Monday, 2 July 2007

Chapter 28 - Caught in the Act

"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the
manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words,
you can control the people who must use the words."
Philip K. Dick

August 5th 2000 4pm

I had been off the methadone for nearly 2 months, I had beaten the DUI charges and it was pay day and I felt like a hit. I had so desperately wanted to be free from my addiction, yet here I was about to dive back into the abyss. The physical addiction was gone I was just bored and lost, I didn’t know what else to do.

Now that I was off the drugs the true pathetic nature of my existence was revealed. I was no longer shrouded in a glorious cloud of foggy confusion, now my troubles glared at me in full spectrum vibrant colour. I was unemployed, living at home with mum, I had nothing, I could not see a way out. The threat of prison gone, now the prospect of freedom seemed to offer nothing, but the stark realisation that I am a failure.

So I caught a bus from Mum’s place at Southport to the train station at Helensvale. I settled in for the one hour trip to Brisbane on the train.

Sitting adjacent to me was a young bloke wearing a baseball cap and track suit. His glazed eyes told the story, his body rocking in rhythm with the train as it moved onward, and every couple of minutes, I watched as his head slumped forward slowly, his eyelids closed and he seemed to drift off to sleep, and then he would shake his head, rub his face with his hand and return his glassy eyes to the business of watching the scenery as it passed us by.

He was on the ‘nod’, it was so obvious to me, other people might not know why he was behaving like this, but I sure did. I had seen it so many times, and right now I wanted to feel just like he did.

Glancing around the Valley mall I looked for familiar faces, yet failed to identify any. Since I had burnt all my phone numbers I had to score the hard way. I wished I still had Lee’s number, I didn’t like scoring from total strangers but I couldn’t find anyone I knew so it was my only option.

There was a young aboriginal guy sitting in an alcove in the wall. I walked over “Hey man how are you going?” and sat down next to the bloke.

“Not bad bro”, he had a stony expression on his face.

“You know where I can score some ‘harry’ around here?”

The young bloke’s eyes lit up, “Oh yeh, might be able ta help ya out. There wus a fella ere jus a minut ago, e’ll be back soon.”

“Good shit man, I’m hanging out! Look I’ll just go down the road and get some picks from the chemist.” I was breaking my own ritual never collect the picks before I get the gear.

“Oh yeah, I’ll cum witch ya, bro, by the way names Brody, wats yours bro?” He put his hand out.

“Dave”. Introductions complete we began our quest.

It was about 4pm and the Valley mall was quiet. A few workers hurried along, a handful of homeless people and junkies hanging out in the centre of the mall. The cafes that line it were sprinkled with the afternoon coffee drinkers, the young and the restless.

Waiting at the lights to cross the road, I spotted a familiar face. It was a woman in her late thirties, bad teeth but nice eyes.

“Hey love, know where I can score?”

She looked startled as if under attack, “What are you talking about?”

“You know ‘harry’…”

“No I don’t know anyone called Harry.”

“Nah, I’m talking about smack, horse, hammer, heroin, the big H, I got some off you a few weeks ago, don’t you remember me?”

“Me it must have been a long time ago, I’m not into that shit anymore!” She kept walking.

“Oh………… Ok”

I took one last look at her as the walk light illuminated and thought, her eyes were clear, maybe she was clean, or maybe she thought I was a narc. She cast doubt into my mind. I thought it was only a few weeks ago, yet she was adamant it had been many months. What had happened? The drugs created a time warp. I existed in the void, the drugs created a cloud that enveloped all. I had lost time. Like the victim of a UFO abduction there was a gap in my experience of reality that my conscious mind was unable to bridge.

I thought, hopefully this bloke will not rip me off. I remembered that time I had met those guys in Dooley’s in the Valley years ago. It was when I had just started using heroin and didn’t really have any contacts. They looked like junkies and so I asked them if they could score.

“Yeah sure I can get some good shit for ya mate, but we’ll have to take a ride out to Bardon, you got any money for fuel?”

“Yeah no worries mate. Let’s do it.”

We drove down to a service station and put $10 in the car. Then we drove out to Bardon and pulled up at a bus stop.

“Righty oh then mate you just give us the $100 bucks and we’ll come back in few minutes with the gear.”

“Come back?”

“Yeah you can’t come with us mate, what were you thinking, but don’t worry we wont be long, alright, so just give us the cash and take a seat at the bus stop. OK”

I gave him $100 and said, “But how do I know you’ll come back?”

“Look take me fuckin ring alright, we’ll be back just relax, alright, now get out of the car so we can go and get this shit the sooner we leave the sooner you can have your smack, alright.”

I took the silver ring, stepped out of the car and took a seat at the bus stop. They never came back but I got to keep the silver ring valued at about $5.00 and learned to never give money without getting the drugs.

Brody was dressed in trainers a baseball cap and had the demeanour of the defeated. He walked along with eye’s down cast,

I got the fits and went back up to the mall. After waiting for a few minutes Brody’s mate turned up, he didn’t introduce himself, just asked us to follow him and we did dutifully. The dealer walked down into a dingy alley and sidled up to me and said”What cha want bro?”

“Just a 50 would be cool”

“No worries man, you got the cash”

“Cheers, here you go” he handed me a triangular piece of paper with a small lump in it.

“Thanks man”

The transaction complete we parted company. Brody and I wandered back out into the mall.

“Ya gunna shouts us a taste arnt ya bro”

“For sure dude where we goin ta boot up?”

“Well fuckin cops are always watching the dunnies, I reckon we ga down b’side train line in nat carpark”

“Oh, Ok,….” I was a bit unsure, I didn’t like shooting up in the open, it was risky, but for some reason I just let Brody lead the way. One of those times when I failed to assert myself, that leads to resentment, frustration and for me outrageous outbursts.

Sitting in the dim light of the car park, I could see the train platform off to my left, an alley leading back on to the main street on my right and an entry to the car park right in front of me.

As I sat there I had this funny feeling and thought this is a fucking stupid ass place to shoot up, it’s right out in the fucking open. While I thought this , I hurriedly tried to mix up my shot. As I was doing so I watched with horror as a police car pulled into the parking lot and came straight for us.

Oh fuck, I panicked. I had got to the point of mixing the gear and sucking it up into the syringe, but instead of injecting it or getting rid of it I put it down my pants.

The cop car pulled up and two young constables jumped out.

“Ah Brody what are you up to me old mate? Bloody mischief I’ll bet.” The young cop smirked menacingly.

Brody looked at the ground and put his hands in his pockets.

“You got a mate with ya too, what are you boys doin down here?”

The cops knew Brody and probably thought that anyone hanging out with him was up to no good, which was true.

Visions of calamity and disaster passed through my mind. I had thousands of dollars in unpaid warrants, was wanted for questioning in regard to stealing and was now caught with heroin, and due to spend several months maybe years in gaol.

After all my family had done for me paying for the Barrister and solicitor to help me stay out of gaol, I had stumbled into it myself. At least I didn’t have a major habit I had only been dabbling since I got of the methadone, so I would not have to endure any withdrawals. Furthermore, I had been training again for a month and taking steroids so I felt strong, what little comfort that was.

Because I was busted I never got to have the heroin I bought with Brody’s assistance. I had not had any smack for nearly three weeks, and now that I was going to gaol I was assured of some dry straight ass times.

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