Saturday, 30 June 2007

Chapter 12 Nimbin

"I watched the needle take another man."
Neil Young
(The Needle and the Damage Done)

April 1994

After the break up with Michelle, I had found another reason to use heroin. No longer was it simple experimentation rather it was the powerful mind numbing effect that I craved. When Michelle left me it felt like I had lost part of myself, and the only way I felt that I could deal with this was to use heroin. But this was just bullshit because I needed an excuse, some sort of justification for my fucked up actions and this seemed like a pretty good excuse.

We kept seeing each other briefly every few weeks or months opening the festering wound that was our relationship. One day I bumped into Michelle in the city and we spent the afternoon together, and had sex in the bush at Mt Cootha. I had a great time kissing, fondling, and fucking her under the stars I didn’t want it to end. As we parted she told me, that we could never see each other again, the words, shattered my mood and set off a cycle of fear, anxiety and pain. I relived all the horror of the original break up again it was like listening to a CD of Lennard Cohen and Nick Cave duets on stuck on endless repeat, ohh the humanity.

Every time I saw her I had this faint hope that we might get back together. And every time that it didn’t happen I felt heart broken again. When ever I got depressed about this situation I would seek the warm embrace of heroin. Today Nimbin was on the agenda. I think I wanted something to feel bad about just that I would have a reason to use.

It had been a week since I had ODed and went to the hospital.

As I pulled into the sleepy little town, I saw the copper’s four-wheel drive coming towards me. It was just my luck, I was driving an unregistered vehicle and there were warrants out for my arrest. They were only for unpaid traffic fines but still I didn’t want to have to spend a week in gaol and miss out on my taste.

I pulled over onto the soft edge of the road. As I did so I watched as the copper’s car slowed, did a u-turn and came back my way. While this was happening I stashed my wallet down the front of my pants.

The Nissan four- wheel drive came to a halt. It was a cool morning and we stood in the shade of some trees.

“Good morning sir, I notice that you don’t have a current rego sticker, “the young copper said.

“Its not my car mate, it belongs to a mate of mine Dave, I just borrowed it for the day, didn’t realise it wasn’t registered.”

“Ah ha, you say it’s not your car, ok, so what’s your name?”

I tried to think of a fake name, “ah …. John Connors.” I had been watching Terminator 2 last night.

“Your address John?”

22 Bunyip Lane Wilston Brisbane”

“and the full name of the owner of the car”

“Dave Hawkins “

“Can I see your license John? “

“Nah I left my wallet at home”

“I‘ll have to search you sir”

The copper patted me lightly on the body, avoiding my groin where my wallet was stashed. He found nothing.

“Can you please open the car; I’ll need to search it”

The cop rummaged through the car, opened the ash tray and pulled out a small bag of pot. “This yours” . I nodded

The copper tipped the bag upside down and emptied the contents onto the ground. He did this without hesitating or acting as if this was unusual. In a town like Nimbin pot was everywhere, and mostly the cops turned a blind eye. They didn’t worry about small amounts, it was the smack dealers and blokes who sold the pounds of pot they chased.

“Stay away from this shit mate. OK, now I’ll have to radio in to check your details.”

The copper went back to his car and turned on the CB radio.

While I did this I felt the tension building inside of me. If they figured out I was bullshitting I was busted and that meant I would miss out on my hit today.

“Base, this is unit 34, need to confirm some license details and rego details. Can you check on a Queensland license for John Connors of 22 Bunyip Lane Wilston and the rego details on a green Mazda 323 license 345 EWB.”

He waited for a minute, “Roger Base out”

“John, couldn’t find your details but confirmed the car is registered to a Dave Hawkins, how long have you had your license?”

“I just got it”

“That must be the reason why you’re not on the system. Oh, anyway I ‘m going to have to fine you for driving an unregistered vehicle. “ The copper was rather blasé and didn’t seem to care. He proceeded to fill out the infringement notice and handed it to me.

“You will have to leave the car here mate.”

“Ok.” I replied, and thought to myself, yeah like hell mate.

We parted company.

As the cop drove off I counted my blessings. That was close, now I was really hanging for a hit.

I walked up the street to the park across the road from the pub where I would usually find someone to score from. As I approached I could see Jamie sitting under a tree. Jamie was about 35, but looked 55. He had long hair, a sparse beard and the rotten teeth common to junkies. He wore old stubbies a t shirt and thongs. He lived in a tent at the edge of town.

I had scored from him before. Jamie was on the methadone program.

“Hey Jamie, how you doin dude”

“OK man, watch yah up to”

“Lookin to score”


“No harry man”

“Oh ok, bit the old horse, hey. Jus hang here for a sec while I see wot I can do”

I planted my arse on the grass and sat back to survey the scene. It was a sight. The park was dotted with a variety of social misfits and oddities. In the centre of the park stood an array of modern sculptures, some still under construction. Small groups of people sat drinking casks of wine or stubbies and smoking cigarettes. A few mangy kids chased each other round the park while their parents chatted.

Young locals waited for tourists to wander into town chasing what Nimbin was famous for, drugs, specifically pot. After checking you out to see if you looked like a prospective customer, they would casually ask you if you wanted some good buds.

Jamie sauntered back into view, he walked listing to one side, like a battleship that had taken a few too many hits, but in his case it was a few too many hits of heroin. “Yeah, man I can score you some shit, how about giving me a few bucks for lookin afta ya. “

“Yeah no worries man, here take 10 bucks”

“Hey ya don’t have any durries on ya, do ya?”

“Yeah, grab a couple”, I said as I offered the packet to Jamie.

“Now, how much do ya want, quarts are $140 or I can get ya a fitty?”

“Make it a quart hey” I handed him the cash.

“Give me five minutes”, Jamie said as he wandered up the street.

I saw him walk to the other end of the main street and sit down next to a woman. They chatted for a moment, Jamie passed her the money and she gave him the shit.

By this time my heart was pumping as the excitement was building.

“Here ya go,” Jamie handed him a small piece of paper wrapped into a triangle shape.

“Cheers man”

I now tried to contain myself, as I skipped down the road to my car. I had to drive; there was no public transport in Nimbin.

I just hoped that I would get out of town before the cop noticed me. But as my luck would have it, the cop was driving past in the opposite direction as I was driving out of town.

The cop saw me, flashed his lights and slowly turned to pursue. There was a distinct lack of urgency in the policeman’s actions.

“Oh fuck,” I shouted out loud. Then thought, this bastard is not going to stop me from having my shot, and with that I planted my foot to the floor. The little Mazda lurched into action.

I had a head start on the cop, and luckily for me, the cop was driving one of the four wheel drives which were not as fast as the normal cop sedans, besides the fact that the cop obviously didn’t give a shit.

About 2 kms out of town I took a side road, and hoped that I had lost my pursuer. Not willing to wait and see I took another side road that went off the bitumen and onto a dirt track. After driving for a few minutes the road came to an end.

My heart still racing I turned the car around and left the engine running. Fumbling through my bag to find my fit pack, I grabbed the orange container tipped out the contents and began to hurriedly mix up for a shot.

Nervous hands scraped some of the precious white powder into the spoon. I mixed in the water, sucked it into the syringe and drove it into my arm.

The warm glow, settled my nerves, but I was still freaked out.

I drove back out along the dirt road all the while worried that the copper would appear at the next bend and have me cornered.

But as I drove on it seemed that I had escaped. I continued on my way home sticking to the back roads. To celebrate my escape I decided to have another blast so I pulled the car over to the side of the road, mixed up another shot and proceeded to inject it. Waiting for a moment I felt the rush and then decided that for safety sake I had better keep moving lest the cop catch up with me.

Off I drove. As the car travelled down the road I felt my head become light, and my stomach getting ready to puke. A light touch on the break, I opened the door and spewed while the car slowly rolled forward. Pressing the accelerator I continued with my journey approaching a corner in the road, and just as the car came to the bend, darkness enveloped me and I blacked out.

A bright all encompassing light draws me forward…………………………..

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