Sunday, February 11, 2007

A social menace

Things were definitely continuing on the up. It began with a £20 find at the farmers’ market and culminated with a ten-bag from the socially handicapped. Thieving and purchasing quasi-illegal drugs. With the former I went to town on a large wild sea bass and a good handful of venison steak. [Such serendipity would have normally been met with a bottle of malt, which is more fitting than a couple of meals.] The latter was the result of “decision-overturn”, a process I entertained for a surprisingly long time given that I knew all along what the outcome was going to be.
Evidently, the psycho-switch that has been so powerful in keeping me away from booze for the worst part of a year doesn’t seem to have been wired up properly for the gear. I know why, of course. Principally it’s because such a black&white decision would bring me too close to an existence with no bolt hole – however obstructed it may have become from overuse. Despite the lonely ceremony on January 3rd when my supply came to a foggy end, I knew I had to keep the option open if I was ever to make sure that the drink didn’t spot the opportunity and raise its game accordingly. I knew that when I stood in my soggy back garden with my pipe in my hand contemplating hurling it into the night.
So with all this brought much closer by the imminent prospect of a weekend with just the children, the idea was rasping away at my Friday-night mind. By the time the morning came I had reasoned a bullet-proof case for getting some in by the end of the day, which was boosted by some kitchen DIY success in the shape of some Swedish-designed under-shelf lighting. And I felt good about it.
The core strand of the argument was this: it was an opportunity to show to myself just how mature and sensible my approach to my addictions has become, how I understand myself so well that I can coolly and calmly afford myself a few day’s of societal outage as and when I need it. And just in case I started to see through it all, I covered my ass with the “if I am ever to have a healthy relationship with this stimulant, then there is no sense in just stopping forever altogether – you need to keep in touch though the bad times, test each other to see if the space has had any effect” routine.
But it was all academic.
It took all of three minutes of having the stinky little bag in my hands before I was coughing like a cunt in the car park next door. And rather than sit back and enjoy the clean high I had expected to get from only the minimum of material filling my freshly ventilated lungs, I found myself doubly hungry for the stuff. I hit it hard for a few days, enjoying the heightened enjoyment of food and fantasy. Rolling soft strips of purple venison steak in hot butter, spiking the juices with some crushed juniper berries, reducing the seepage from a handful of reconstituted porcini and tipping in a tub of single cream to make a stoner’s stroganoff was just one example of the kind of self-indulgent concoction I was immersing myself in.
But I felt slow too, forgetful and much more paranoid than I thought I ought to be. One of a rare few occasions when I have been utterly aware of how the substance I’d just imbibed was altering me. I disliked the heavy, hazy hit and my quick transformation into insatiable monster. I fucked a filleting job on a mackerel and have been consuming shite like I can’t recall, gorging myself on cheese and pickle crackers, premium ice creams and bars of Cadbury’s chocolate. The high made me want to indulge, instantly, in everything. I hadn’t expected this to happen at all, rather that I would be knocked totally off my tits and care-free. It flicked an altogether different kind of switch. Just like drink used to do, all it did was trigger a behavioural pattern that I had grown used to. I was back on the Red Bull, taking longer to do everything than I should have been, tetchy but worst of all craving getting more fucked.
So it seems as if smoking high-strength cannabis has now been added to the small but growing list of things I cannot do properly. I would feel the loneliness if it weren’t for the comfort of knowing it’s not going to be taken away just yet. Although things are different to the way they were five days ago. This ill-conceived little test did not turn out too well. I feel even more trapped than I was. And I cannot afford to be slowed down right now, in the beginning of my supposed prime. Like a man with which I have in common nothing but age: rock/pop-star/teetotaler AANA Robbie Williams, drinking 36 espressos and 20 cans of Bull every day and now checking-in to rehab to wean him off subscription drugs. We need to talk. I am already thinking about how I’m going to get past tomorrow without scoring another bag.

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