A Syllabus of Deceit - Part 3: A Short Step Too Far


The last time I had seen Trey he was marching back and forth outside the 24hr pharmacy, fighting with himself over whether or not he should buy two syringes for ten euros.

“Man, ten fucking euros!” he kept saying. “Ten fucking euros!”  He looked at me. “Should  I buy them or not, dude?”

“I can't tell you what you should do,” I said, “but I can tell you what you will do.”

“Man, I'm gonna buy them ain't I?”

“If you're any kind of a junkie you will.”

“Man! Fuck!!! You sure ya don't have a spare rig at yours?”

“Just old ones,” I said, then beating him to it: “... And no, you can't boil one clean.”

“This place is a fucking joke, bro. Ten bucks for two damn pins! I mean, it's insane... tell me it's not insane?”

I couldn't tell him that. It was insane. But there were many insane things in this world and, more often than not, sane people did them.

“I'm gonna try again,” he said, stopping and pinching ahold of his brow. “Gonna bring on the charm offensive... Maybe have her warm to me.”

Trey flashed his best, most contrived smile. The old black woman, behind the security window of the pharmacy, didn't even notice it. All she saw were two half-mad glaring eyes and a kid with the sweats and slightly jaundiced features asking for syringes with the neon blur of the city centre behind him.

“And if I buy two boxes?” Trey asked.

“12 euros,” the old woman said.

“Three?”

“Thirteen.”

“Give me three boxes then,” Trey said. He begrudgingly handed over the money, snatched his syringes, and left. “Man, I worked a fly one there,” he said, rejoining me. “You only get charged the night fee once, so in a way, I just saved twenty euros.”

I looked at him like you would someone you were deeply concerned about. His maths were all wrong; his logic too. I walked him back down towards the metro stop and said goodbye, knowing he was heading back to the States in two days and feeling sure, hoping,  that I'd never have to look upon see his scheming, treacherous face again.

_      _      _



He was gone a while but not while enough. He had left such a foul taste in my mouth that I would have needed at least an entire spring to rid me of it.  And I wasn't the only one who had been left paled by the memory of the villainous little fuck. His house-lady, a chemistry professor from the upper bourgeoisie, had happened across his foulness too, looking into his unlocked room one day and finding it laden with used syringes and cooking cups. For the last month of his residency she hadn't spoken a word to him. It was just further reason why he could not possibly return. Not only had he flopped all his courses, burnt his bridges with me and lost his heroin supply, but he had also fucked up with his proprietor and lost his place of lodging. There wasn't much to come back to, just hardship and struggle and trouble on every front. So when there came a rap on my door, four months into the new year, and I opened up to find him standing on my doorstep,  I first considered the possibility of the existence of ghosts before accepting what my brain so clearly thought my eyes were seeing. But there could be no mistake about it; it was him, Trey: “Hey up dude,” he said, “thought I'd just call round and see how you're cooking.”

I stared at him. He was like a cloud that had drifted in front of the sun. He reminded me of days I didn't want to live. He read the hesitancy on my face, saw my mouth twisting into the shape of an awful excuse to  get rid of him.

“Trey... er...  the place, it's in a fucking whirl,” I said. “It's really not laid out  for company.”

“Straight up? OK, dude, no biggie. Then I wont keep you. Just thought I'd knock around and offer you a bit of stuff. But as you're... ...”

“You got gear?”

“I'm pretty cool, yeah. But look, hey, your place is in a jam, bro.”

“Well, it's not in so bad a jam to turn away free smack! Of course you can come in... fuck, you'll have seen much worse than this!”

And so, against my better judgement, I let Trey in. And like that he was back, his rucksack being unhinged as he entered the room, something a little different in the space around him and a cockiness in his face  which I had never observed before.

“Man, if I didn't enjoy a break from this shit,” he said. “Can you see I've lost weight? Yeah, bro, been working on my pecks... training again. My face is less puffy too... healthier looking. Don't ya think?”

He eyed me for a response, something pathetically melancholic in his regard.

And then I had it; read his eyes. His vanity had done him over. I nodded, knowingly.

“Oh, so you've read the texts I wrote about you?”

“You could say that. Not very flattering, bro.”

“The truth rarely is,” I replied.

“The truth? Man, I don't look like no bloated diabetic! And what's  with all that about my chest and biceps? Man, that just about killed me, dude.”

“It's just writing Trey. You're lucky to be written about at all.”

“Lucky? Dude, you've a screwed up fucking idea about what luck is.”

“You did some pretty shit things Trey.”

“Dude, you were way, way off! Especially on my physique.”

Of all I had written about him, that which had aggrieved him most were the descriptions of his outward appearance. How rotten I had painted his insides he couldn't give a damn about. His septic interior was of little importance to him. Trey obsessed about his physical attributes, his money-maker: how attractive he was; the tightness of his arse; how little or much his cock bulged through the crotch of his pants. What lay under his mask of skin  didn't concern him. I guess he reasoned that he would have been paid, possibly have drilled the well dry, long before that would ever be a factor. Maybe if he were heterosexual he wouldn't have taken it so much to heart? Would have put my words down to some kind of competitive undermining? But as it was, my physical depictions of him had hit home so hard that he had actually dieted and worked out. And it showed. But what showed through even more was his noxious underskin, and that would probably remain just as toxic for as long as he straddled  the dope line.

“So where's this gear?” I asked, ending the awkwardness.

“It's number fucking four,” he said. “Scored it on the Dark W. My vendor sells grey and brown, number three and four. You wait till ya hit up a spoon a this.”

Trey laid his rucksack down on the bed and poked steadily through it. I watched his hands carefully. This boy had such a propensity for dishonesty that I'd not have been surprised to see him try to steal his own stuff. And then he straightened, his freshly stream-lined torso tight against his top,  his right hand held up, pinching ahold of a little button  bag of powder, wriggling it about so as the contents shuffled down neatly to the bottom. The light hit Trey just right. Lit him up so honestly in that small moment of life.

“Here check this out, dude,” he said, moving over to me with the bag.  I cast my eyes briefly over the contents. It was a weird pinkish colour; fine powder.

“You sure that's gear?” I asked.

“Number fucking four,” he said. “Won't get quality like this from your guy.” I smirked. We were of different generations. No. 4 meant absolutely nothing to me, shouldn't mean anything to anyone. It was talk you heard online but had no relevance on the street. On the street you bought blind and the only test was in the vein. In there, carried to the brain, it was all heroin: good, bad or average.


“Get your spoon out then,” Trey said.

I eyed the gear again. It really didn't look right and I wouldn't have put it past Trey to hotshot me in revenge. I told him I wanted to taste it and gave him a small square of foil to put a sprinkle on.

“OK, bro,” he said. “But you need to shoot this shit... serious.”

On a small square of aluminium foil Trey sprinkled out the tightest measure he could without giving nothing at all. I smoked it flat, without a tube, in a single burn. Barely had I inhaled than I was spluttering a cough and then wincing from the  acrid burnt taste in my throat.

“What the fucks that?” I cried. “That isn't smack!”

“Not smack? Ha! I told ya, you gotta shoot this shit.”

There was a time when I would have shot anything, did shoot anything,  but I had learnt to show caution in the world I mooched about in. I didn't know what this crap was, where it came from nor what Trey had added to it himself.  “Give us another sprinkle,” I said.

 “It's a fucking waste, bro... but if you insist.”

I eyed the heroin more carefully now. It was undoubtedly two distinct powders. And powder, certainly as fine as this was, always roused my suspicions.

Trey fixed his shot. It cooked quick and clear. Too clear. Water clear. “It's fucking good shit, man,” he said, noticing the sceptical furrow of my brow.  “Been using it for over a week now.”

As Trey dug for a vein I smoked what he had measured me out. Within three burns it had turned black, bubbled to a crisp burnt death and was gone. It tasted like paracetamol. There wasn't the slightest hint of the distinctive heroin taste in it. But, regardless of how it tasted, from the tiny amount I had smoked, I could feel something, some heaviness in my head and neck, a loosening down of my muscles and limbs.

I looked over to Trey. He was stooped over where he stood, the rig he had fixed with held in his hand.

“Trey!” I shouted, “get that fucking needle capped and sit down before you go out.”

“Yeah, bro.. just doing it,” he said, his free hand patting around blindly on the surface he had cooked up on, searching the cap. A second later and the uncapped needle fell from his hand. Trey was out on his feet, ah sweet lullaby, his eyelids shut down  on life, all his problems gone for another short fix of time.

It never fails to amaze me. The junkie will nod out on the world, will be incapable of capping his rig, sometimes even incapable of removing it. His body will double up over  itself so as it looks like he's sucking his own cock. Frying pans can burst aflame and cigarettes can burn down and fizzle out between the fingers. But  make a move for the addict's gear, cast even just a shadow of thought to that end, and that cunt wakes up without fail. Somewhere deep down, embedded in the junkie's psyché, is a deeply suspicious and healthy concern for his drugs. And so it was, as I neared Trey to take another dose from the heroin which lay next to his cooking cup, his eyes opened to see my fingers quietly lifting the button-bag of powder clear.

“What the fuck you doing, bro?” he said, like he'd been waiting for it.

“Taking a final hit,” I said.

He wiggled a stoned finger. “Here,” he said. I handed him the heroin. With the last of his conscious resources he tapped me out a final dose. Then he pocketed what was left  before taking to the edge of the bed to nod off in peace.

I didn't smoke what Trey had given me. He was right: this stuff needed to be fixed. I prepared my shot and rolled up my trouser leg so as I had access to my inside calf.  As I prodded and poked for a vein Trey's eyes opened and settled their focus on me.  A faint look of content spread out in his lips. It was as if he had woken to an old, familiar film which calmed and soothed his very soul. The shot itched through my thigh, up my side flank and into my shoulder. As it dispersed across my brain I felt an old familiarish shutter go down on the day. Trey and the world merged, and then disappeared, into the after afternoon.

*

The light of day had fallen dramatically when I heard Trey up and about, sniffing and scratching and checking his phone. The late afternoon was deadly still and dull. You wanted no-one to move a muscle, no light to go on, no disturbance at all. Only to sleep and breathe and for everything to remain just where it was until evening.

“Man, I gotta shoot,” Trey said quietly, stoned. “Gotta get over to Bron for this fucking robot convention. You wanna come along and watch robots with me? I've a spare ticket somewhere, man?”

“Robots?” I asked.

“Yeah, bro: robots. They fight, you know: robot battles... Robot wars.”

I did know and I would have gone if it were with anyone else, but not with Trey, not tonight,  not with the heroin he had left which was not even enough for himself. To go would just mean walking off the slight effect remaining in me, and unlike him, I had no more ammo to push the world back again.

“Nah, I'm good. Will stay in and maybe try to write.”

“Your call, dude,” he said.

I escorted Trey to the door, said farewell and watched as he shuffled into his backpack and disappeared off in the direction of the bus-stop.  And if he thought for one instant he had fooled me, that I didn't know the real reason why he had turned up at mine, he was very much mistaken. His surprise call had nothing to do with affection or generosity. No, it was made for one very calculated  and specific reason: to let me know he now had his own supplier of heroin; that he was free from my shackles and didn't  need me any more. I guess he figured that the price of half a gram, to let me know, was worth it. Good for him, I thought, it's less trouble all fucking way round.

-     -      -


Hey, bro. W'assup?

He's on,  but I'm not calling.

Huh?


Y're obviously wanting 2 score. U only evr msg or txt  when u want 2 score.


Score?  Of ur guy? Those rubber bullets he sells? Nevr, bro. NEVER!


At least it's smack what my guy has. That crap u turned up wth last month was fucking fentanyl or smethng. There was no heroin in it.


Dude, Why'd u say that?

'cause it wasn't heroin. It wasn't #4 or whtevr nonsnse u was told. That shit doesn't have a fucking number... wasn't a speck of smack in it – grey, white or brown. Gave me a  weird, anxious nod as well.

Man, u noticed that 2? Thought it felt a bit strange. Did me tho. Will get more soon, put u on2 a proper gram this time. Silkroad is down at the moment, bro, so just laying low and playing it cool.

So u do need to score?

Don't need to, no. Was just wondering how u were?


Well, I was fine b4 u messaged.

I waited for a reply; watched the three blinking dots on Facebook's messenger screen and the bulletin: 'Trey is typing'. Then Trey went offline. No message ever came through. He must have decided to bank his pride, lay low and suffer until the Silkroad was back up and running.

*

It was some days later when I knocked up my dealer. He opened the door and stood there in just his boxer shorts, looking like a slumberous depiction of hell. It seemed to take him a few moments to recognize who I was. His room was cast in semi-darkness; his pitbull, Bruno, curled up asleep on the bottom of the bed. He stumbled his way past me and shooed the dog clear. Then he gave a sleepy smile, rubbed his eyes clear and flicked the light on.  He bent down and snorted a line of something off the table  and then shook his head to rattle the drugs up his nose and to his brain. He pulled on some light trousers, a top and then opened the curtains. His cache of heroin was sitting in a large bag on the table, a second bag full of coke just besides. I nodded  towards the  heroin.

From his thumb and forefinger Theo laid a tiny dark brown rock down in front of me. I heard it rap on the glass of the table. This was good stuff. He wouldn't lay me on a freebie if it wasn't. As I cooked it up in a shot he warned me to be careful, that he didn't want the same thing happening to me as it had done my friend.

“My friend?” I asked

“Yeah. The young  rich American kid.”

“Who? Trey?”

“Trey, yea... that's him. Almost fucking went under on me. We all but carried him out and packed him into the lift.”

“He was here alone?”

“Passed by a couple of days ago, said you had sent him as you wasn't well.”

“I never fucking sent him. I'd have asked you before ever doing something like that. And how do you mean, rich?”

“It's what he said. Kept talking about the cash he had and how cheap France was. Said he could live like a king over here.”

Ah. Now I got it. The dirty fuck had not only veered around me and cold-called my dealer, but had also spun stories of riches which he'd picked up from reading the texts I had written about him. The little shit. Of course, I'd have done the same, but I would never have made someone dislike me so much that it would have mattered. As I drew  my shot up into the needle, sucked the filter dry, I imagined it was Trey, dehydrating and withering away, writhing about in the pain of his own sobriety. It was then that I decided  to fuck him up, to put him out his misery once and for all.

I cast a furtive glance over at Theo. He was sat watching some crap about top-end luxury yachts on Youtube. I knew I could ask no favours from someone like him, that the dollar ruled his world and there was no loyalty to anything but paper. He would serve Trey in secret behind my back if it meant him having an extra customer. By the time Theo eventually sussed on that Trey was broke, was just another down-at-heel  punter on the precipice of ruin, it would be too late. So, I began my attack on Trey, determined that by the time I was ready to leave that  he would be no more welcome at Theo's than he would at the Westboro Baptist Church.

“Theo,  I hope you didn't buy the bullshit of Trey being rich? The guy hasn't got a fucking bean.”

“Course he has! All these American students are from wealthy families. There's no way they  could be over here if not. Trey's got cash alright.”

“He's got cash, just not very much. He's on a fucking student loan. Gets 250 dollars a week or something. Haven't you noticed he doesn't even have credit on his phone?  You need to be careful with dealing with him. Seriously. He'll have you locked up. It's why I put the block on him months ago.”


“Why so?” Theo asked.

“The guy's a fucking liability. He's been scoring heroin online with fucking bitcoins. The police probably already have him under surveillance. And if they do, then you and your cousin are in it deep.”

Theo pulled a sceptical looking face, gave a little side tilt of his head as if weighing up the dangers and concluding that they were negligible, no more risky than selling to anyone else. I thought for a moment. I didn't really want to do what I was about to, but Trey had riled me too much, so I did it anyway.

“Theo, I think you may want to look at these messages before you serve him again,” I said. “Trey sent me them just a few hours before he came to see you.”

I showed Theo the messages on my phone. He couldn't read English but saw his name and his cousin's name and the word heroin and the word shit followed by a slew of exclamation marks.

“What the fuck is that?” he asked.

 I pulled the phone away. “Oh, it's nothing... don't worry about that.”

“I am worried. What the fuck was that?”

“Look, Theo, if I tell you you must keep it to yourself. You musn't tell your cousin. Do you understand? He'll fucking kill Trey if he hears about this. You need to promise me you'll not tell Emil.”

“Ok. Now what the hell has he written there?”

I took a deep breath.

“Well,  none of it is very nice. He says your heroin is shit and you're both thieves and that he doesn't need you and that next time you sell him cut gear he'll rat you both out. But worse, worse than that, he's used your real names and talks blatantly about scoring dope of you.”

Theo's face went. It sometimes did that when he got angry and was about to lash out. Last time it happened he had attacked an old, feeble addict, went for him with a butcher's knife before splitting his eye open and fracturing the socket.  Theo's face was rippling with the same rage I had seen that day. This time he didn't grab a knife but snatched my phone out my hand to look more carefully at the messages.

“Are these all his?” he asked.

“Yes. I always delete mine.”

“And where does he say our heroin is rubbish?”

I took the phone off Theo, scrolled down to the culprit message and enlarged it. Theo stood glaring at the words.  His thoughts seemed to block and back up in his head and for a second he seemed not to know what to do. Then he turned, let out an animal howl of frustration and punched his fist into the wall. He removed his fist and made the same animal sound again, like he was existing in absolute pain.

“Calm down,” I told him. “At least we've weeded him out before he's had time to cause any real damage.  Hopefully.”

“No!” Theo said. “Wait until the dirty louse comes here again... he'll need heroin as a fucking painkiller then.”

Poor Trey. Only two days ago he had swerved me and successfully cold-called on my dealer. He was probably bent over at his right now, enjoying an especially heavy nod,  imagining how easy he'd have it for a while. And what's more, if I knew this little cunt even half as well as  I thought I did,  tomorrow he would be back out in the world, back out on the score. How sore he was gonna feel this. But, as much as I despised Trey, I didn't want him hurt, and a visit to Theo's would not do his future prospects in train station toilets any good at all.

When I arrived home I called Trey. “So, you finally did the sensible thing and veered around me straight to the supply?”

“Had to, bro. Couldn't keep on as it was, you always leaving me dry. If you wanna flex your fucking power over me, then be prepared to to get by-passed, dude.”

“Well, congratulations Trey. You played a real smart one. Though I'm not too sure how welcome you'll be around Theo's any more.”

“You reckon? Them guys think I'm made. He was fucking drooling last time I saw him.”

“I don't doubt it. Though he hadn't read your Messenger texts then...  wasn't aware you had been scoring on the dark web and buying bitcoins with money-orders. And if that isn't bad enough he also thinks you've threatened to rat him out. So you can have him... we'll share the dealer.”

Trey knew I was serious. I could discern his panic on the other end of the phone. His stir was just starting, probably thinking of the amount of heroin he had remaining and wondering how the hell he would make it last until he could cop from some place else. The dark web, if a marketplace were even up, would take days and I knew Trey didn't have days. I sensed his hate and rage boiling  up, bubbling about furiously in the radio waves of transmission. He despised me and I felt good being despised by someone so cold and lacking in empathy. All his conniving and trickery had finally been put through, his greed  to save himself half a gram had lost him everything. I would have felt it cruel  if he hadn't have brought it all on himself. Trey had been out to fuck me all along, looking to lure me into being tricked at every chance he had. He had left me debts to pick up, called me across town at night only to say he had no cash, had created headaches and arguments and bad feelings over divisions of heroin so small as to even matter. When he needed something he would act as my best buddy,  harp on about how great he thought my writing was and how stoked he was just to walk besides me. Yet, when he had what he wanted and no longer needed the human race he became as cold as a mossy stone. His situation now was not from a cruelness on my part, it is the only way it can ever end for people like Trey, people who just aren't as clever as those they are trying to fool. Trey had fallen into the self-deluded crap that many such junkies become afflicted with. He thought he was getting away with it, fooling the world, just because no-one ever said otherwise.  Every time he met me, regardless of what antics had taken place previously,  he did so as if the slate was clean, as if his bullshit and theatrical attestations of honesty had somehow shone through, like he still had all nine lives intact and his character was with a pristine a record as it had been when we'd first met.  The only marker Trey had for success or failure was getting his drugs or not, and, in ensuring he did get them, all was justified and nothing was important. Equally, when he needed more, his desperation was such that anything he had done previous he felt was minor and forgiveable, that nothing was so serious as to warrant leaving an addict suffering withdrawals as punishment for past crimes. So he had turned up each time, befriending me anew, his hair getting oilier and his stubble rougher and his hands needing to go further down into his pockets to make it.  But still he smiled and talked like he adored you, like you adored him, like you hadn't began observing his hands, hadn't started questioning his words, wasn't watching him like  a hawk so as he never found any real chance to fuck you over. Trey took the drugs, tried to take more than he deserved, tried to leave you in a place he wouldn't like to be  left himself. And always, forever always, saying “Thanks bro.... that was fucking appreciated, man. You sure as hell saved me there.”

I wished Trey good luck and closed the phone on him. He would have to learn that the worid doesn't inherently cut us a bad deal, that sometimes we generate our own fate; ensure that hell comes to our door one day.

*

Bro, I need something, read the message I received a day later. At the and of his text was attached a winky smile:  ;-)    It looked fucking evil.

What u need cannot b bought. Nothing doing.

Man, don't make me beg!

Beg Trey. I'd like to see u beg. Tho begging is fuckall 2 som1 like u, just the easier step b4 the real treachery begins. I'll tell u what, if u can b honest I'll score for u. Do u think u can b honest?

Have only evr been, bro. But go on, shoot.

The day u owed me $$$ and suddenly lost yr phone.... remember?


Yeah, bro.

Well, right now,  I want the truth. I want u 2 deconstruct yr behaviours & explain 2 me the reasoning behind each & evry act & decision u made. If u can do that, admit evrything u've denied, I'll score for u.


Man, what? Y're fucking w/me, right?

No, I'm not fucking wth u. 2day, if u want heroin, u're gonna take a walk thru yr own felonious self, reflect & deconstruct & give answers to all yr fucking scheming.

Man, I lost my cell phone!!! Y're fucking paranoid. I lost it! I'm not admitting things I nvr did!

Cut me anthr slice of that same bullshit & yre on yr own. The truth, fuck u! Like the truth that u knew u didnt have my cash & had set up a convenient way whereby I couldn't contact u?

Man. If u want me to say that I'll say it, bro. But that's not how it was.


And it went on like that. Trey denying everything, then begrudgingly making false admittances, before finally owning up to the real truth and telling me what I already knew. It took almost an hour for the whole saga of the borrowed cash and phone, and then the ATM machine, to finally come out. Trey admitted everything, every sly and crafty thought which had gone through his cunning little brain. When he had quite finished, he text: Sry bro. U know how it is... I needed stuff. So, we cool now? You gonna phone yr guy?

The fool! He thought that was the end of  his ordeal.

I'll call, yes, but we've a way 2 go yet... all those  times u called me & was either short on the readies or broke. I told ya, u're gonna have a good look at yourself 2day. I even want 2 hear u tell me y u turned up here at mine, after all that time, 2 turn me on2 a shot? What the real motive of your visit was?  You're gonna tap out evry despicable thing u've evr fucking done!


Trey knew, as well as I, that there just wasn't time enough left of the evening for him to go through all that – that's how much bullshit he had fed me over the months. He fell silent on the phone. I could hear him working up like a wind, breathing, waiting, getting more frustrated each second I let him blow up. And then, finally it came, the wind of humiliation broke his sails and Trey lost it, knowing I was never going to score for him whether he told me the truth or not.

FUCK U!!! he messaged. FUCK FUCK FUCK U!!!!


During the course of that week he sent me countless messages, all insults and teeming with rage and hate. I never replied. I let him carry on, go further and further than he was ever tougher to go. And then, out the blue, on receipt of his latest message, I phoned him. He answered, hope in his voice that I was gonna ask him if he needed anything. Very calmly,  I said: “Be very fucking careful Trey.” And then I closed the phone.

-      -       -

I saw him from a long way off. He was walking down the Rue de Hénon, his black ruck sack up on his back like a huge fucking tick. Theo saw him too. From the driver's seat he gave me a large, wide smile. Sat at the lights we watched Trey, his short but muscular thighs making his trousers look a cheap, regular cut. He had his headphones in and held his phone in his hand. It was a fresh, crisp day, blue, the sun distant and white.  The first buds were in the trees and rags of feint cloud were strewn across the sky, ripped to ribbons by high, spring winds. Theo moved on past the lights, accelerating to catch Trey up and then slowing as we drew alongside him. Trey felt the presence of the car and turned to look. The driver's window descended, revealing Theo's cropped head, dark shades, nose, mouth... pistol. Trey's face froze in an assemblage of fear; panic and confusion ghosting through his face like rippling water. He scrunched up into a defensive ball, trying the best he could to cover his head against any bullets. And like that, his arms up, his eyes closed, he started running, skittish, down the road. He bumped into a man, scrambled past, and still covering his head, scooted left. Theo cruised straight on by, the electric window rising, the sound of the day being replaced by the whir of the car's fan-heater. Trey was running for his life, legging it to safety, to wherever would save his rotten soul next. Theo laughed a hearty laugh and tossed the replica gun down in the foot compartment my side. As it clattered about his Pitbull stirred in the back and shoved its large head between the headrests. Theo put a hand back and stroked it, let the dog lick the metallic taste from his fingers. “The young rich American,” Theo howled. “How strange the American boys run!”

At home that evening I thought of Trey and decided to phone him to make sure he'd got the message clear. But Trey had pre-empted me, pre-empted the end of his stay in France. His phone was dead, just a recorded and slightly disturbing robotic voice saying :


 the.number.you.have.dialled.is.no.longer.in.service

I felt something, but it wasn't sadness. It was some feeling, some rogue wind from the end of last summer, something that had existed then in the belting hot of the afternoon on the Croix Rousse. I saw Trey, fresh and vibrant, t-shirt and shades, coming across the square. And then I saw the sky and then the sun and then imagined an early evening plane en route to Massachusetts.   For all the foulness it was both our calling, and alone in my room, on my bed, in the darkening light, I thought of Trey and I thought of writing and I thought of life, and I wondered when I'd next rise and live again.


- - - -

Thanks for reading. All My Best, Shane. X

Lines for Joe M

The Dirty Works of Shane Levene - all my collated writings in one place.

22 comments :

Anonymous said...

It's always a pleasure to read a new post from you Shane and good to know you are doing ok. That Trey what a wanker hey.

subdon said...

great work Shane

Eyelick said...

Wow. That sounds like an amazing game to play with/on somebody. May do the same sometime.

Sam said...

thankyou Shane, another brilliant read. What a brilliant final chapter. Or is it.... 😂 X

From Sam X

JoeM said...

Trey and his antics are becoming almost John Le Carre-esque - The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Turkey).

It seems that someone like that who would revisit a person who so savaged him in print has personality issues. (My face is less puffy too... healthier looking. Don't ya think?) So he'll be back!

Even though he knows that everything he says and does is being taken down and will be used against him.

He'll be back.

Can't wait.

if u want heroin, u're gonna take a walk thru yr own felonious self, reflect & deconstruct & give answers to all yr fucking scheming.

I've wanted quite a few times to do that - usually regarding Romantic dramas.

Lines!

It was insane. But there were many insane things in this world and, more often than not, sane people did them.

This boy had such a propensity for dishonesty that I'd not have been surprised to see him try to steal his own stuff.

On a small square of aluminium foil Trey sprinkled out the tightest measure he could without giving nothing at all.


One out of three this time...

I dared not quote the Westboro line for fearing the wrath of Abby - the death of founder Fred Phelps has sent her obsession with him supersonic - you know how religious nuts think Death makes everything so much better.

Anonymous said...

Hello Shane,

Greetings from Washington DC. My wife and I discovered your work a few months ago and quickly devoured all we could find. Just wanted you to know how much we enjoy your writing. Thank you!

Hope you are well.
Kindly,

T

Shane Levene said...

Hey Anon... thanks man. I think Trey took the brunt for a lifetime of creeps and scumbags. He never did anything too terrible but I saw he had the propensity for it if desperate enough. Maybe he'll grow into an honest crook... who knows? I wouldn't bet on it though, not even for fun. X

Shane Levene said...

Hiya Subdon.... thanks man. Hope you're well and doing good, Shane. X

Shane Levene said...

Hey Eyelick... it's a vindictive game. I was so pissed at the little fuck that I wanted him to squirm about in the shit of his own self for a while. I'd have scored for him the next day... peut-etre??? X

Shane Levene said...

Hey ya Sam. Hope you're keeping well and fed. The last chapter...or maybe not. You're probably spot on there. People like Trey are like cockroaches: hard to get rid off and even crushed still managed to lay their disgusting little eggs everywhere. He'll surely turn up again... I just hope the fucking coffin is nailed shut when he does. X

Shane Levene said...

Hey Joe... O, you're right: he'll be back. He has that unhealthy streak of narcissism in him where as long as he's getting some attention he's kinda satisfied. I'd not be surprised if he isn't kicking himself right now, wishing he'd have done even more crooked and despicable things so as there would have been enough material for further posts. The little fucker will probably end up going down in some kind of history... I just hope it involves a bus or coach or speeding train. Oh, now I'm being cruel myself!

The Westboro line was just for You, my sure-fire hit! Didn't work. Will have to be a little less blatant next time. XxX

Shane Levene said...

Hey Ya T & Wife & Welcome! Thanks for your time and words, my friend. Hope you're doing well over there and with a little luck there should be more words for you very soon. All My Best, Shane. X

Anonymous said...

Thanks Shane,

I'm curious: which story involves "The Black House"? I've seen it referenced a few times in stories and comments, and I thought I'd read everything you've posted, but I don't believe I've found that one. Can you point me in the right direction when you have a moment?

Many thanks!
Kindly,

T

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

HEY again T...

The Blackhouse post I've taken down for the moment pending a complete rewrite. The original post was a very early one, where I wasn't really taking much care of the writing and I had fits of horror shuddering through me each time I read that appalling shit back. Send us your email and I'll post the culprit text over to you. To know even more of that place, alongside that text, you should read:

My Mother's Sex life #4: Lloyd
My Mother's Sex life #5: The Doc
The Unknown Poets of Crazy Town

The Sex Life site is usually private (also pending proper rewrites) but I've opened it for now but will close it again in two days. So either read the texts before then or copy and paste them into a document for later.

And again, for the Blackhouse text, send me your mail addy and I'll shoot it across for ya. X

Anonymous said...

Thank you Shane!

Best email to reach me:

drc1980@gwu.edu

Have a lovely day,

T

Giorgio Curcetti said...

Well well well....the third installment of the Trey saga. I think you donated him immortal glory by making him appear in three of your best and most descriptive stories. He should be happy, even if he won't be remembered for wholly positive things. But who is, after all? I was excited to discover a new post, even more on finding out it was about our favourite anti-hero. With all this popularity he would be crazy not to set up his own blog. But I don't want to give him ideas. A superb piece of literature as always, Shane. I am sorry I keep repeating myself, but it's your own fault, the material is much too good. You'll have to write something shit if you want to read different comments :-) . "I felt good being despises by someone so cold and so lacking in empathy". Funny reading that. Last night I felt exactly the same thing after falling out with someone (a friend? A foe? A simple acquaintance? A former compadre? All of that) following the usual squalid itinerary of scoring. I basked in his hatred and it felt almost positive. Funny this morning I get to read this. He might even read this comment, the foul excrement, as I turned him onto your writings and if he knows what's good for him he'll keep it up. Glad to see they keep coming. Now WE WANT A BOOK!!!,There, in capitals! Hope you're well over there. Here, same old same old. I broke a window but cannot call the landlord to fix it because I have over £400 unpaid rent. I have a show this Friday, I am skint, frantically looking for a dealer to front me something until after-gig pay. Fat chance! As you say "the dollar rules their world!". Take care bro....ahem, at.a second thought I shan't call you "bro" no more...it seems to be one of Trey's interjections that he uses most, mmmhhh....shall gliss on it, haha!!!

Speedy said...

Awesome! I wasnt expecting another one these. Would it be wrong of me to hope Trey turns up again so we can read more? xD
I wouldnt enjoy having someone like that around myself though tbh, good riddance!

Shane Levene said...

Hey Giorgio... Oh, I've written my fair share of shit over the years and still continue to do so on a regular basis. As you get older and become more aware of your art you learn what to beat down with the bog-brush and double flush. We're humans. We can never stop shitting but we can tidy up after ourselves so as to leave as little trace of it as possible. It's what I try to do. Still, if ever I'm too stoned and forget to flush or miss the bowl or something, I'll make sure to dedicate it to you!

Yeah, it'll probably not be the last of Trey. And if it is I'm sure there'll be countless others ready to step in and fill his boots... X

Shane Levene said...

Hey Speedy... If I run outta words I may have to call him over, engineer my own trouble so as to have something to write about! Have a few good ones left in me yet though. All my Best, Shane. X

Paul Michael said...

Greetings, Shane

Been reading your blog for about a half of a year now and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your writing. This is my first time commenting and I don't have anything interesting to say about this particular post of yours other than that I loved it like I've loved all the others. Just wanted to say hello from Wisconsin and that I look forward to your next post and commenting more often.

Unknown said...

Good stuff Shane, I enjoyed it.
It brought back memories of your earlier writings about him like when you surprised him at college and he had his phone in his hand.
I always remember a character in another story that you describe as a bone faced rat with his cheeks all sucked in, staring at a bag you've split and struggling to decide which to pick getting well para thinking your some how going to get the better deal.
reminds me of someone I use to split with, he use to stare at two equal piles for ages and squint and tut and make all kinds of expressions until I just picked one up and put it away and later he said 'let's see yours again' never happy even if you weigh it out. A super tight man he was I never did like him.
I hope your well and banging away at the keys often, I wonder if you own a typewriter yet

Rip W. said...

Man I totally dig this. I do not miss those days of spending all my time looking for dope or getting ripped. I would be honored if you would read some of my blog and tell me if you think it is worth it to keep doing it. I am not super confident in my writing. Please keep up the good work my friend. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.
addictiontorecovery.blogspot.com