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Locked in the bog shooting coke, one hit after another. Anyone who’s banged up pure cocaine in the vein knows the madness. I ain’t touched this shit for one whole year, since I got put in the nuthouse. Quieting my mind with heroin and valium. Beats the anti-psychosis drugs they put me on. Chlorpromazine, chemical lobotomy. Shuffling feet and dribble. That’s about it on Chlorpromazine. Anyway, that was then.
I thought I could shift this coke and make some money to buy more heroin. So, I get hold of some proper gear like I used to get before I fucked up.
I met this kid from somewhere, fancied himself as a bit of a hippy. Thought I was cool for some reason and latched onto me.
This happened a few times with these sorts. It was like they admired me for being strange, as if they thought I had the key to a different path, but they didn’t realise that I was a cunt. The only path I ever lead anyone down was the path to Hell and the only door I had a key to no one should open.
This particular one wanted to sing the blues, played guitar. But he came from a comfortable background. Had money given to him he hadn’t earned, didn’t deserve and he had no life experience, no hard luck. Nothing bad had ever happened to him and he had never done anything bad either, so there was nothing for him to sing about. All this he complained to me about on quite a few occasions, so I helped him out.
I talked him into giving me money to buy coke to sell and split the profit. He agreed, so I got the gear and knocked him. I think that sorted out most of his complaints, but he didn’t see it that way.
So, I had this gear and I knew it was good, but I had to go and try it. And that was it. One little sniff and I can’t stop. That stuff drives me fucking crazy.
Out came the works and I started injecting the whole fucking lot. I hadn’t sold any! What a clown.
Of course, the hallucinations return and I’m round the fuckin’ bend. And here I am in the toilet with some bitch banging on the door shouting.
—What are you doing in there? Hurry up! Get out!
—Fuck off, I’m having a shit!
I’m trying to get in one last fix. I don’t know how long I’ve been in there. I know I should stop, shoot some smack and calm down, but I’m out of my mind and this cunt is screaming on the other side of the door. So, I come out, strip naked, pick up a claw hammer and walk out the house down the road to the tube station. I get to the main road.
What the fuck am I doing?
I start walking back up my road, but of course now all the neighbours have come out and everybody’s looking at me with my shrivelled-up cock, like I’m the naked madman, and I am. Someone’s called the police and I go back to the house. One of the girls I live with is surprised and lets me in. She looks embarrassed. I smile her a maniac’s grin and go to get dressed, then leave again. The old bill are there.
Somebody points at me and the copper asks,
—Excuse me sir, were you just walking about without any clothes on?
—No. I just come from down there, I say, pointing down the road, glazed eyes, fixed grin. Obviously lying, but what could they do? I walk off and get the bus.
Later on, mad-moon in the sky. Lunatic on the floor. Spoon, syringe, bag open, shot after shot after shot. Madness, I can’t control. Monsters back to haunt me.
Who am I? Fuck knows!
Vision blurred, shadows watching, spiders in my skin. I shoot too much and go over. I know it’s too much looking at it, but I do it anyway for some reason I don’t know. It goes in and my head feels like it’s going to take off without my body. My heart going crazy, stopping and starting, mad beat again.
I look around the room and all these people with monkey heads and lizard heads, sitting around on chairs looking down on me. They’re blowing party horns at me, the paper unrolling, making that irritating tooting noise and there’s a strange tinkling music, and all I can think is,
Where did all these people come from?
I must have blacked out.
Next thing I know I’m lying face down and still alive.
Why am I still alive? I can’t fucking die! God knows I’ve tried to die.
Rob True is a contributor to A Wild and Precious Life: A Recovery Anthology, edited by Lily Dunn and Zoe Gilbert, to be published by Unbound next year and crowdfunding now. You can pledge to buy a book or support someone in recovery here:; fifty per cent of editors’ profits will go to St Mungo’s and Hackney Recovery Service.