Saturday, 30 June 2007

Chapter 14 - The Odyssey

"It is true, it is certain; man though dead retains Part of himself: the immortal mind remains."

April 1994

I regained consciousness and was hanging upside down, still strapped into the driver’s seat. The car had rolled off the road and crashed down into a small gully. Amazingly I was uninjured though the car was trashed. I was dazed, yet only one thing was on my mind. One more shot. I remembered that I had a shot already made up. There was a pick in the glove compartment that was ready to go. I undid the seat belt and let myself fall from the drivers seat onto the roof. I grabbed the smack, gathered a few possessions from my wrecked car, and scampered up the side of the embankment.

Lying in the scrub at the side of the road I injected that last shot. By now I was so smashed I barely noticed the impact of yet more heroin.

My next thought was of survival. “How the fuck do I get home”. I was on a dirt track, out behind Nimbin, it was getting dark and it had just started to rain and I had only 20 bucks on me.

Although my predicament was a concern, I wasn’t worried. When someone has had as much smack as I had that day, you become virtually oblivious to external events.

As I pondered my situation I began walking, or should I say stumbling up the road, hoping to hitch a ride. The gentle rain was falling steadily it was quite a beautiful scene, the tree lined country road at dusk. As luck would have it, I had only walked about 100 metres before a little Suzuki four wheel drive pulled over to give me a lift.

“You’re a bloody lifesaver mate”, I slurred, “I just trashed my car, its down there in the gully.”

“No shit, you alright?”, he looked shocked

“Yeah, I’m fine, but the car is fucked!

“You’re bloody lucky! I can give you a lift into town, where do you live”

“From Brissie mate, just down for the day”

“Oh shit, hey, well you’ll be able to get another lift from there to Lismore, you should be able to get a bus, back to Brisbane.”

The bloke took me to the next town, and we parted company.

By this time the rain was falling steadily and rather than get wet I decided to visit the pub. It was a typical country affair with a few locals at the bar chatting and drinking, it was dry and a welcome respite from the rain. I was stoned out of my brain, and still shell-shocked from the car accident that I had somehow miraculously survived. Time for a drink to celebrate my good luck.

In the Odyssey , Odysseus (Ulysses) tied to the ships mast to stop him being tempted by the sirens, while the ships crew have their ears filled with wax to prevent them from hearing their melodious songs. As they pass by the island of the sirens Odysseus hears their rapturous songs and, begs to be set free so that he may join them, however, his men blissfully unaware of the enchanting songs keep watch over Odysseus and tighten the ropes that secure him to the mast. Cream had a great song called the, Tales of Brave Ulysses that recounted the struggle his men faced when confronted by the beguiling charms of the siren.

Heroin calls the junkie like the sirens and to loosen its savage grip one needs deep resolve, all rational action and thought are obscured by the overwhelming desire.

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