Saturday, 30 June 2007

Chapter 19 - Out of Body

“The biologist Lyall Watson believes out-of-body experiences have a vital function - at moments of intense danger, they allow the conscious mind to view the body from a safe vantage point. While people more focused on the spiritual world might describe it as our astral body connected by the silver cord to our body.”

May 1997

And then snap like a rubber band I found myself looking out through my own two eyes.

“Shit man, ya gave me a fuckin fright, as soon as ya shot up, ya started to go purple, ya stopped breathin…… fuck man that scared the shit outa me, I thought I was gunna have ta call the bloody ambulance. Once I gave ya a few breaths of air ya came around, ya need to watch use less man! Fuck that was a close call…….”, Peter said as he rubbed his forehead.

I wondered was this dude trying to take advantage of me while I was asleep or was he helping me. I wasn’t sure it made me nervous, I didn’t feel physically threatened I was much bigger than Peter, but it was a blurring of reality.

I always got the biggest rush when ever I overdosed. Not because I overdosed as such but because in order to OD usually a person must ingest good quality heroin. So in the process of ingesting it the user experiences an intense rush as the drug takes effect. It may lead to respiratory collapse, and death.

Junkies hated it when people overdosed. If they had to call an ambulance that would attract attention, which could put them in a compromising situation. People take drugs to escape from responsibility but if someone OD’s around them, they have to look after them. Which might mean giving CPR or mouth to mouth, cleaning up their spew, shit and piss or calling for medical intervention, which might lead to the police being attracted. There was no honor among junkies.

This reminded me of another Peter, Peter Benson, who used to hang out at the exchange.

He was a charming fellow who was rather intelligent, but he had managed to develop an insane addiction to heroin. He had HIV/AIDS and it was killing him slowly and very visibly. His arms and face were covered with lesions and the couches in his house all had little towels on the arm rests to soak up the blood.

You see he had gone to Bangkok to score heroin. Which he did, he just never left the country with it. He got as far as sitting in the plane on the runway, thinking he had made it when, half a dozen Thai cops stormed onto the plane and arrested him. Peter spent 10 years in a Bangkok gaol where he got AIDS. He eventually died from an AIDS related illness.

Like all successful junkies I was great at networking and Peter was a great contact. I could usually get smack and speed fairly easily and was happy to let me shoot up at his grimy little apartment in Miami. Unlike Ralph who could also score for me, but utterly refused for anybody to shoot up at his house other than him. On rare occasions when he was stoned he might bend this rule, but generally he was totally opposed to it.

Peter was quite a character and a brazen homosexual who would often proposition me. This was never going to go further than Pete’s, imagination as I was sickened by the idea. Peter was not a very attractive man, but besides that he was a man, and although I had the occasional gay fantasy, gay sex was not something I sort out.

Peter phoned one day and said, “Hey Dave how you doin, just wondering if you might like to come to a party with a few of my friends? I was wondering if you could come and, ah….. flog us all, you know with a leather whip, and you all dressed in leath….”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” I was surprised.

“I was told that you were seen at the Meeting Place leaving with a certain boy…..”
”Don’t you fuckin black mail me you fucker, you cant go around trying to speak shit about me man”, I was yelling his heart pumped rapidly.

“Calm down, I didn’t mean it like that, no ones going to…………………”

I cut him off “No ones goin to say shit or they’ll get their fuckin asses kicked, you fuckin hear me, you hear fucker?” I had worked myself into an hysterical rage.

“Dave, I’m really sorry man I didn’t mean it like that, please man I’m sorry..”

“Ah get fucked!” I slammed down the phone and thought why me, why couldn’t it be sexy young chicks propositioning me and not a seedy old AIDS infested fag. They always seemed to pick on me, god knows why.

I hated people thinking that I was gay. People always wanted to put you in a box to put a label on you. I had always felt that I had a varied sexual appetite but was not confined to one gender. It incensed me and I thought that it was an insult to be called queer, although I professed to not being homophobic I didn’t want to be gay myself. Just because I was good looking, muscular and sensitive people automatically made an assumption about my sexuality, the ubiquitous stereotype. .

At times the rage burst forth, I was unable to contain it.

One of my duties while at the exchange was distributing syringes to clients who attended the centre. Although it was an “exchange”, most people only collected new fits they didn’t actually return them although the more conscientious users did.

One day I was standing at the counter waiting for some action when a massive guy walks in the door. He was about 6’ 2” tall and 135 kgs, this guy was solid muscle, he walked stiffly and with legs bowed to accommodate his body mass.

“Hey Andrew, how the hell are ya mate. You’re looking massive dude! What’s been happening?” Andrew was a bloke that I had trained with many years ago, when we were both dedicated bodybuilders. In fact we had both competed at the state championships years earlier at Conrad Jupiters Casino and received 3rd place in each of our classes. But Andrew had gone on to bigger and better things.

“Well been training hard and just got my pro card last month. I will be heading to New York for the Night of Champions. “ Andrew seemed surprised to see me, on our last meeting things had not been so friendly. I had written an article about steroid abuse for the Gold Coast Bulletin and it attracted a lot of hostile reactions.

“Wow that’s great man, congratulations”


Andrew lent on the counter and his massive striated forearms bulged from his sleeves.

“Shit your arms are massive man, that’s awesome!”

“Yeah not too bad, but still got more work to do.” Reverse anorexia, bodybuilders are never big enough. Its funny how men want to be big and women try to make themselves small.

“So what can I do for you dude”

“Well a box of a hundred 2 ml syringes, 100 21 gauge needles, and a few boxes of swabs.” Which he got for free, a pretty handy social service, looking after the physiques of our elite bodybuilders.

“No problem man, just give me a sec”

“What’s your postcode?”


“Using them for let me guess steroids…..jus kidding man.”

Andrew curled his lip as though he was about to frown and then converted it to a casual smile.

Julie was the cleaner at the exchange, a former heroin addict now on the methadone program. She had 2 kids to her partner Lance who was a current and fully active junkie. In fact Lance was so active that he had a permanent open wound in his left arm. He called it his trap door and it was located just at the base of his left bicep. It was a round, slightly raised, bright red wound that had a thin yellow covering of pus. It looked just like a bright red and yellow trapdoor. He always injected in the same spot and the hole was continually maintained.

I only worked at the exchange for 2 days a week. On one of my days off I decided to head into the exchange to score some drugs. Now this was tolerated as long as it was done in a very subtle manner. On this occasion I caught up with Lance and together we went and scored some smack, and wondered down to the local park.

“Hey Lance how ya doin man, lets get this shit organised man, I’m tongin for a taste.”

We went back to the needle exchange and while Lance and I were sitting there on the nod, a young guy comes in wanting some fits. So I go to serve him. As I am getting his gear he leans over the counter and whispers “Want some good shit, man I got some awesome points here dude, come out to the car and have a taste”

I couldn’t believe my luck and being in the state I was could not pass up such an opportunity. Points are slang for servings of speed, a point was usually about $50. So we went out to his beat up Datsun 200B and I hopped in. He had a small clear plastic bag that he pulled out. Quickly he unwrapped the fits and sucked up some water and squirted it into the bag. The light brown speed mixed in with the water to become a cloudy soup. He stuck a cigarette filter on the end of the fit, to filter out any crap, and stuck it into the bag and sucked the brown liquid into the syringe. Time to boot up.

It was a massive rush, I began to sweat straight away, my heart was pounding and I felt fuckin great. Smack and speed what a cocktail, mmmmm.

However, my antics were not appreciated. I was fired from the exchange for coming in on my day off and making full use of the facilities. What a joke being fired from my job for drug use……..

But I must say that I was surprised when it happened, or maybe its just an example of me not realising the effect I have on people. Or maybe the drugs fucked my memory and I don’t realise what I really did, whatever, I was fired.

“So I was hoping to get my guitar back today”. I had given him my guitar as a security deposit on a drug debt I had accrued.

He glared at me “Yeh no problem have you got the money you owe me”

“Well I already gave you 200, so I only owe you 150 now, I’ll have that for you next week, but anyway in the meantime, I wanted to get the guitar back…..”

He cut me off “No fuckin way, you pay me the fuckin money you owe or you can get fucked, I’ve given you so much shit and you just keep asking for more, for fuck sake, I am sick of this fucking shit”

“Calm down you bloody goose, no need to have a fuckin spack attack…”

“I’ll give you a fuckin spack attack”, with that he pulled out his 9mm Browning and pointed it at my chest, his hand was shaking and spittle was flying into the air as he shouted at me. His bloodshot eyes glaring but I knew he would never pull the trigger. Steve Le’Range guitarist from America and Darren are both standing there mouths agape.

“Ok man chill the fuck out, keep the bloody guitar, but how about the dope man I need to get some pot?”

He lowered his gun and put in his pants, pulled a plastic clip top bag out of his pocket and said, “How much you want mate?”

Steve took me to the muso’s club. It was located in an industrial area in between Nerang and Southport. It was run by Bernie a short fat bloke with a silver beard and mullet.

It was a private club frequented by bikers and musicians. There was a bar, a stage area with a full set up of instruments. Throughout the night people would spontaneously get up to sing or play various instruments, the depth of talent was impressive. Guitarists, drummers, singers and all of them were of a professional standard.

There was a small courtyard out the back where we went to smoke bongs, with a few of the local bikies from the Uhlans. They had their colours on, black vests with the club emblem on the back. Long hair plenty of tats the usuall shit you know.

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