Saturday, 30 June 2007

Chapter 15 - QUIVAA

"Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic. "
Salvador Dali

April 1996

While dealing the ganga I would usually smoke from sunrise to sunset consuming massive quantities of the shit. This was in the days when ‘skunk’ was still relatively new. After a while it really seemed to do very little, and these were the times when I craved a shot of smack. Something that would really change the colour of my day, harry!

At a time when my drug use was on the climb I saw a position advertised at QUIVAA (Queensland Intravenous Aids Association) for a heroin home detoxification worker. Now although I was smoking copious amounts of pot, injecting heroin daily and taking anabolic steroids, I thought I was perfect for the job. The position involved supporting people in their own homes who were withdrawing from heroin.

QUIVAA is an organisation that was established to address the spread of HIV among injecting drug users. The organisation is run by former and current injecting drug users, which supports the philosophy of harm minimisation. The key points of this philosophy are that you can’t stop people doing certain things but you can minimise the harm they do to themselves and others while they do it. Therefore, QUIVAA supplied clean injecting equipment, condoms, lube and advice all for free.

The interview went well and on the way home I visited Alex and scored some smack. Alex lived across the road from Churchie, a private Boys high school, at East Brisbane. In his house he had Star Wars figures and spaceships set up all over the room. Bongy had introduced me to Alex because he was taking over Bongy’s turf.

“Hey Alex, how ya doin dude?” Alex smiled at me, he was sitting at the table with a small pile of white powder making up fifty dollar deals of smack, small white triangles of paper with a pinch of white powder.

“Good man, yourself?”

“Yeah not too bad, hanging for a hit though.” I replied

“Well your in luck cause this shit is fuckin awesome. Man what the fuck are you doing to your arms man, they are fuckin massive.”

“Oh yeah still training, have been for years, off and on, a bit of gear and yeah big arms.”

“Training? Gear?”

“Oh just with weights and roids mate, used to do competitive bodybuilding. “

Jeff my mate from Uni was living out west at Quilpie, to get away from the heroin. I had given him his first shot. Every fortnight I would send him a parcel on the bus that travelled out there. The parcel usually contained about 4-5 ounces of ganga and maybe a gram of speed or two. I would wrap the pot in 5 or 6 layers of bags with coffee beans in each layer to disguise the pungent odour, and then place the whole lot in a box wrapped in paper.

One week there was a flood out west and all the roads were closed. As a result all buses were cancelled, but I had already placed my special package on the bus. I turned on the T V to watch the news anxious about the fate of my little package, “flooding throughout Queensland has caused widespread havoc, even the State government jet was called upon to ferry supplies to isolated communities, cut off by the flood.” The showed vision of a bus loading its freight and mail onto the plane and I watched as one crewmen gingerly picked up my package and placed in the cargo hold.

The Queensland Government came to the rescue, they helped me to get the good buds to where they were desperately needed, nice to see the government get something right for once.

It was Thursday I had three ounces of prime skunk, but business was slow so I decided to take a trip into the valley to see if I could drum up some business. Taking a handful of pot from one of my bags I made up a couple of fiftys and a couple of twenty-five dollar bags.

Before I left I had a shot of smack, it made it easier for me to approach strangers, getting rid of inhibitions like alcohol, but with clarity.

I caught the train in and headed for the Valley Mall. I sat down on the ground with a paper and surveyed the scene. People were always looking to score and if you watched them carefully you could pick your marks.

I noticed a young block wearing a black t-shirt, checkered flannel, black jeans and boots, he has a goatie and shaved head. To me a prime candidate for a dope smoker, so I approach him, "He mate, how ya goin, you lookin to score any ganga at the moment?".

He pauses for a moment before responding, "Well matter of fact I was lookin to score what you got man?"

"Prime skunk weed my friend $25 or $50 bags...."

"I'll grab a fifty."

"Cool just follow me into the toilets and we'll do the deal."

Once in the men's toilets we did the exchange, I got the cash and he got his weed. This bloke ended up becoming a regular customer I would deliver to him and his girlfriend at West End every week.

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