walks a different road to most will have such escapades. Someone in a criticism to something I wrote once commented:

"Yeah, it's all fantastic and that but the truth is most junkies don't have a life and end up living with their mother or grandmother and doing nothing more exciting than scoring dope!"

And I actually agree with that person. Many junkies end up having a very safe boring life, nodding out to Coronation street with their Gran. That being an addict is an exciting, crazy life is a total myth. Most junkies i know are the most boring, braindead fuckers I've ever met. Not all, but most. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Ya Ben, and Thank You! X

Oh, I'm sure if you told your stories they'd end up just as spectacular as mine. As you know, it's mostly in the telling.

I've still got your book and DVD and will try and return it this month and send something extra along. Can you speak or read french at all? Congratulations if you can't, but if so I've probably a couple of books or films that'd really interest you.

My sister (in her late forties) has just been diagnosed with MS. When i've more details i'll send you a proper mail and surely you'll have some comforting or helpful insight into what she may experience in the years to come as the doctors have only made her worry so far. As she's only just been diagnosed it's really not clear what strain or type of MS she has and so we're waiting for news and more info on it.

Speak soon, Love & Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Darren, ell I'm not quite sure how to respond to that, but I'm glad you feel that way and more and more people do. I hope I reap some rewards too, but really only so as I can write in comfort and not have to worry about paying the rent or the electricity going out mid-sentence. But I'm not interested at all in having a book with my name on it... that's not a motivation to me. And anyway, most small publishers couldn't offer me a bigger readership than I have now, online. So i may not be paid for what I write just at this moment but i'm hopeful it will happen, and even if not, i'd settle for readership and no cheque rather than cheque and no readers.

Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Thanks bugerlugs... two for the price of one... now that's not bad as long as we're not talking cheapskate Margherita pizzas! XXX

Stacy said...

this is so fucking incredibly good. i don't know much of anything about anything, but i know i love your writing.


JoeM said...

I loved this. But then I love Jack Kerouac's On the Road

This seemed sort of...American to me. But what does American mean in these post post post modern days?

Um – Stand By Me, the film. Teenage boys and a deer.

Anyway, it felt sort of different.

But then:

I was fifteen and we was heading out of London

Yanking us back to Olde Englande.

Stories float in and are as true and as real as the places they carry you away to.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Stacy and Welcome back! XXX

As long as you know that you need know nothing else. No one really knows anything anyway, some people just think they do. XXX

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Stacy and Welcome back! XXX

As long as you know that you need know nothing else. No one really knows anything anyway, some people just think they do. XXX

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Joe, that 'american' thing you wrote is really quite perceptive of you. I won't say why here as I don't want to give all the secrets of my soul away but will send you a private mail explaining why. Also I find some things, especially around influences or your recent reading list, are best to keep to yourself as people will start seeing things in your words which aren't there. It's like if I mention a writer, quite innocently, people will jump on it and in a comment to the next post they'll say: "yeah, it kinda reminds me of X's writing in a funny sorta way." And I know just from that they've never even read X or they'd not have said it.

Embarrassingly I've never read 'On The Road' though actually bought a copy a fortnight ago so will get into next week.

The post was slightly different because not only was we out of town (and it was one of only maybe four times I ever really left London as a teen/adult) but we were also very stoned and it was at night and empty, so it really did feel like another world... and really could have been anywhere. I also wrote it trying to keep a bit of my fifteen year old immature self within the text. I read some great writing recently where the writer kinda changed his style of writing according to the character he was talking about. It really worked well and it's stuff like that when you see it gives you ideas of your own and other possibilities of what you can do with words or try to do. I've been collecting all little things like that and writing loads of little practice texts to see what works and what doesn't and it's quite fun to do. But many exercises like that are the catwalk equivalent in writing. They're extreme and show of a total style but something that isn't tailored for the highstreet. So you tame the idea down or use it very moderately within your normal writing so as you keep the style but in a more practical and digestible way.

Ok, Sir Joe... I'll leave it there and will send you a little mail sometime tomorrow. X

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post! You don't know what lengths I had to go through to finish reading that! I was at work and started reading the first paragraph then scrolled and saw how much more there was but didnt want to stop reading. So I copied and pasted the whole lot into a text box in indesign and had to pretend I was typesetting copy. Just hope I remembered to delete it afterwards or the magazine will have an article they hadn't intended! I think I deleted it... but did I?
hmmm... nevermind, riveting post nonetheless!


Anonymous said...

Oh dear! There's no escaping it, I'm coming down with something, either a chest/throat infection or a cold. I had fallen off the wagon for about 5 days and indulged to my hearts content. I had 1/4 a sub this morning to keep me going til I could sneak out at lunch time and get something. I started feeling shite and was hoping it was slight wds (since that's easily resolved... and sometimes the longer you wait the sweeter it is, a bit like a big poo) but I knew it wasn't. I could taste the illness. The 3 10er bags made me feel wee bit better but still weak and nauseous and scratchy throat so I'll just have to accept I got the lurgees.

Hope you're well
Take care of yourself

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya K,

yeah was a pretty long post and I lost three pages in the edit. i no longer care if a piece of writing is 1 page or 10 pages... the word count is now tailored to the story and not the audience. It wasn't always teh case, though... I put a lot of effort into my early posts keeping them down to around two pages (which I had gauged was about the maximum amount of text an online audience would read.) It is, and it isn't. I'll explain in a follow up comment tomorrow,a s I'm shattered and almost falling asleep writing this.

until then...; X

Anonymous said...

I only noticed the length cos I was at work with people looking over my shoulder (of your post of course). But in terms of content it was perfect. No waffle, don't think
you could make it shorter without losing part of the story and it also adds to the ending. I liked the way my expectations of the story kept changing, starting with the title 'Venison Wild'. First thought it was about eating deer. Then turned into an attempted robber so forgot that first impression then again went back to first presumption and thought you might eat the damn thing but then you surprised us again and turned it into a kind of spirited defiance of life. And I think that's what you do best, you put your reader on an emotional roller coaster. That's a very fine balance, to be able to lead your reader one way but at same time utilise some (universal) presumptions. I think people get most out of reading if they can be part of it rather than just be told
and that's what you do very well.

Hope that makes sense.

I just posted something in kind of reaction to something some US Repulican politician said about Palestinians being 'ficticious' ( Imagine being told you don't exist. Mind you, Golda Meir said it first.

You get some rest. I'm meant to be ill but it's my last week of work and tomorrow I've got work do (Gangsters and flappers theme) so have to beautify myself somehow. There will be nose candy but not sure I'm looking forward to that. I think I'm getting old (and grumpy).

Take care and rest loads (rest is good, my favourite thing has always been sleeping and my bed)

Anonymous said...

PS. This is England 88 is on tonight on Ch4 (not that you get that over there. Sorry, just rubbing your nose in it since there's f-all to miss about old blighty except maybe fish and chips with lashings of onion vinegar or cheese [cheddar] on toast).

Did you ever see the film (by Shane Meadows). The follow up drama for tv spin-off was even better 'This is England 86'. Don't know if they'll do a box set but I would def recommend. The 86 one was so-ooo brilliant, really hard hitting. Everyone who saw that one was shell-shocked and uneasy. If a film (especially one for tv) can do that I think it's a good-un. Too many films you can watch without watching. They do nothing except wash over you (though sometimes that's welcome it's become the rule rather than the exception).


Anonymous said...

Hiya Shane,

I hope you're feeling bit better but most of all I hope your tiredness was due to something positive (big burst of inspiration that's lead to frenetic output of work/all night sex/Reading a great book through to the end). Whatever it is, I hope it was something positive rather than negative or mundane.

I'm messaging at an ungodly hour because I've just got home from the work xmas party (the Gangsters and Flappers theme). It went ok but to be honest I was ready to go home about 3 hours ago but stayed to share a cab. We had coke as I said we would but I didn't enjoy it. It didn't have much effect other than make my sinuses blocked and thicken my throat so I felt like I had a finger down it and kept gagging. I got b to come down (first time I tried it was for that reason only, it was our come down drug from b). To be honest, I was just looking forward to getting home and having that. Sad eh? I didn't even enjoy the booze, Got 3 vouchers left for the bar and I can drink, my tolerance to booze is quite high. I just couldn't be bothered with it.
Got loads of compliments on outfit which I suppose was nice especially as, since I've got older, it's so much harder to look half decent. Youth def wasted on the young. When I was younger I thought I was so ugly, now I'd love to look the way I did then. Also, being a woman makes it worse, men look better as they get older. Men get character, women just get old.

The best thing I suppose, was getting compliments for the design work I've done there (and I've done a lot, enough to fill a portfolio on its own). And also being liked and fitting in to the team. A few people said they'd fight for me to be given a permanent job there after I've left. It's very nice but I know we've got a double dip recession coming up so it's not down to how good I am or how well I've fit into the team. The thing I'll miss most about them is it was the kind of place you can insult someone and be un pc without having to watch your back. We insulted each other daily as a form of endearment more than anything OR to say what needs to be said, i.e. you need a kick up the arse/you're being an arsehole. That level of honesty is so refreshing and I'll miss it.

Anyway, sorry for leaving such a long rambling message but at same time I'm not. You don't have to read it if you don't want to (I have tried emailing you in past but not sure if you check them or if I got the right email - I got several addresses). I don't have that many friends partly out of choice. I have no problem getting on with people. I'm just a bit selective who I chat to.

I look forward to your next post. You are an excellent writer. I got plenty of stories but I'm no story teller, I waffle too much. You got both, brilliant stories and a way of telling them that draws the reader in, gives them something on their own terms rather than just dictating a series of events/story to them.

I'd better have a toot and hope I can sleep soon.


PS. You don't have to publish this comment as it's more of a rambling message

Chef Green said...

What a tale. In your way, it was kind of a delicate writing: a bawdy retelling of what must have been your first "big boy" robbery. I know it's odd to say: but it felt rather tender.

I loved especially your descriptions of being stoned out of your gourd, the way that only a young man can feel it. You painted the unreality of that feeling so well.

Like Joe, I actually caught a little of that Kerouac vibe-not overdone or even deliberately, perhaps-but a little of that Beat writing style was definitely present.

To me, the animal that you boys hit was alot like youth-easily damaged, but not extinguisable and definitely uncontrolled.

Another gorgeous piece.

Best and Love,

karl said...

Really enjoyed that, thankyou !

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya K,

I mentioned I was gonna explain something in my last comment but I've forgot what I was gonna explain and so that means there is nothing no longer to explain - expect explaining what I've forgot to explain about.

If that's muddling it's supposed to be am I'm preparing to talk about Palestine and there's no bigger worldwide muddle and fuck up than that piece of land.

I know the Palestinian question very well. It was my first international political interest and the one that the socialists and then the communists kicked me out the door because of.

I'm a passionate supporter for a Palestinian nation, but I'm also anti-religious (against all and every religion there is)and finally found that what I was supporting (and the left)was a huge tangled contradiction all of its own. The kind of government we'd have in Palestine is a kind of government and mentality which I am totally against, so it became hard to understand the left's fascination with putting a government in power and supporting political parties and groups which are completely nationalistic in philosophy and have an agenda completely at odds with leftist ideals. It's akin to the lefts support of the IRA (which I supported also). I still do. I still support a free Ireland and I still support a piece of land called Palestine. What I won't do is take allegiance with rebels who at any other time in history I would be passionately fighting and arguing against. I believe in the right for Islam to exist but I could never fight to have an Islamic government installed anywhere in the world... same as I couldn't fight for a Jewish government or a hindu or Christian government. It goes against everything I believe of this world. I will campaign for the right for a people to have a piece of land but I will stop there. (cont'd)

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

(K cont'd)

I was at one time involved with a band of Turkish communists, operating out of north london, who had real connections with both the IRA and HAMAS. I was helping with the translation of international news for their Turkish paper. All around this little hideout there were pictures of paper's exiled editor fishing with Gerry Adams, shaking hands with Hamas freedom fighters, around the table with ETA etc etc. When I questioned some of these people and their political ideals and argued that some were even on the far right of politics in their own countries there were no answers to those questions -just angry, murderous looks. When I went further and brought up the impossibility of such relations and said that supporting some of these groups was akin to supporting the National Socialists they threatened to kill me and kicked me out never to return again. But I was young and new and free of thought and saw such hypocritical things and fucked up lines of thought to which I couldn't keep my mouth shut. I wanted to be a Communist and I wanted to understand every line of thought and relation to that ideal, but there is no understanding it because there really is no solid worldwide thought to make its possibility attainable. It was there, at all the dead ends I kept arriving at, that turned me away from any political affiliation for life. I found philosophy after that and it is a much surer way to live out an existence. To have personal and stable and honest politics, politics of the soul, and not get involved with all the hypocritical movements and agendas and supporting fights which fit into a body of thought one way and completely jut out its sides in another. So I know the Palestinian people have been repeatedly done over and raped throughout history, same as I know the arguments over that little scimitar of land are the origins of many of our modern day and serious worldwide troubles. I also know I believe in the right for the existence of Palestine. I just won't affiliate myself with common parties, fighting for that same cause, but with a very different ideals in every other respect. It's always been very fashionable to support someone with a gun, especially when they're pointing it at you.


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya karl and Welcome and thanks! X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey ya Chef and sorry for the delay in replying.

It was my first and almost my last 'big boy' robbery. That wasn't really what i was into but was forced to do it once after that (maybe it was even before) and later robbed a couple of off-licences and warehouse (but never houses). No one much had anything to steal anyway, and what they did was stolen already.. and that was stolen property itself! I much prefered chucking grapefruits through peoples windows and sitting in the backs of stolen cars listening to the driver and passenger oh-my-god-ing about how we were just very nearly all killed. I love car rides, even nowadays, just being driven around town in a world of thoughts.

I've another post about being stoned and almost losing my mind and the descriptions are even more vivid in that one. There was even a point I had to stop writing as I suddenly felt completely out my mind. That sounds like a joke, but it's not.

The kerouac things weird because as I mentioned to Joe I've not read any of his writing. I really hope he's not been coming over here and copying me though!

The animal, for me, represented a kind of change for us all. That we all wanted to live after that moment and the fight for life was somehow worth it. I think we grew up watching that thing run away. There was alsothe moment in the night where we thought it may have been a man we hit and all our reactions to that made us think a little (in private) of what we were doing. It was a night where nothing seemed to change but everything did. Apart from me everyone got better! Hahaha.

Take care Chef..; Love as ever, Shane. X

Blogosławiona Blahggierka said...

Hello, Shane,

Well, reading your tales I'm still having an importunate to say?...that "the count" of words/metaphores, etc. you are using/you are playing with is just...the little part of that plenty you are "natural given" to dispose. And that being so "severe" and chary in your words/writing, so to say, comes obviously not from inability, but means something else; completely intentional: kinda signing of noble reduce...I appreciate that skill/ability very much, because in my own writing I'm still struggling with the words I don't want/I can't "split". It's like the words just..."tempting" me to use and abuse and misuse them. No matter how strong I'm trying there's always too many words; sometimes it's just because my obsessive-compulsive deseases: it's hard to me make a choice of ANY kind, so it concerns not only writting-shopping and daily wearing for instance could be pretty frustrating as well;-)).Sometimes I think it's the sign of being inmature and hope some day my writting "comes on age" with me together;-). What interresting(?)I've noticed is: the better and the more "safe" I'm feeling "beating the keyboard"- the more simple and clear my writting gets. Some similiar experience from your side, huh?
The another one question I wish to ask you is: DOES YOUR WRITTING HURT? Actually it would sound DOES IT HURT(to you), WHEN YOU'RE WRITTING?
I mean, I want to find out if you can work with the "hard stuff", when the subject is painfull, so it keeps your mind and body nearly paralised, and you're sitting in the front of the screen with your elbows tight pressed to your body; your fingers hanging over the keyboard without any idea how to dare and touch it, and you slowly falling in panic: "The game's over. I'll never write anything, anymore. Just lost it forever"....
I definitely can't struggle with that. My writting could come from pain, but it has to be somehow "converted" by the time into kinda exiting "adventure", if you get me.I mean, someone has give me rush, unless it "makes my pen dead". Truly speaking, I'm writting in order to amuse myself. Do you find it inmature?

Shane, please don't break my heart with the chats like:"Nothing more boring and dull than advanced junkies' lifestyle. They end up/live up their days walking the Coronation street with Grandmoms and tryin' to score.";-)).It makes me sick (just fucking sick/nansea, not even dopesick),so dull does it sound, not even mention to imagine or look after. I only hope Coronation street is more interresting than...Nowa Huta
(the suburbs' concrete desert in Krakow- the permanent "grey, industrial weather", what actually isn't weather but the state of mind, soaks into your mind; dust on empty alleys and tired ugly faces shaped by the lack of PROMISE-the opposite of any RUSH; pure hell for EVERYONE who want SOMETHING HAPPENS - interresting it's the place that brainfucker methadone' clinic sticks-they:the area and the drug fits very well each other).

Funny, I always thought the foreigner users are gifted by something what the polish-ones doesn't have.
However, how you explain the fact there are HERE a lot of junkies, users, abusers, dope fiends and they don't seem to be brainfucked...and doesn't look they're taking a walk with their Grandparents;-)?????????

...oh, God, save my really killed me with that, 'cos I know so good that slowly safe way of decay; peeling out of the dreams-I'm watching that misery every fucking time it's my turn to visit the clinic.

Fuck Methadone!-heroin kills you or not, 'done makes you living dead.
I guess you avoid methadone-keep hang on there, Bro; unless some day you'll consider you're not able to touch the keyboard to write anymore.

My best wishes
your truly
Jowita X

Anonymous said...

Hi Shane,

Re: your writing
It was about the word count and you said at the start you made a conscious effort to curtail that. You were going to say something about that process I think. I personally didn't have a problem with it (only in practical sense cos was reading it where shouldn't have been). All the content did something and was valid, it's only when words are superfluous, flowery, banal and vacuous (i.e. pretentious) that the length of the story might be a problem and you don't have that problem.

Regards political stuff, I'm in an odd position cos my Mum's side is Ulster and I side with the Republicans so I'm a traitor in a sense. I remember sitting by my grandad's bed when he was passing away from bowel cancer. He had a massive bottle of morphine which I couldn't keep my eyes off (in same way blokes eyes are drawn to women's tits). Anyway, he was an old orangeman, I was shocked how racist he was, he even said something about 'dirty arabs' and I thought does he realise his grand-daughter is part Arab? Maybe it was the morphine, thought I think that acts as a truth serum so even more revealing how people can carry hatred and ignorance deep within their soul.

As regards religion, I know all too well the problems it brings. I was brought up as a Muslim and witnessed first hand how things like sexual suppression causes problems, makes guys more desperate and also means victims of that kind of abuse have to suffer in silence or be punished. Also, when I was at Art school one of my best friends was a gay muslim and he had to keep the pretence to his family about his sexuality (as I did) so as not to upset them or be disowned.
I remember once asking my stepmum 'If Palestinian women were raped by the Jews (would not be surprised,She very nonchalantly said 'No! If they were raped they would have been shot by their father or oldest brother'. I couldn't believe it but what shocked me most was that she said it as though this was ok and a natural order of things.
I'm not a supporter of Hamas (obviously) but at same time, if that's what people vote in, wouldn't it be undemocratic to deny them that? It's like with the Arab Spring stuff, A lot of Western observers were worried about who they'd vote in after they toppled their corrupt (Western supported) regimes. Their main worry was that they would be repalced by an Islamist state. But if that's what the people have chosen, isn't that what they should get.
As far as Palestinians are concerned, I would hate for an Islamist state because I think they've had enough oppression. Funny thing is that exiled Palestinians oppose them but those living in the hell hole of Gaza support them. It's very easy to have ideals in the comfort of your armchair.
For me democracy/freedom is also the freedom to make the wrong choices and fuck up. It's not always going to lead to something good. Sometimes it has to go totally tits up (again) before it gets better. Forcing something, even if it's a good thing is another form of totalitarianism. I think every country/culture needs to go through it's growing pains/rebellion/mistakes etc on its own terms.

Sailor said...

Hey Shane, it's 03:42am in Blighty and I just finished Orwell's 'Road to Wigan Pier' in one session. It gave me a voratious appetite to read some of your writing. I was thinking that you are the finest modern example I know of intellectual proletarianism.
I love that you don't need to see your name in print, that you write out of pure desire and not to socially 'better' yourself (as Orwell would put it). I love your intellectualism sprinkled with grammatical anomolies 'we was on a well travelled country lane' and regional dialects.
Mostly I'm in awe at the fact you have the time and energy to get this stuff down whilst living the endless tail-chasing life of a junkie. I need years of distance before I can write things down and even then it can be too hard to relive them. I selfishly want you to stay as you are, in the deep, dark, thick of it all with the uncanny ability to be objective.
Anyway, I'm going to post this before I delete it. Everything is unbearably emotive at 4am and I've probably gone on. Hope you're wringing some kind of pleasure out of this hideous season, even if it's from staying selfconsciously isolated whilst everyone around you engages in rampant consumerism and phony empathy.
Take care, Sx

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey again K,

I support Hamas, their action, but not their eventual politics which is religious politics. Same I supported and support the IRA and the Real IRA's fight, but not the Nationalism that often hides behind it. The thing is the left often goes further than supporting a cause, they ally themselves with a groups who are on the right of politics - only they don't seem to be for a very brief moment in history.

but at same time, if that's what people vote in, wouldn't it be undemocratic to deny them that?

And would people vote a Palestinian government in? Or would the group who secures a proper homeland automatically take power? And just because people have the right to vote doesn't make for 'democracy'. People had the vote in Iraq and before that in Uganda under Idi Amin..; they had a choice, though if they made the wrong one they'd know about it. But I never said I believed in democracy, and I don't. I certainly don't buy into the myth that democracy is freedom. Democracy/freedom that's one of the great myths of our time. Most the huge events in our history have been specifically undemocratic when you look at them. Just because we have a choice between a couple of parties doesn't make for any kind of freedom.

The majority of exiled Palestinians don't oppose an Islamic regime... most (as something like 98% of palestinians are Sunni muslims and support religious governance. Muslims would be hard pressed to live under any other kind of law and keep their faith. Maybe I misunderstood you??? Maybe you were talking specifically of opposing Hamas? There are/were at least 5 Hookah cafés along the Uxbridge Road which were meeting places for exiled Palestinians and I had wormed my way into all those places and can honestly say I was the only man who never visited the mosque on fridays. They didn't all support Hamas (though mos did), but I had only ever used hamas as an example. They all however supported an islamic government... it wasn't even a debate. But as far as I can see 'democracy' has no part to play in any religion....religions are specifically undemocratic and tyranical. God is tyrannical. it's in the set-up.That's the nature of the beast. But that's not my main problem with religion. my main problem is that it's 2011 and people still believe there is an all governing power in the sky! It's fucking crazy. Praying and worshipping a force somewhere out in the galaxy. I can't even explain how crazy it is and how in future history these people will be looked on as huge groups of deluded crazies. We can all understand early mans need for a God and an answer to himself and the universe, but for every person still believing or indecisive in 2011 they should be ashamed of themselves and all should be in psychiatric care homes.


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

(cont'd) K 2

It's very easy to have ideals in the comfort of your armchair.

I think that's the best place to have ideals. You can look at things as objectively as is possible without the passionate ties that will make even the best of us biased. It's like you don't want someone who has just been raped by a black man on a jury where a black man, any black man, is involved. And you don't want an Ulster Unionist with power of sentence standing judge over a suspected Republican. Of course the people in gaza support the groups who pick up guns to defend them, I would too (I do). You'd support anyone who took up arms against that and promised a liberation from it.

But again, I don't care if the people support them... they should support them, that's just normal. But I don't support religion, any religion and that will be a passionate and lifelong stance. So i will not support any religious group, even if I support one of their causes, because ultimately their guns will soon be pointed towards me, because I am their natural enemy. Liberal thought and thinking is the enemy of religion. Religion is just an ancient form of control and governance. Religion is also very close to fascism, don't forget that.

For me democracy/freedom is also the freedom to make the wrong choices and fuck up. It's not always going to lead to something good. Sometimes it has to go totally tits up (again) before it gets better. Forcing something, even if it's a good thing is another form of totalitarianism. I think every country/culture needs to go through it's growing pains/rebellion/mistakes etc on its own terms.

Take what you say there to grass roots level and and to a different event and see how democracy (and believers in democracy) treated it. Look at what happened to the BNP when they took a council seat in Tower Hamlets in the 1990's - and playing by the rules of democracy and freedom. The whole fucking country and media come down on them and every underhand tactic that any totalitaran government has ever deployed was used to force them out. Me too, I gave my voice when I could and was glad to see that party slapped down as it was. But it wasn't democratic. That's too forcing something out, and in exactly the same way. Would you think it would have been best to just letthe BNP ride it out until change maybe came from within the commuity? I think the community would have probably fled if they didn't have the massive support from outside which they did.

But with all that said I think you maybe missed an important line in my last reply, as I said "i'd fight for the piece of land and then have to walk away". I'd have to walk away because I know who's hands that land will end up in and what will become of it. And even if it's good for the people living there, that's not even my concern. My concern is that I am anti-religion, as supossedly the far left should be too, but it doesn't seem it when they are helping religious groups, often extreme religious groups into power just because they happen to both believe in a common cause. I would like to see all religion and worship outlawed. It's one of the main reasons we're all still killing each other.


originalkitten said...

Shane I haven't read your writings for a while as I unexpectedly lost my mum to cancer last month and kind of went to pieces. I've been walking around as a different person, acting out of character and just not with it at all so with all due respect I did t feel like reading  blogs. I guess, to be truthful, I wanted to just sit and do nothing and waste away in the hope I could follow my mum but my wonderful children snapped me out of it and here I am getting back into my routine and back at your blog. I don't always comment after I've read a piece of your work, as I fear my own words may sound stupid against your own, but felt compelled to tonight. 
Your writing is just so impressive. I find myself, due to health problems, struggling to read anything too long. Before I became ill I was an avid reader and could read a book in a night. Now I find it hard to concentrate on it long enough to get the gist of the story or I find I nod off. I am on OxyContin for pain and as you probably know its morphine based and I guess in a way my little fix. Digressing slightly I know I need Oxy because I was told if I didn't I'd become addicted to it and as I can miss the time I'm supposed to take it because I forget and it's only pain or the fact I'm like a wind up toy that slows down when needing winding again, because my muscles stiffen up, that reminds me I would only remember at bedtime as it is part of my routine. But I know when I take it on bad days when my legs are like elephants legs and the pain is unbearable I find I imagine it running through my veins killing all the baddies, as my mother used to say in an attempt to get us to take foul tasting medicine when I was a kid. Anyway back to my point I have trouble reading long writings but your piece I could not put down! I was reading while on my smartphone and even, embarrassingly, took it into the toilet with me as I could not put it down! 

It was exhilarating for want of a better word. Each word had me racing to the next. And even when you spoke about the deer coming out of the van I though omg I dont want to read about this poor deer getting his head smashed in and when it escaped I cheered like I did as a child in the cinema watching Santa Claus the movie when at that crucial moment Santa got his reindeer to fly. I cheered so loudly. My 13 year old asked me what I was cheering at and I laughed and just said I had read something that had a good ending. 
I don't even know why I've written to tell you all this. You know you can write, just like I know I can make pretty awesome 3d pictures. I know you don't need to be told your good and you write for you alone. I do my art for me alone and even though I enjoy bringing pleasure to someone, if someone doesn't like it I think so what, unless they are giving me a piece of constructive critisim.  I guess I'm telling you because I want you to know that I liked it. Maybe it's like the guy in your comments who wants to say he saw the originals, maybe in years to come i can say to my grandchildren " you know that acclaimed writer Shane ..." we'll I used to comment on his blog, or maybe it's because if I comment I feel as if I'm taking part in the adventure itself and for that I guess I want to thank you for enriching the past hour of my life. 

(by the way I am Ruth's cousin - Ruth being the wilderness chic)x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Jowita, I can't explain my use of words and my ideas for writing here as it'd take way too much time. I'll just say that my choice of words are limited to those which even the illiterate can understand. I refuse to use obscure, wordsmith words that mean nothing to 80% of the readers. For each word that is not understood can mean the loss of that entire sentence (for that/up to 80%). If the sentence is so worthless and unimportant (and it must be to write something only so few will understand) then don't write it at all. So the words I use are simple and natural and are limited to a vocabularly that I would have understood myself as a young man not having had much schooling. There's a lot of pretense to most writing and I can't bear that and won't help to try and elevate literature above the heads of the many. That's a selfish writing style, a style for those who want to be regarded, above anything else, as 'a writer'. My words are for the illiterate just as they are for people who have a genuine love of literature. They are often the same people seperated by good and bad chance.

I'm not sure what you mean by feeling "safe" while typing. I never feel 'safe', I feel sure and it feels right. I feel that's what I should be doing, unlike painting where I'm always struggling to capture what I want and struggling not to repeat something which has already been done. With writing I am Me, I can feel I'm Me, and even if I'm modest I also know that many things I write could have only been written by me. So I feel sure, and confident and that is not a temporary feeling but one of permanence. It doesn't mean I alwways write good stuff. I don't. But even when I write crap, it's still crap which no-one else could have written.

No, writing doesn't hurt and neither is it cathartic. When I write I go through normal emotions: sometimes it can make me cry, sometimes smile, sometimes reflective, sometime hopeful sometimes hopeless... but life does that, and so if your writing of life and thinking of life then that's normal. Writing is painfully boring; that's about it. It also exhausts me as I revisit a lot in my work and to revisit things and really get back into them uses a lot of energy. After writing I feel shattered, it's like I've strained myself mentally.

Let's not get into clichés like the artist being a torured soul and writing his words with ink of pain. It's nonsense. Sure, a bit of pain or a bit of happiness can help heighten the immediate senses and feeling for expression, but REAL pain, REAL REAL pain, is not creative. It is paralysing and no decent work has ever been written at the height of that emotion. The last thing you want to do when you're realing hurting is focus in on it, scrutinize it, analyse it. You can't. You want to forget about it... to hurt no more. So it doesn't really allow you to write. If you do, it will be a work so self-indulgent and self pitying that it'll be worthless to anyone except maybe a psychiatrist or a boy or girl with a heart made out of butter. Most people who have just been given news that their wife and baby have been killed in a car crash do not run to the type writer; they run to the drinks cupboard or the medicne cabinet. Writing comes months or years later, when it's mostly dealt with and all that is left is a few burning embers to get you in the right spirit. Writing is no painkiller.

Cont'd --->

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

(Jowita cont'd)

You misunderstood, Coronation Street is a Television program. It's a soap opera that about three quarters of Britain watches three times (or so) a week at 7pm. And yes, most junkies are boring... you only need to go around the junkies writing online to find that out. With the exception of one or two they write the most clichéd, mythical rubbish and every other post is the same. It's the same because addiction is a repeat cycle. Highlighted as a one day event it may seem exciting, but even the most exciting things are boring when they happen every day. You must also remember that if when I write about junkies they don't seem boring I'm writing of a specific event when we were active and something out the ordinary happened. But you must ask yourself: "What happens inbetween?" Also, addiction leaves such a powerful sickness that it has to be safe and sure. It doesn't encourage risks or wildness because that type of behaviour will lead to being sick and suffering. Addicts work hard to make their lives very safe and very sure... it's a myth to say otherwwise. How would someone who knows they will be physically paralysed without their fix take any huge unneeded gambles? They won't. And they don't... unless that gamble is the end of the line for getting well that night. I'm the same. I won't and can't just up and leave the city on whim. I won't join a riot and throw a brick. If I got arrested for a silly thing like that I'd suffer hell for two weeks. Addiction leads to a safe life, not a wild and risky one.

I don't avoid methadone at all. I use it at least four days a week. I'm not too sure what you mean about it making you 'the living dead'? And if it does then stop taking it. No?For me that's a phrase I hear a lot, another very well worn line. But I think it's not the methadone which zombifies someone but the constant preoccupation with wanting heroin while all you've got is what seems like a poor substitute.

OK, Jowita... I think I'm all out of words on this one...

Hope you're well, and take care...

Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Gledwood said...

Shane I have to come back to the story another time I'm at an internet caff with time draining rapidly I came by to wish you a very merry Xmas and a happy new year!

Anonymous said...

I like to think the deer was called Rudolph, and that it got splatted by a truck further down the road.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Anon, I like to think that my readers are post-pubescent and have some brains. You really ought to join Mensa... they're looking for people like you.X

Ann Onymous said...

Jeez Shanola, I fink you musta left your sense of humour in the bottom of a syringe barrel ... or maybe Rudolph is some childhood icon of yours, or you dust don't like trucks splatting deers ... root out them old used filters, and with a bit of luck you might come across that lost sense of humour. I think its re-insertable via the anus.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Anonymous Anus

It's hard to laugh at things which are not in any way witty or even slightly humorous. If you want that effect on people I'd suggest a change of line... or telling it in any primary school playground (maybe even nursery). No subject matter is out of limits for me but I just can't laugh, no matter how hard I try, at such crap. Did you really imagine I was gonna reply: Hahahhahah.. rotfl... PMSL.... LOOOOLLLLL!!!! HAHAHAHAH


is that the effect you thought your words would have on me? Oh DEER, you're even more self-deluded than me! It just wasn't funny. That's all. Just wasn't funny. X

Kono said...

Hello Shane,

I'd say that this isn't my favorite piece, it hits in all the right places and it's a right laugh but i had the feeling that deer was gonna get up and bolt but it was entertaining nonetheless, i once tossed a dead deer on my 78 Old's Cutlass and drove through a corn field to prove to a house full of drunks i had actually stumbled upon a dead deer in the woods, of course i was on acid and not really thinking straight and when we drove back to town, this being America, it dawned on us that if we got pulled over the cops would grill us about the blood and fur on the hood and demand to know where the dead deer was but as i'm sure you know America is a strange place... that being said i did particularly enjoy your comments, it's funny how people get so wrapped up in the image of writing and not actually writing, i commend you for your patience and kindness in your responses, i happen to agree with you on about 99% of what you said i'm just glad i don't have to explain it, the whole safe thing was a bit weird really and your explanation was spot on, i also enjoyed your comment on junkies being boring but really you could substitute people for junkies... cont.

Kono said...

what i think people miss and what i like about your posts are the lack of romanticzing of junk, addiction is addiction be it booze, junk, coke, pills, food, sex etal, in fact the other day i was having a conversation about addiction and the consensus was that food had to be the hardest to kick, basically it's everywhere and legal and easily obtainable unlike drugs which take a modicum of planning and leg work, i used to want to strangle the scrawny fuck who brought me coke every time he was ten minutes late but i digress, keep up the good work, it's always an interesting read, cheers.

Ann Ominous said...

Explaining jokes always makes them less funny not more funny, so I won't bother. Clue: I don't like Xmas. I really like your stories though, your writing is gripping and your tales told with sublime style. As for you: fame, in all its sickly forms, affects people in similar ways. I hope your ego-truck doesn't splat your reindeer-soul. Have a New Year, Shame.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Anonymous, Dr Deaf, Endorphan, arsehole...

You're commenting under three different names. You've not got lung caner but I hope you get it. Your jokes aren't highbrow but schoolyard stuff with nothing to explain other than they came from the mouth/arse of a fucking retarded idiot. Fame fame fame... yeah go take your clichéd shit elsewhere and I couldn't give a fuck if people like you read or like my words or not. Vodka and opiates... you prick. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Kono,

I think we've exchanged a few words once before so I won't give you the old CAPS LOCKED WELCOME!!! Oops... I just kinda have.

Thanks for what you say and reading. Everyone has their own opinions on what are their favourite posts. I enjoy to hear them, of course, but I finally judge the quality of a piece on my own judgement. I think this is one of the best posts I've put up as it gets more to the heart of what I'm about and in a way gives a lot of insight into other pieces of writing on this site. But it's all a matter of personal taste and just that people order what I write according to their own opinions I take as a huge compliment anyway. But for many reasons I think this is one of the better texts I've put up, though maybe pushed the word count for an online piece. less and less I worry about that. I've kinda stopped writing to be read, but won't explain that just now as it'll take too long.

I think whether you had the feeling the deer was gonna get up and bolt or not isn't really here or there.. It was a piece of life with a fixed ending and not a piece of suspênse with a twist at the end. It wasn't supposed to come as a surprise but was the final sentiment (as it happened) in an evening of events, and that final event was something much more than an end to a story. It was four young men realising together that life can be beautiful and that maybe it was something worth fighting for.

I'll be truthful with you Kono, all the replying and responses to emails are now getting a bit too much. I seriously write over a book length of stuff each month in reply to comments and mails and will have to curtail it in someway very shortly. What really keeps me at it is that I see the comment section(and mails too) also as a part of my work. Often the replies themselves could make a post. I also get to explain some thoughts behind what I do and also get to write about things I may otherwise never have. So I see the comments as publishable work also and so there is that incentive to keep doing it.

My point wasn't that junkies are any more boring than anyone else, but more they are no exciting than anyone else. I try to stamp down all the junk myths and especially the ones that junkies perpetrate themselves: Drugs/creativity, drugs/self-destruction, heroin/death in a barrel, heroin/walking the line, addiction/intense crazy exciting life, etc etc. Many addicts play up to these myths because they suit the image they are searching to portray of themselves, ut they are just as much myths as 'try it once and you'll get addicted!' So my comment was just to put it right that most junkies lives are not exciting but very monotonous and boring and the aim is to be as stable as possible with nothing going askew. Risk is a great fear to the addict as it could very well mean severe sickness and we'd all go very far to avoid that. You won't catch many junkies joining a street protest and chucking a bin through a McDonald's window... just in case they're the poor sod in a thousand who gets nabbed. They'll take the back street and avoid the riot altogether.

yeah, you're right about food. You know I have a huge chocolate addiction. I eat 500g (5 family bars a day) and I cannot stop no matter how hard I try. I will often walk to miles at 3am in the morning to find an automat machine to dispense chocolat. The evening is just not complete without it... I can't sleep without it. Food was the same also for a few years.. the years proceeding taking my methadone program a little more seriously. Thankfully I've cut that out now, but it took a couple of years to get the strength to do and I'd taken a lot of weight.

OK KOno, I think I've just about covered everything..;

You take care, man... Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Ann Onimous said...

OK you caught me bang to rights. Read my Dr Death apology. Just wanted a friend.

Ann Ominous said...

Shane, I just got sick of all the sentimental twaddle you spew out to your fans. Bipolar? I'm fucking multi-polar, how many identities do you want? Anyway, look at how I made your reveal the nasty side of your personality, a simple desire of mine. Whoa, you got some anger bottled up, it gave me a hard-on to feel some genuine emotion from you. Thanks for that. Post this if you got any guts left in your pin-cushion body. Be seeing you.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Ann Anus/Dr Deaf/Adolescent poetaster

Shane, I just got sick of all the sentimental twaddle you spew out to your fans

It's you who willfully read the posts then all the comments and replies. Not even my biggest 'fans' are that obsessive about what I do. It's embarrassing the amount of time you've spent here, clicking on every link and going through every word I've ever written. What really happened? Did you realize how shit your own stuff was in comparison to mine and got all pissed about it? Awwww.

Anyway, look at how I made your reveal the nasty side of your personality, a simple desire of mine

You came here expecting to get a pat on the back for acting like an adolescent death-seeker and instead you got a kick in the teeth and told to fuck off and grow up. You badly misjudged me and it left you raging. You also didn't like the fact you started spewing out how great you thought my words were and was still told to "Fuck off!". There's been many like you and they've all had the same treatment from the first ever posts. I don't care for retards like you reading my stuff.

One of your life's desires was to make me reveal a nasty side? My god, my words must have really touched you if I'd become that important in your life and daily thoughts. As you know: that's very very sad. It's obvious from all you write that you're mightily jealous of the amount of eyes my words attract whereas your own shitty stuff is read only by yourself (even when it's given away free). I suppose I'd be pissed off at that too.

your writing is gripping and your tales told with sublime style.

Your words. To me. In return I can truthfully say that your poetry is some of the worst crap I've ever read and you deserve cancer for that alone.

Post this if you got any guts left in your pin-cushion body

My guts still hold my shit - whereas yours is leaking out at an alarming rate.

Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Shane,

Happy New Year!
I've had a few drinks and feel like shite! Anyway, I'm back at my mum's (in Kent - maybe that's why I feel like shite. This place is like some Miss Marple's village with a bus that comes once an hour! I'm a city person so I hate it!). The only good thing is being reunited with my cat. I was saying to my mum the other day: 'It's really made my Christmas to go up to bed and find him lying there waiting for me'. I was standing outside puffing on a fag (I'm now barred from smoking indoors) and my mum said 'Shhhh! The neighbours will hear you and think you're talking about a man!'. Well at least I didn't say 'And sometimes he sticks his legs in the air and licks his arse'.

Happy 2012 whatever it may bring or take away.


Blogwipe said...

Love and Thoughts O Great One

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hi K & HNY 2 U 2!

I spent Christmas and New Years 100% straight. The last time I did that I think I was 13, which was also the last year I spent more days on the wagon than off it.

I really love getting out the city for a day or so and sometimes I really kinda envy the ways of village folk and the cosy, regulated existence they live. They're things I've always craved in life but could never find. I suppose it's a family thing.

When I was in school we used to go for a week each year to a village in Wisbech (near Kings Lynn) called Gorefield. We stayed in a detached house, the old vicarage, which was owned by our school and looked out over the ancient cemetery and church. That place,absolutely pitch black once the evening was down, did something to me. We used to go on field trips and bottle digs and investigate the history of the place. You could walk the entire village in 25 minutes but there were infinite things to do and find and of course it's a whole world of villages and hamlets out that way. I kinda felt alive and a part of the world out there, like how you'd feel in a forest where you had to really interact and respect your enviroment to survive. But I couldn't live out in the sticks... I need the city. I need to see the grime and the shit... the food and the human dumps, the waste of mass over-production. One has a very different relationship to that kind of enviroment.

OK Special K, hope you get safely back to the hub of pollution and hope that 2012 is gonna be a generous one. I'm full of hope... I think on of these years is going to bring great things.

Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Anonymous "Liar"

For it to be a lie it'd have to be advertised as non-fiction and I don't see anywhere that I state it was the record of a real event. Thanks for showing us your brains are in your arse and Thanks for giving me half an hour of your time... I so enjoy taking it from people like you.

Love and Wishes, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


WELCOME O Greater One...

Thoughts and Wishes, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Blogwipe, are you such a thick piece of shit you didn't get what my earlier message meant? Thanks for creating another ID just for me... and subscribing to the comments, and coming here ALL DAY yesterday checking the relevant posts to see if your retarded comments had been approved (while using the same IP, service provider and computer and internet browser as you always do). You are maybe the saddest person to have ever come seeking my attention... you are certainly the stupidest. I tagged you for an arsewipe from your very first comment... the one where you thought you'd impress me by talking all blahzé about death while only serving to highlight your lowly, childish intellect. You'll never live that humiliation down... that's very clear. Love and Wishes, Shane. X

Blogwipe said...

Of course i'll create multiple ID's, i want to talk to you as i am fascinated by you but you've labelled me as an 'arsewipe' and refuse to be my friend. Yeah i misjudged you, i thought (hoped) i could impress you by showing a contempt for life and OK, to try and redeem some integrity in your eyes i said i was going to kill myself on New Years Eve when i had never any intenshon of doing so, but i had to do something, i wanted you to take notice of me like you do to the 'others'. I'm sorry OK. The truth is i am 17 and from Lancashire (move around between Blackpool and liverpool). I really do dig what you do and DID come here as I wanted you to take some interest in me and maybe even write a post about me as i've lived some pretty fucked up shit. i wet about it the wrong way. Will you forgive me? I just want to be a friend nd would like that from you. Yes???

Anonymous said...

"Blogwipe/An ominous etc etc"

Give it a break kid, this is getting really embarrassing to read and you can never delete this shit. Come back when you know who you are and have something to contribute perhaps? People see through bullshit and bravado much more easily than you think - I wish someone had told me that at 17.

Shane - Curtail your email correspondences; i'll reply at a future date! The chocolate addiction is very strongly linked to opiates by the way, it gives me the sweetest sweet tooth imaginable. Massively over-did it on NYE and spent Jan 1st gulping down extrasupersweet hot chocolate made from Treat icecream sauce and chocolate squirty cream. Methadone is even worse for it. Burroughs suffered greatly from the chucks too, apparently. It's not the worst side-effect in the world but watch out for your teeth.

- S xx

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Sailor, X

Oh I'll carry on with the mails and that as long as I can but I think I'll maybe prioritize them more and invest my time and words in the more interesting ones and those which I feel could make insightful reading to a third party. I've a kind of soft spot for corresponding as it helped build up respect and readership in the early days and was partly responsible for the word of mouth buzz which started up. It just gets to a point now where it'sjust becoming impossible (no matter how much I'd like to reply).

Yeah smack really effects the foodstuffs you take in. I've a draft post somewhere about how heroin changes one's dietary habits but it's just not a piece that's right for Memoires. I've found methadone not only gives you insane sugar cravings but fat and oil cravings too (something heroin doesn't). On heroin anything oily or greasy turned my stomach after a couple of mouthfuls, so much so that just the remaining plate of food would make me heave if it wasn't covered or taken away completely. During my 5years of daily heroin use in London my diet was down to: Chocolate, heavily sugared cereal (I lived off cornflakes and Weet-A-Bix), nuts & seeds, fruit, biscuits, sandwiches.Heroin gave me intense cravings for sugar and wholesome foods (especially that which contained fibre). Methadone just turns one into a glutton and the body stores the fat in the weirdest places, like forehead, sides of face, chest, legs... it turns everyone ball-shaped. I can tell longterm methadone users miles off. I'm right in the middle of a diet now having taken quite a bit of weight with my increased methadone use recently. I'm doing 45 minutes of jogging on the spot a day (smoking and reading at the same time). It's a ridiculous sight but has worked as i'm now back to my usual weight... though it wasn't easy.

Hope 2012 brings you just the good things... Love and Thoughts, Shane. XXX

Sailor said...


Oh man, that put a wonderful image into my head. Thanks for that. It's pissing down with rain here and windy as hell.. really enjoyable. I'm necking the rest of the Xmas booze as I can't sleep and am planning what to research in the library tomorrow. Having a few 'clean' methadone-only days as recommended by someone, can't remember who..
2012 will be brilliant. Just in case the world ends I'm doing all the shit i've been putting off for ages. I lost the vast majority of me belongings last month so planning to get a car and fuck off this year with nothing but my hound and a few empty notebooks, no possessions to hold me back. Maybe I'll even stop by Lyon and witness the jog-smoke-read diet first hand. ;)

S xx

Anonymous said...

P.S Maybe if I switch to juice a couple of days a week i'll get my appetite back then. I've always eaten like a child and gear makes me so much worse. I'd live on fruit, yoghurt and sweets if I could. Food doesn't interest me at all, it bores me to death in fact. I wish they'd invent Willy Wonka style dinner-pills so I never had to think about it again.

S xx

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Sailor, just incase you're around waiting a reply I'll have to leave you a proper one later in the day as I'm off to bed now and have the rare privilege of a crisp new sheet to burn. Until Then... X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey again Sailor,

The last time I drank anything more than a glass of wine was over four years ago now. I never got drunk at all through my strictly heroin years and only started drinking even mildly sociably while on methadone (and even then very rarely). Drink makes me crave heroin... in fact, anything which takes me out of my comfort zone of 'straight' or 'junked up' leaves me going out to score smack in order to regain my equilibrity. If it wasn't for crack and heroin one could quite honestly regard me as drug-free tee-totaller!

I can't write on paper. I've tried but it doesn't give me the room for movement and change I need. pen to paper and fingers to keypad is two very different starting points of thinking about writing. Because of the difficulties and the bore of editing written stuff one must go into that with a clearer grammatical approach, or spend more time thinking before committing pen to paper. I knock out my first draft on auto and spend the next three days arranging it into something comprehensible. It's like how digital photographs has made that medium so disposable, well the computer has had the same effect on writing. I like it because we ca,n be even rawer, wilder... and chuck away or delete that which is so raw it festers. If I had to write on paper I probably wouldn't write at all... and there's no way I'd get around to printing off, ordering and sending manuscripts of to publishers. I just couldn't and wouldn't want to do all that. Too much hard work.

I do keep notepads though, but more for poetry and song verse... or ash, spit, blood, cum and dribble... (modern literature at its rarest and finest).


Anonymous said...

hi shane, i just wanted to say that i love your writing style, i really feel like i'm there re-living it with you. just started my own blog and finding it theraputic to say the least.
wish you all the best for 2012.

Anonymous said...

Hiya Shane,

Happy New Year! Tee-total? As long as it was your choice and not imposed. I can't say the same. No (illicit) opiates (but they're called opiods cos they're manmade) but plenty of booze in the evening which can't say I enjoyed really, just did it to feel different, not good.

I did order some KavaKava which is meant to be a herbal sedative. Big disappointment! The fact they were banned in the UK made me think they must be good - surely they only ban things that people enjoy! But no, I think they're as good as a placebo and I'm far too cynical to be fooled by them. The reason they're banned for sale here is apparently they cause liver damage but that's cos the Western herbal pill manufacturers use the discarded leaves and stems when you're only meant to use the root. Still, I'd not recommend bothering. Maybe I'm just getting old and jaded.

RE the countryside. Yeah, I can take it in small doses too. But after a couple of days I start going stir crazy and feeling like I'm growing old before my time (people come to this area; Whitstable - to die. I call it the cul-de-sac of life). I think I'm getting withdrawal from carbon monoxide fumes, maybe I'll lock myself in the garage with a car and a hose.

I'm glad you're optimistic though. Sorry, I won't lie and pretend to be. When I left my freelance job in London I also said goodbye to my best friend (long story) and my crazy ex contacting me (and breaking the order) is the only link I have to any life that was relatively my own. So I'm starting from scratch in a way (except your debts follow you everywhere, they should wipe them out when everything else ends).

Oh, I got 'Down and out and in Murder Mile' for xmas from my brother (who's dead straight and zero tolerance as regards drugs, did he not read up the synopsis when he got it off my wishlist? I had a perverse pleasure that he got me that). Anyway, read it in 2 days. My main complaint was the book format. It was very narrow so when I turned a page it would sometimes flick back. very annoying from a usability point of view. I'm all for innovative formats in design but not at the expense of the user's experience (unless that's intended).

Happy New Year!


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hi again K,

I'm a huge cynic towards all these herbal and homeopathic medicines. And I have used them, but never once did they ever have the desired effect. I think as you say they are useful as placebos and so will seem to have real effects on pains and aches which are psychosomatic. It's just another big swindle... the alternative lifestyle market.

The shape of Tony's book never really bothered me one way or the other. It's a very continental format, and books that shape have been doing the rounds over here for years. So I'd kinda got used to them by the time Tony's got anywhere near me.The format of French books are much more varied than what we have in UK. The British seem more interested in their bookshelves being uniform and symmetrical above all else. The only thing I'd say against the Murder Mile format is that it is narrower than most paperbacks and so sits an inch further back on the bookshelves and becomes hidden. Personally I enjoy very minimalist books (designwise): Title and author in a nice font against plain background, and no more. I can't bear photos on the cover. Still, the positive is that Tony's book is available in either Red or Yellow and after finishing they make great ping-pong bats. Now that's a genius bit of marketing if ever there was!

Happy New Year, K. Love, Shane. XXX

Darren said...

Heeheehee, Doctor Death GOT TOLD!!!!! Did you notice how he tried to change tact after you cut him down first time, like he was misunderstood and his comment went over everyones head? Then how in trying to come with the smarts he made himself look even more retarded LOL
That's what makes this place so different and standout becoz every other heroin blog would have welcomed that immature death romanticism with open arms.Glad you didn't. Knew you wouldn't anyhows.


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Darren,

There's been many arseholes like him and they all get whipped in the same fashion and then are left sitting at home furiously frustrated, bitter and crazed because they took a public hiding. That person's comments descended into seething childish nonsense and so I marked his IP addy(s) as spam and they get deleted by Blogger as soon as he comments now. He's in some virtual dump where he belongs mixed up with Viagra ads and penis enlargement links. He's such an dick I'm sure he doesn't even realize.

Hope you're well Darren and I'll reply to your mail sometime tomorrow.... Thoughts & Wishes, Shane. X

Anonymous said...

where's your next post you lazy bastard! I keep checking your blog in vain (I can't really say that since all managed to do on mine were a few scans.

Most herbal suppliments are shite, I do take Valerian to sleep (it stinks of unwashed tramps crotches and feet - not that I go around sniffing them, you kind of don't have a choice sometimes) and niacin (which makes me itchy all over and makes my skin burn really hot for a few minutes - I kind of like the feeling).

Anyway, I should be off to London tomorrow for some much needed carbon monoxide and a wee toot. I need to see what's on in the galleries during the day. I missed the Gerhard Richter exhibition at the Tate Modern. Oh well.

Hope you're doing well. Take care of yourself.

Kell said...

Hey Shane, it's Kell here. I popped by a couple of months ago and we had a wee chat about H, M, France and the causal link between being Glaswegian and using....
I noticed you spent Xmas and NY 'clean' (I hate that term, the implication being that we are all fundamentally dirty if our substance of choice is not socially acceptable), anyway- I did the same, for the first time in 10 years, and it was both amazing and bizarre. By about Dec 28th I was bouncing around like a child who had injested a kilo of sherbert, but by Jan 2nd I was kind of bored, and- oh well, back home, you can guess the rest!
Anyway- HNY to you, loving the writing as ever and I hope you're in good health.
Take care x

Kell said...

Hey Shane, it's Kell here. I popped by a couple of months ago and we had a wee chat about H, M, France and the causal link between being Glaswegian and using....
I noticed you spent Xmas and NY 'clean' (I hate that term, the implication being that we are all fundamentally dirty if our substance of choice is not socially acceptable), anyway- I did the same, for the first time in 10 years, and it was both amazing and bizarre. By about Dec 28th I was bouncing around like a child who had injested a kilo of sherbert, but by Jan 2nd I was kind of bored, and- oh well, back home, you can guess the rest!
Anyway- HNY to you, loving the writing as ever and I hope you're in good health.
Take care x

Blogosławiona Blahggierka said...

Hello again,
I regret very much my poor English disables me being perfectly clear and easy to understand...I noticed I'm completely misunderstood if I try to get into debate on the level higher than just a "weather chat"...I'm sorry to be a "killer of my own meaning".

Well, if I told about "feeling safe while writing" I mean that (in)famous "fear before the empty page" and "tabula rasa" of any kind, what many writers/artists describes.
No matter how many kilometers of writing is already behind you, THAT dammned page/empty space is STILL the first one. I told about that compulsive, permanently quest/need for confirmation, or whatever you call it. Even yesterday I heard one of the polish journalists/writers talking very accurate about that "empty page syndrom".

I'm also really glad and gratefull for what you said about "writing in pain, writing from pain", etc. I fully agree that every REAL pain (and fear, as well) makes you completely paralised and out of every work, not to mention creativity. Hell, it "turns you off" even on basical, physical level.
However, I really needed to hear someone else telling that. Even being aware of, I still was feeling not honest enough "torturing my characters" while feeling myself pretty comfortable with a bit of some sick kind of rush. I was feeling somehow guilty for being just a poor "second-hand paparazzi of feelings" instead of the "front-line/war recorder"(lol!), if you know, what I mean.

That's what my asking for relations between pain&writing comes from.

I wish, I would better express myself-my language inability sometimes changes my intentions completely and turns them into their opposites.

Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Is it snowing in France?

It's pure baltic in old blighty! Even the grimy East End looks virginal.


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey K,

It's been snowing on and off for the past week and temperatures have really dropped. Up until then it must have been one of the mildest autumns/winter ever... I was wandering around in a shirt right up until the end of january. I love the cold. Actually I hate it, but I like going from freezing cold to a hot room... it's feels the same as eating chocolate. X

Anonymous said...

Hi Shane, loved this post even more the second time around.
Also, just wondering if you think you will continue with Sick Jesus? I was really enjoying it and think it's a brilliant story line you have planned.

Unknown said...

shane, you've taken me out with you again. i did jump when i read the part about the deer being alive in the back of the van. then, what you wrote about the deer, as it fled, was ever so beautiful. thank-you, again. x

oyzz said...

is this a younger shane ?

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Oyzz... no, that is Andy Frankham a good friend who grew up with me on the same block of flats, on the same estate in London. He also wrote a guest post here about our young years:


oyzz said...

wow , thanks for the clarification Shane , because i read the name of your estate and he looks slightly like you and so i was confused a little bit, and he also has a close relationship with his mother

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Cindy... sorry for the delay in replying. The ending I did work a little on as the original ending didn't give completely to the animal and I think that's what was needed. Sometimes even the most callous people can be wowed by nature... even those with the most brutal and selfish intentions can momentarily see through to a greater beauty which exists and just stand and marvel at the pure natural power and grace of nature. Often hunters and fishermen will have the most wonderful relationships with the animals they hunt and have the greatest admiration and respect for those which put up a great fight, and even more so for those which get away. Hemmingway's The Old man and the Sea comes to mind. The fish doesn't escape but neither does the fisherman end in glory. But the whole relationship with the Old man and the puling fish is wonderful and beautiful. So too the old man's relationship with the huge force that is the ocean and also with the sharks which inhabit that ocean and which are equally too great a power for him and his little boat. Hemmingway isn't always one of my greatest writers, but that is always one of my greatest books. X

Unknown said...

shane, please, never any concern about when you answer one of my comments. though i do believe i would begin to worry if no one had heard a response from you after a space of time. yes, i understand what you mean about "the old man and the sea", and i'm quite like you in that i would have to say that that's the hemingway book i truly enjoyed. i look forward to getting into a routine of reading your blog from the start. x

Anonymous said...

oh ow ooh. that was a crystal-clear memory of something that never happened to me, a glorious word-video of some moments and events, which seemed carved in your personal history like graffiti. Your writing continues to evoke, evolve and eviscerate. keep it up, you drugged devil

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