A Death in the Afternoon

Somewhere lost in the autumn of 2002 the 4th dead body of my life hammered upon and then fell through my door. Once again, death in all it’s shameless and humiliating glory was laying on the floor by my feet... this time floating hideous fumes into my face.

* * * *
James Tullock was a retired London Underground worker. He had emigrated to Britain from St.Lucia in the 1960’s and had killed himself repairing signal boxes in carbonated tunnels for a petty pension and a free buspass. He wore undersized suits and Trilby hats and cooked fish every Friday. He moved in below us 2 months after the body of the previous tenant had been stretchered out after succumbing to a toiletbowl heart attack whilst trying to rid his bowels of constipated constipation. No-one mourned that passing, we were just relieved that the BNP* posters that littered the downstairs window would finally be removed and that we could sleep without the worry of bricks or petrol bombs being thrown or put through our door. The arrival of Mr Tullock was a very welcome relief, but his stay didn’t last too long. It was barely two years before he too would be carried away, and not in too dissimilar circumstances as that of the last.

It all unfolded one early afternoon on my first day off on a week break from work. I cannot remember the exact month or date, but I know it was in the autumn, maybe early October or November of 2002. I know it was between 12 and 1pm as the children from the nearby school were screaming and hurling to whistles and play. It was one of those low sedated afternoons when sound and smells merge into a sweet tranquility and eyelids drift heavy on lazy days. I was sitting in the living room, needle in mouth and feeling for veins... my mother was bent double on the edge of her bed - daytime TV invading her brain. At first I heard a door, and then a bang and then the commotion of voices. I pulled back the yellowed net curtains and watched as a delivery van moved off down the street.I took it they had just dropped something off for Mr Tullock and had banged the wall whilst manoeuvering it into his flat. I left the curtain slide back across the window and returned to my business in hand. But once again I heard it, only this time it was a scuffling and rapping on the wall.

“Mum... did you hear the noises? I think someone’s in the hallway.”

My mum wandered half dazed from the bedroom and peered down the stairs at the little square of glass that topped the door. “Nah, there’s no-one there, Shane... You can see a shadow if anyone’s in the hallway.” But then it happened again, and this time we both heard it. We looked at each other worriedly but before we had time to speak a heavy rap ran down the door.

“Fuck, it’s the police that is...” my mother whispered “That sounds right like the fucking police!” My needles and heroin were laying on the table and foil and pipes were in the bedroom. For one horrible moment I thought she was right. I had visions of chucking the lot... the gear at least, but then reality hit.

“It can’t be the police... no, it can’t be. What reason would they have to be here? Who would be calling the police to us?” And then the door knocked again, only this time lighter and with a chesty groan. That was it, someing was not right, I was opening the door.

I tried to unlock the door but it wouldn’t release. Something was jamming the deadbolt in the catch... I could barely even turn the knob to release it. When I finally succeeded the door burst open.. Mr Tullock falling in on his side and flapping about like a fish on the floor. His eyes were bulged and going northeast and west and he lay there like that flapping and heaving and looking terrified. I tried to speak to him, but from his mouth the most horrendous smell was being released... it was as if a bag of crabs had been left to rot in his stomach. It was a nauseating smell, and one that was almost unbearable... it was the smell of his death.

My mother came hurtling down the stairs, “JAMES... can you hear me? CAN YOU HEAR ME?” And he seemed to, there was something in his eyes that still moved to attention... that still recognized human voice and his own need for help. And then the smell hit my mother, and she gagged and holding her mouth run back up stairs.

It’s strange that in a panic nobody knows what to do... we run from place to place not even sure if we should phone an ambulance or comfort the dead. I had to shout instructions up at my mother, step by step, guiding her to the phone and explaining what to say. At least twice she returned to the top of the stairs with some irrelevant question or concern.... looking down in the hope that Mr Tullock had made a miraculous tap-dancing recovery. Finally she did call the emergency services, and while she did I comforted James, touching his head and holding his hand. He had stopped flapping and seemed to be calmed by my words and presence, but his eyes were still all askew and all of hells rottenness still poured out from his mouth. I listened to my mothers hysterical voice on the phone... her tears that somehow didn’t seem genuine, and at the same time I felt James relax and calm further, his eyes now settled on me.

“MUM... I think he’s going!” I yelled out “He’s stopped moving... tell the emergency services he’s not breathing... he’s unconscious!” I heard my mother repeat what I had said and then hang up. She came back to the stairs and looked down. “Mum, take over here for a while... just hold his hand, I’ve got to clear the table” . Actually, the table wasn’t my concern, I needed some time... the eye’s of James and the smells had hit me hard, and I needed to be free of my mothers eyes to release my emotions. Since being 8 years old and begging her not to leave home, I’ve never allowed my mother the privilege of seeing me cry. In many ways I’d feel a pathetic weakness weeping in front of her... or maybe more than that I am petrified that she may try to comfort me. Maybe I am scared she may throw caring arms around me, for in an instance like that I would be completely and utterly lost.

My mother held the fort and I rushed upstairs and sitting in the living room I cried. I tried not to, I tried to keep my tears behind my lids, but they just came... like spasms of orgasm there was no holding back, no plugging the dam, and in silent streams my emotions ran their course.

That I even cried surprised me... I was not extremely close to Mr Tullock and only really saw him on the weekends. The closest we came to friendship was him giving me bottles of West Indian muscle rub after seeing me hobbling off to work in the mornings, sore and swollen from missed injections. Apart from that I had nothing much to do with him. I think the tears were because of death... because of the closeness of it and my inability to help a man with eyes shock wide with terror. I imagined all the things his paralysed mouth wanted to say, all the fears that rushed through his short-circuiting brain... I remembered his light grip on my hand and his crusty lips as they breathed out vile and rancid body fluids. And then I remembered his legs and his undressed lower... it was the first time I realised he was laying there half naked, and that brought tears again. The terror that someone must be in to flee their house in that state must be horrendous... to stagger naked and gasping out into public, well... what else but death could chase a man that far... especially a man who cooked fish every Friday?

I never went back downstairs, instead I tidied away the needles and cleared the room of any paraphernalia. About 10 minutes after our call an ambulance and three paramedics arrived. My mother left the scene and came running up with eyes full of water... but not tears, they were burning from the stench that James had released her way and which were now a drifting presence throughout the flat. After about 15 minutes a paramedic joined us and said that James was dead and that it appeared as if he had suffered an enormous stroke. He said that even if they had been able to resuscitate him he would surely have been brain dead and was probably that even by the time he fell through the door. He asked for the name and address of any of Mr Tullock's relatives and we gave him that of his sister. James was taken away, and once again I was left stunned and sitting in shocked silence at a world that only half an hour ago had wafted by like a hypnotic scent. I watched as the ambulance pulled off and then reached in the draw for my needle and the fix that I hadn’t earlier had the time to take. My mother returned from the bedroom with a square of aluminium foil and a tube in her mouth, and as I calmed myself with a prick and and a push, so she did the same with a crackle and a suck.... both of us escaping the sights and scents that this day had brought.

As happened after the passing of Ewan, death doesn’t hold us reflective for long, and there is always one junkie who is distanced enough and cold enough to profit from tragedy. When Geoff, my stepfather, returned home and was told the news, he suggested that we use the spare keys James had given to my mother and search his flat for prescription drugs and money. yes, unbelievably Geoff wanted to rob him!!! Of course, we never done that but it was close. All it would have taken, from either my mother or I, would have been a slight nod or a moments hesitation and Mr Tullocks door would have been opened and the possessions of a dead man ransacked and stolen. Rather, in light of our shock, Geoff pretended it was a joke and talked endlessly throughout the evening of how he wouldn’t do something like that but that he knew many a scoundrel that would. Two days later he was kicking himself, because it was revealed that under James mattress £12,000 had been found along with another £5,000 hidden in a shoebox in the loft . I later overheard a furious Geoff say to my mum: “We could’ve fucking had that!! It shuld’ve been ours!” And he’s right we could have had it, we could have robbed the dead... who would have ever known? And then this question came to me and it is one which I am embarrassed to answer here: “If I had have been aware about the money, would I have opened the door, sneaked in with Geoff and took it? And the answer is yes... yes I probably would have.

Take care readers & keep hope, Shane. x
*BNP: British Nationalist Party.. a political (joke) party on the extreme right.


All This Trouble... said...

Well, I used to steal my grandmother's valium and money. Right out of her purse. She needed it. I didn't.

Then she dies and I continued to "enjoy" my stolen stash even as I mourned her death.

Nice to see a new post from you. How is the weather in France?

Unknown said...

No matter what thoughts go threw your head... and the way you feel about them embarrass are not. You didn't do it. I think that's all that matters Shane.
Enjoyed your blog as always

have you ever read Richard Kadrey a little different but good author...

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya All this trouble,

Weather not bad here. I can't bear the heat and this summer has been pretty good on that score. The first week of summer is fun and then I just want to die... oh, maybe thats goes for spring, autumn and winter too! lol

Thanks for you time and words... All my thoughts, Shane.x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


You're right... I know. Still, I just wanted to sho that no matter who you are, or how stable you say the your habit is, the addiction still affects you and makes you consider doing hings that you'd never do outside of it's influence. If I took the money it would have been because my eyes lit up with bags of heroin... that's all.

No, I've not read or heard of Richard Kadrey... I'll have a little look out for him though.

Take care Heather & we'll speak more very soon. All my wishes, Shane. x

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was brutally honest almost as anything else I've read here. Death is a horrible thing especially if it happens under such horrible circumstances. I'm really sorry you had to witness this, I guess it's an image that can come back to haunt you. It always freaks me out, death I mean, with the fact that you can be OK one second and the next you might lose all dignity.

Thanks for being so earnest.

Longy said...

Hiya Shane. Another great read mate. Although I've never robbed anyone personally in my life,if I was in that situation and I HAD of known about the cash and had the keys,I think I would of had a few hundred quid away. Not the lot though! Terrible to say it I know.

When my Mum died in Hospital of Cancer in 1997 within 2 minutes of her passing and the nurses saying "shes gone" my hand was reaching towards the big bag of temazapen by her bedside. One of the nurses spotted me and snatched it out of my reach and said "I'll take that" I bet she bloody did too,the bitch!

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Shane, my dear, here is my honest response to the situation you found yourself in. I would have taken the money, too, and I am not an addict. Surely poor old Mr. Tullock didn't need it where he was going.

Death is so undignified, isn't it? I would have cried as well. Always such a shock.

All of my love to you.


Greta said...

One of my fears is lying old, dead and undiscovered until my stench betrays me. Flies covering me. Maybe he easily could have ended that same way? A very urban death?
That poor man.
Dying is one thing but dying horrified... that poor man. Do you know if he had a family? Or was he lonely and maybe you were the only one who shed a tear for him?

Love, Greta

Syd said...

I'm glad that you didn't take the money. I wish to die a peaceful death and not one filled with rot and disease. Both my parents died peacefully and I am grateful for that.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


It's wonderful to have you back!

Temazepam.. they're terrible things. The only times I've lost memory of entire days was under the influence of them... never again.

most people say they'd have whipped a few quid... I think it embarrasses me because it was the drugs that would have pushed me to do that and not myself. But that is why I posted that, I wanted the followers here to see that I am not immune to the effects of this drug. Sometimes it seems I am, but that's not quite the truth.

Thanks as always for your input, & you were missed! All my best, Shane.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Orestes & welcome back!

I try to be honest, there's no point otherwise. The problem is that so many bizarre incidents have blown through my life that sometimes it is hard to believe.. even for me! ;)

Thank you very much for your words, if you've not noticed the comment section here is very important... at least to me.

My very best wishes & we'll speak again soon, Shane. x

Longy said...


I only went away for a couple of days mate. Other than that,I've always been here :-)

Yep Temazees (and Valium) are terrible drugs but theres been times in my life when I've treated them like sweets. Very easy to get hooked on the things especially when you are going through a hard time in the your life.

I got your point re immunity to the drugs. Sometimes when you are in the grip of addiction,its hard to separate whats real and whats not. The feelings are always real though whether they are drug induced or not. Thats my experience anyway.

Take care mate

JoeM said...

I wonder where that money went to. Hated relatives? I'm surprised the cops didn't steal it.

So well written again. An everyday thing made real by the details.

Re 'selling' yourself (from DC's blog). I wonder if you sent The Guardian in England a link to your page with maybe the Nilsen bits upfronted if they'd be interested in printing some of these posts and future ones - for money. I don't know what the copyright situation is re:blogs, whether the owner of the blog owns his own content or not. I would imagine so. I mean you expect other bloggers to cut and paste without credit or money but a paper like The Guardian (or Independent) would be more circumspect.

They used to publish the blog of a cop who gave them all the inside info the authorities don't want you to know.

Then, some agent or publisher might see it. Or you could take it to someone with the Guardian name as a selling point.

Tonyoneill said...

Hi Shane

Great post. Beautifully written. I'm in two minds about whether you should have taken the money or not. Part of me - the junkie part I guess - would have been down there rummaging in his medicine cabinets. In fact, really putting myself back there, i know I would have done it. I robbed plenty when I was using H, and I really didnt care whether I robbed from people I knew, didn't know, cared about or not. I used to be a very good shoplifter. I tried shoplifting once when I was straight, but it was impossible. My nerve had gone. But for a period there I could walk into any shop, and just walk out with what I wanted. When I took enough H, I'd get the idea that i was invisible or something.

But anyway - beautiful story. You really took me there. The line about "it was if a bag of crabs had been left to rot in his stomach" was perfectly vile - in the best possible sense.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Greta,

I don't mind how I die... death is death, that's it. I wouldn't mind flies or moths covering me... infact, it would be perfect.

The horrible thing was he died whilst he was conscious... he felt it, knew it and understood that the party was over. Yes he had a family, a daughter and two sons. They didn't really care about his death though... they were too busy arguing over his possessions. Maybe we should have taken them... at least we were dishonest thieves.

Thanks as ever for reading and commenting... My Love returned, Shane. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya JoeM,

Hated relatives... how did you guess? That's exactly what happened to it.

Thanks for the pointers on what I could do with my work... I'm a real novie when it comes to such things. Yeah, the Guardian could be worth a try. I'm also interested in meeting and interviewing Nilsen and then putting them in print (or even having them filmed). so maybe I could try and get someone involved in that. I have to be careful though, imagine the scenario if I were to fall in love with my fathers killer!! Now that'd sell! lol We'll see. Whatever, I'll keep you posted.

Do you have a mail address (if that's private, no offense taken). Mine is: mr.shanelevene@gmail.com

Once again, thanks for all your help, my thoughts & wishes, Shane.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Tony,

I think most addicts have stolen at some time or another, I have, mostly during my first years of addiction and then later on during my crack years. It's not so much the stealing, but the circumstance. Or that during life I seemed and acted so trustworthy and then took full advantage of his death. What does that say? Who am I after doing that? Those are the questions I ask myself. In that admittance there is also the realisation that heroin affects me more than I sometimes let on... that i would surrender my principles for a few bags. I would.. Iknow it, but it is hard to admit.

Thanks for reading, the compliment & the comment... it means a lot.

BW, Shane.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


Ws it only a couple of days??? Fuck, it must've have been me who went AWOL!!!

We'll speak soon, mate. Shane.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


You're right... of course, you're right. JoeM nailed it as well, the money eventually went to hated relatives.

Thanks as ever.. My love returned, Shane. x

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

I suppose I'm cynical since I benefited from an uncle not leaving a will. My mother, brother and me got a few thousand each because a lawyer who investigates these things contacted us. But I heard that the uncle hated ALL his family (not just my father,his brother) and didn't want them to get anything. Well, my father was really not hateable (my mother used to violently attack him and he never once hit back), and he hadn't seen him for decades anyway so fuck the uncle - justice was served!

You know even just you, Nilsen's victim's son, talking with him would be a huge deal. There was a program on about the children of the Yorkshire Ripper's victims. They were all fucked up, still couldn't let it go. I don't think he would meet them. I don't think he's 'rehabilitated'. Apparently he blew on this woman's hair and whispered "A blow to the head". Scary.

I put a comment right at the end of the last section.No questions or anything. I think I was saying I couldn't understand 'maintaining', either on drugs or drink (speaking as a binge drinker!)

I'll put you on my contacts.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


Did Sutcliffe really say that? Well thats not gonna do his chances of parole much good. Is he crazy, or what!

Maintaining on heroin is how it inevitably ends up. Though maintenance on heroin still has satisfaction. Because of the strength of the drug the addict always takes the benefit, if only for a short while after use. It's not really the heroin we feel, it is the slowing down of the metabolism and the return to normality. I sent a mail to Tony and said that after a shot I feel straighter than when I am straight... and thats it. I suppose it is the same as the alcoholics first swig of liquor in he morning... the glow as it starts taking effect and puts pay to shaky hands.

Yes, it would be something to meet with Nilsen and I know that would interest many. Especially my unexpected feelings towards him. Those emotions are not contrived or feigned, it is just how I feel. The years have never brought bitterness towards him and I identify a lot with the fears he had of desertion and lonliness .

Ive left a reply to your comment on the last post... sometimes I'm a little lazy.

All the best, Shane.

Kat Skratch said...


I'm so sorry I didn't get to this post sooner. I have been preoccupied a little, and I hope you'll forgive me as I have commented right away since I started reading up to this post. I also need to respond to your comment on my blog.

Another gripping story from the pages of life. Your poor neighbor. Poor you. I wonder if it was best he went after that then living in a vegetative state after the stroke? As that was the likely conclusion.

I agree with Heather. You didn't steal the money. I have a hard time saying whether I would or wouldn't...
Now that I think about it would've... I would do it to take care of my Dad. He's done so much for me. Does that make me an asshole? Heh.

I'm sorry you've been through such things Shane, but I send such compassion to you. Such amazement that you are who you through it all.
You're writing an incredible book here love. :)

Sending you happiness! brilliance! all sorts of good vibes!

Cant wait for the next.


couragerqd said...

I truly believe that I am on the outside because I do not follow through on all that I think or all that I wish to do.

What amazes me about the way you write is that it is pure beauty yet are speaking of some of the most tragic events. I love that.

JoeM said...

Well I read that Sutclife said that in a newspaper - so it must be true!

Nilsen's fear of desertion and loneliness - 'killing for company'.

'Stoopid Slapped Puppies' said...

sometimes when I read what you have written all I want to do is hold your hand, like when you are looking after someones little brother or sister and you are walking along the street and the kid just puts his hand in yours and you continue onwards, that's what you writting does to me.
Even though I know we are miles apart my hands always there.
Love and Total respect
Nick XXX

Changedit said...

Gosh, you've had a life, ey? And you're not even half way through it. Despite goose bumps all over, enjoyed reading the story. xx

Anonymous said...

What really touched me about this post was not that you would have robbed the dead (even many non-addicts would have done so if they knew about the money) but that you stood witness to death and that you felt it and were able to write about it so forgivingly and honestly. He didn't die alone. You gave him a beautiful gift.
Thank you for putting this down.

Anonymous said...

another story i can relate to but could never articulate as well.
you have a real gift with words.
please keep at it.


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Kat,

You respond in your own good time... you've earned a free pass around here.

Yes, most people seem to say they would have taken the cash and scarpered... maybe I'm not as unhealthy as I thought!!! ;)

Take care Kat and thanks as ever for your words and visit. Shane. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


Thank you very much!!Yeah, tragedy has a beauty to it... if told correctly those bad events can also serve to show the beauty of this life. Because it's only becauseI've experienced the rotten that I can appreciate the good. That' how it works.

All my wishes and thoughts, Shane. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


Killing for Company and also his reflections and his love in those things he done. Many say he has no regrets, well I don't care if he has or not, but when I read his thoughts and descriptions of what happened I see a deep sadness there... a regret tht those things did have to happen. I am sure he would much prefer not to have such hang-ups and could have found security and love in other ways.

When you read what he has to say of the killings it is an act of love... and I undrstand that... to have a deep need of companionship, yet unable to find it in a conventional way.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


I know your hands there.. I feel it even at a distance and through your words. One day we'll hold hands... fuck the public for one day!!

Shane. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


Yeah, I've 'ad a life! lol And there's more!!! You wait!

Truthfully, I have to seperate the posts of the bizarre things, because if not no-one would ever believe a word of it... not even me. It's something I've struggled and suffered with all my life.. just no-one believed what I told them. In the end I stopped telling. This blog is the first time I've put all these things together.

All My love and wishes, F

Shane. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


What a wonderful way to look at it. I have thought about that,a d then I thought...

would a dying man really want to look up and see me standing over him as his last image??? I'm really not sure? lol

Thnks for your words and your time & welcome to Memoires!!! Shane. x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Rufus,

Thank you for what you say... that means alot.

My best wishes to you and hopefully we'll speak more soon.


PS: When I saw an anonymous comment come through on my email, I thought "'ere we go..." But it was a nice one this time.

Anonymous said...

Would a man really want to see you standing over him as his last image? Ha! Well.... Who knows what's next? You may only be his last image in this life.
My mom is a midwife, and when my aunt passed last year it occurred to me while watching them in their last days together that it would be a really nice thing to have death midwives. Just someone there to ease the transition, to know you aren't alone and that someone will know what happened to you. I like to be alone generally, but I think that when all this stops for me I'd like to know that someone saw me go. It's a very important part of our lives, and we can't exactly tell anyone about it after, now can we? You told us his and that's good because he can't.
much love,

JoeM said...

Shane, I can't see your understanding of Nilsen. This doesn't really have any relevance but so the fuck what

After all the loves of my life...

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


Thank you for the link...a good change of subject.

My feelings towards Nilsen are complex and maybe I shoudn't have opened that up in a comment. I know it isn't what you could expect to hear from me, but I cannot help the way I feel towards that. It's not the murders I can nderstand (I cannot), it is the emotions that led there. I will write a post very soon on this, because it's something that needs to be explained - to myself also.

My Very Best Wishes Joe, Shane. x

Changedit said...

Shane, same situation here ... people look at me in disbelief, when I tell them about my life. So most of the time I don't tell, because I try and avoid to be classed as a liar. But, I know what the truth is, so that's all that matters. Lots of Love K xx

Gledwood said...

Really I must reprimand you on your spelling of manoevred. & your living in France and all Shane!!
Apart from that that's a most excellent post...

Death has always been at arm's length from me so I've been lucky...

JoeM said...

I think Nilsen said something like,'Oh I was really drunk when I did the murders, so it's like someone drink driving a truck with 20 people in it off the road'.

Which seemed to me like he was evading responsibility.

But it's best that you, as a victim, can 'forgive' - otherwise you spend the rest of your life bitter and hating.

Cathy said...

Amazing how many Tullocks come to the door of someone they have a set idea about, in their time of what they suspect is an ending. I was held, as usual, by your use of descriptive words I had no trouble "seeing". When my partner, my first love, OD'd in a blue haze I first cleared away the works, then looked in his pockets for those secrets he kept from me. He was dying and I was sick, so what was more important? (Not "who" you lose the idea of humanity sometimes, esp in the face of physical hell) Enjoy reading how honest you are, it's so easy to say but not to convey realistically. You do. You can be believed and that's unique in any writer.

Anonymous said...

Hello Shane. I'm so sorry with the late reading. I haven't been home...you know...summer! hahaha

I didn't had the time to read your last blog entry, but I'll read it.
I'm just here to notice you that I'm with a new blog "A Cisma da Cisma", ok? ;)


kiss kiss

Bigg said...

I couldn't think of a poetical death threat, but I can damn you with faint praise: you write pretty well.

Anonymous said...

wow, this was a very strong and brutally honest blog entry!

I simply didn't know what to do in such case like that! The closest i had was when my mom faint in my arms. I didn't cry cuz I didn't want to scary my brother, but yeah, I kinda freaked out. The paramedics arrived and I rushed to my bedroom..and then I came out to prepare a bag of clothes and other stuff to my mom. she was rushed to the hospital...
Thank god it wasn't nothing serious. Just seasonal flu and some shit that went wrong with the medications she was taking and that I bought to her -_-' oh well...

hope you're okay. I told ya I was going to read it. 1 down, 2 more to go hahaha! Kiss kiss, Take care and stay strong.

Herbert Barry Woodrose said...

Your words are the tiny pellets of a broad shotgun blast!

Loved this post as always.

Maybe you should come up with something to say - get ordained as a minister or something - since Death seems to have picked you as part of the transition team. But, then you are probably of service because you don't mumble a bunch of bullshit at people. So maybe you should get ordained so that people STOP dying at your house.

I like Mayday's idea - we could call them Endwives. Maybe you could be an Endwife.

I also agree with the sentiment "You can be believed" by Cathy. I think that's what we so often try to explain, as readers, back to you. We can't explain why, of all the writers in all the gin joints in all the world, for some reason when we read you we just fall right into it. I think something like 90% of the first-time responses I've ever read on here (before becoming full-time Memoireists) are from people who feel the need to say "Is this real? This isn't true... right?"

Because from the first word you have the talent to take a reader, quietly but firmly, and say "I'm going to tell you a story and every word of it is probably true. And anyway, I am real, and I assert that I come from these feverish facts."

It is almost impossible to pinpoint technically in the writing. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, it comes from "really fucking meaning it."

My deepest condolences, congratulations, and most importantly, gratitude for this post. And Love!

Dusty Rose said...

i think the thing that stuck with me most about this post, because i read it a few days ago and i couldn't stop thinking about it, is the symbiotic relationship between you and your mother, both being users.
when i smoked crack
something i've stopped
for good, i hope,
it was with my dad.
oddly enough, it was one of the only things that we could really bond on.
we did heroin together too
but, it wasn't his thing.
also, i was moved by the tenderness of the death of a man who was so deeply immersed in his mundane routines while you guys lived above him in a state of blissful chaos.


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Dusty... almost missed this one!!!lol I think I need a secretary, my inbox is in a bigger mess than my life!;)

When I reread that post, what you describe as "sybiotic" to me reads as incestuous. I think because such hard drugs have such a stigma, and the use of them so intimate, that sharing with a parent somehow goes way beyond the bounds of a normal relationship. It is such a priate thing to share (with anybody) that it has somekind of sexual undertone. Of course, it didn't, but it reminds me of that... it' an incestuou post in that way.

Yeah, what goes on upstairs, hey? I often think of that. In London I was managing a company and sitting in the toilets some days,naked, with blood everywhereand a syringe between my teeth and a body full of wounds and bruises, I'd think: "What the fuck would one of the employees think if they stuck their head over the cubicle NOW!" Our behaviours are often very surreal... yet after a few months have become so commonplace they are normal.

I hope you're well, D... all fine here. Shane. x