Through groggy panes of god-knows-what yesterday I woke into one drug-knows-what after another. Slumped on a nylon leopard skin carpeted toilet and felt Dolly dressing me for the next round of Partying. As always it was sunday sunday. First she rolled me into silk seamed stocking bra suspender belt knicker corset, laced me into thigh boots, and strapped me into elbow and knee pads a soft padded crash helmet and the black lace satanist party-frock completed the ensemble. After jolting black coffee, something nice to take the chill off my semi-permeable bones. We began to talk.
“A duller spectacle this earth of ours has not to show than a rainy sunday in London” Dolly recalled.
“What day is it? Where are we?” I asked Dolly suddenly.
“Same as always. We’re in the wrong. For centuries they’ve tortured and murdered our kind, shot, gassed, hung, impaled and burned us at the stake. For being different, for resisting tyranny, for refusing to agree. They’ve called us terrorists, guerrillas, schizophrenics, psychopathics, heretics and witches. they think they’ve demonised us out of existence. But we’re still here, out on the margins, beyond the pale. Lifeless yet Undead.” Dolly paused for dramatic effect, the story was reaching a conclusion. “So why should we care if they’ve fucked up and the whole worlds going down the pan”
“I don’t give a fuck” I intoned religiously.
“Me neither” Flashed Dolly, “Let’s go and party.”
We were blasted off the streets in the icy winter wind and tumbled through the heavy double swing doors, down the steps and into the warm seedy Bordello Bar. Dolly propped me against the wall and turned away to take in the room. My eyes flipped through foci and shimmered into the dark recesses. Over in the corner of the bar I spotted the Marquessa. She was resting on a high bar stool. She waved condescendingly to Dolly, and turned smoothly back to the two well-dressed well-heeled middle-aged men who stood adoringly either side of her. She flitted and flirted between them, alternately conning champagne from one and Jack Daniels from the other. She called them both Mr. Smith without a trace of humour. A dead pan dead-liner. At her feet, in the gloom of the bar, knelt a naked shoeshine boy of about eighteen. His long chestnut coloured ringlette hair swept about his smooth skin shoulders, as he meticulously and reverentially buffed the Marquessa’s eighteen hole platform boots with a huge pink powder puff. Imperiously the Marquessa clicks her fingers and the shoeshine boy leaps to his feet, erect and attentive.
“Mr. Smith, I’d like you to meet Dolly” The Marquessa winked and turned her full attention back to the Mr. Smith supplying the JD. Dolly began working the other Mr. Smith.
“Two surrealists were arguing one day, where’s my chicken?… my how kind, why yes! I’d LOVE a drink, Mr.Smith, yes champagne will do fine…”
I fell into conversation with the Naked Shoeshine Boy.
Prisons are built of stones of law, brothels with stones of religion, and a derive persued without noticeable interruption lasting late into forever. “Please do lets sit down” he ushered me carefully towards some chairs. He seated me with a courteous florish, Somewhere someone in the distance muttered “The acid-casualty is a well-known creature to the drug laity.” And the phrase “I am the god of generosity” miraculously implanted itself in my mind, a pervading and insistent calm oozed from him, characterised by hallucinations, delusional thinking and bizarre behaviour. I found myself lulled into an almost breathless admiration, magic shroom sensations, an adoration. The gentle touch of warm hand on my naked arm pulsed through me. MDA is a stimulant/hallucinogen that has some currency amongst young British nite-clubbers. He paused, patiently awaiting my blundering reply. The crooked roads without improvement are the work of genius, a fool sees not the same tree as the wise man sees, he whose face gives no light shall never become a star. A much hyped variable of MDA is MDMA which, like the former goes to work on the neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, originally an esoteric psychiatric tool for use with cocaine withdrawal. It reached the streets in the past few years where, known as ADAM or XTC it has developed a truly remarkable reputation. He laid his hand on my bare shoulder with a lightness that was only perceptible on an astral level. I wondered idly if we were communication telepathically as I had trouble seeing his lips move in the darkness. The soul of sweet delight can never be defiled. He who desires and acts not, breeds pestilence, a mysterious new generation of long-haired deviants. Drive your cart and plow over the bones of the dead. His tone remained steady in the same tranquillising rhythm. No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings. If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to humanity as it is, infinite. And so we find that in the ’90s a lot of people are doing a lot of everything at no appointed hour. The spreading warmth that vibrated from his fingertips, held me in a magnetic grip that I might have been imagining. I was walking among the fires of hell. I came home in the Abyss of the five senses.
Flashbacks act as an ironic counterpoint to the formalities of everyday life. Each morning I wake to find his clear skinned angel face, framed in his thick reddish ringlette cherub hair, his huge brown eyes gazing into mine as they open. What is now proven was once only imagined.
He moved on closer to me and slipped his hand onto my thigh, a trip lasting several hours, pluck then my flower, goes through several stages, another flower shall spring. The soul of sweet delight can never pass away. I thought I was a rabbit caught in the glare of on-coming traffic. Starting with a queasy paranoiac rush, down, into deep down falling. even to eternity falling, and weep!. Like a bedlamb to the slaughter, falling, rushing, ruining! Buried in the ruins. Followed by sedation and sleep!
“What do you do?” He asked me suddenly, sipping champagne in a punt with fairy lights.
“I write” I whispered.
“No, I mean what do you like to do?” He opened a brown paper bag, filled to the brim with multi-coloured sweetie-medicine. The intensity of the experience is, as usual, dose related. Followed by sedation and sleep.
Aware of bright sunlight burning out my retinas I snuggled my face deeper into the chest of the naked shoeshine boy who slept beside me. Warm contentment spread up and outwards, tingling and glowing like coals on fire. Leaking through and dissolving the cells of skin that separated us. Blending myself and the shoeshine boy (Whose name, I later discovered, was Jesus) into one stilled gleaming entity, the beatific calm at the smiling centre of the storm. In almost the same breath we are elated scared wonderful ridiculous and all part of the cosmic hoax, all these swirling certainties and uncertainties break into fragments and begin and end again.This will come to pass through a systematic experimentation with mutual sensual enjoyment.
Jesus the naked shoeshine boy caught up my hand and together we stumbled out to the lavatories, he was clutching a brown paper bag of wrappers, foils, vials of powders, pills and fluids. These he crushed, mixed separated and laid out in lines on the mirror he unscrewed from the washroom wall. We did the lot. I perched on the wash basins, shiftless, itching for action. A cold sweat sweeps over me. I open my eyes wider, but the world whites out, bleaching into ice cream walls. A cold sweet and soft reality slips and tumbles through the jittering, skittering jerks of my retinas. JUMPCUT JUMPCUT JUMP. Words without meanings, substance without solidity. The burgeoning tempo of my spiralling madness.
“From here on in, you’re on your own, baby” I heard Jesus mouth from the corner of a piss-stained cubicle.
White. Silence. Waking into sunrise, entwined around a warm sleeping body, skin against skin, coiling black hair teasing my naked shoulder. And then she kissed me, a kiss that began and spread through my whole waiting body. A quivering sexual attraction, held silent and stilled, swaying balanced on desire’s knife edge. Sensing my whole body shiver anticipation, waiting with every sense prickling, vibrating, alive with possibility. Pulsing warm flashes of potential pleasure skitter over naked nerve endings, skin against skin. Warmth, rising to heat to sparks igniting in forgotten fleshy recesses. Sliding slow-motion flood through me. pinned to the bed in a deluge of passion, wanting,taking,having,fucking. Released into movement, plummetting or rising or both at the same time. Spun into a wordless whirlpool, vortex spiralling to a peak. The Princessa tossed back her head and laughed deep, pleasure spilling out across my belly.
It was a year later that I finally faced Frankie, “I’ve been thinking about what you were talking about” he said in a wheedling voice “And I’ve decided that I’d be better off dead”. Nothing to say.
Again I am struggling in darkness, a solid woody door opens onto a dusty light-starved dark corridor, winding off to a distant bare red light bulb. Stumbling through red lamp into sun-drenched salon. Bleached out pink curtains swelled in the hot afternoon breeze. The Princessa was sat in her usual throne. She had a tea tray spread across her lap, cardboard boxes arranged around her feet. The TV was on as usual. “What are you doing?” I asked finally “Home working” she replied “Envelope stuffing. I get £100 for every 10 envelopes I send”. She stuffed another envelope, then rapped it neatly with a small silver hammer, a bile yellow fluid oozed through the paper.
“What!” I said. She picked up a vial from another cardboard box, slipped it into an envelope, sealed the envelope, rapped it neatly with the hammer, cracking the glass vial inside with a pop then she tossed it into yet another cardboard box at her feet. “Are you sure you’re doing that right?” I asked “Obviously, you were a tad concerned” interjected the Doc in his smooth voice. “yes” she replied “it’s all in the letter”. She picked up another glass vial, I snatched it from her, “What is this stuff?” I screamed, reading the label (insert bio-hazard symbol) “I dunno” she answered “Who’s paying you to send this stuff?”. She handed me a letter, instructions, a list of names and addresses. “The ten people at the top of that list, I send them these envelopes and they send me £10 not to send any more, it’s easy”. The situation was beginning to swamp me, I needed to go for a walk.
A leisurely trot out of town, through Florida Park and out past the tree lined avenue cosseted around the president’s palace. A burnt out petrol station and a huge blackened glass ice cube of the newly built detention centre. Huge, dominating like the spire of Koln cathedral, great black block glaring justice and damnation. The new detention centre, or maybe an AIDS hospice, I dunno.nAt the curve of the road, teetering on the park, giant machinery clanked and crashed enormous iron girders into place. “In twenty-four hours they have taken away the old bridge and built the new railway bridge” Frankie told me, we both breathed a sigh of relief. The route to Madrid lay open to us once more. Wind up Pack up Move on
The words reach a peak. Cut them. Somewhere there’s a feather falling slowly from the sky. Watch how they land. You need not know the reason why. Wind up Pack up Move on
Preliminary adventures into experimental and excessive behaviour, months of waiting, wandering through a variety of godforsaken hotels, that I can’t sleep, nor open my eyes. Wandering aimless around Madrid with a ripped plastic carrier bag of dirty laundry, that shit that nobody wants to pick up and I can’t find a laundrette. The black shame, is god to live in a dog?. Can’t find the Marquessa in her Madrid hideaway, the project maybe doomed. Wandering aimless substances spilling from the brain into the vein and through blood shot eyes, eyes of hunger with the junkie red glow, la mierda, la movida, sinister chemicals seep through the blood brain barrier. To worship me take wine and strange drugs, drink to oblivion and shoplift a little.
Still invisible transparent voice silent wordless cold hunger stoned drunken as a foreign language stupid still calling forth the flame of the heart. Cut the words and see how they fall : Looking for junk?
Culminating in a municipal-blue prison-style lavatory, one barred window ten feet up the wall, a case for sleeping pills. A locale something like Kings Cross, just off Piccadilly, the landlord used to drive for Franco, or so he said. But there are only so many times mutual masturbation with a Spanish Jean Genet in a slop-out with two cheap cigarettes and a carton of rice pudding holds good. And god it fucked me.
I thought I saw the boys selling contraband tobacco on the streets wave in drug-sick stupors and say “¡Hola, Guapisima! I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost state, desire you, Beautiful”. I thought I saw Frankie selling his arse in the Puerta del Sol, the grease in his hair and the tattoos up his arms are all this tremulous heart desires. And so I waited walking in Buen Retiro park, while he did nefarious sex/drugs/money/I dunno what things in backstreets. Eating the peanuts they sell for the squirrels, I was fucked up for the whole of the day. I thought I glimpsed a gold spray painted demon standing staring on a rubbish bin, dancing to the jingle of coins, duros thrown at his feet. Tea and sympathy for the devil everywhere we go. Then there are days and days that I can’t leave the house I’m so fucked with constantly moving frontiers, boundaries. We’d been doing the tranx off silver platters all night when the landlord took me aside and whispered “That Frankie! I think he smokes hashish, and you know that can drive people mad”. Working ceaselessly towards the organisation of new chances, I thought I glimpsed a transvestite flamenco dancer dressed in black junk sick swirling in a spiral waiting for the money for a fix.
Modern capitalism’s organisation of life : In which the isolated inhabitants see their lives reduced to the pure triviality of the repetitive combined with the obligatory absorption of an equally repetitive spectacle. I though I saw Frankie selling his arse for skagg in the Puerta del Sol. Believe that television is the life of the junkie. The colour is black to the blind, but blue and gold are seen of the seeing. Television and smack reduced life to the pure triviality of the repetitive. Finally we were evicted from the blue lavatory for brawling, thus everyday life is private life, the realm of separation and spectacle. I thought I saw a half-naked hippie with mirror-eyes dance the filthy tie-up hanky song-and-dance, his pitch strangled by horse. I waited, giving half-arsed English lessons to people old enough to know better, while Frankie peddled his bowel in backstreets. I am alone, there is no god where I am. Cause when that needle’s in my vein leads to a mainline in my arm leads to a centre in my head, then thank your god that I’m good as dead, thank your god that I’m not aware and thank your god that I just don’t care. Wind up Pack up Move on.
I thought I glimpsed the Marquessa buying substances in a pale blue limo, our landlord in the driving seat. Ripped red plush seating shining under nicotine glowing globes, cracked stained glass and shadowy mirrors. A plant dies wilting in the corner, the air heavy with rich tobacco coffee like poison coughed up from cancerous lungs into tiny cups of rancid milk. I thought I glimpsed a drug crazed priest pursue a pack of wild dogs through sewers wielding a blood-covered cut-throat razor. I waited, outside schools, by the ice cream van, sprinkling free heroin onto the 99s of passing schoolchildren. A guy in a hooded top, hood up monk-like against the pitiless drizzle, prayed as he passed me “Thy kingdom come, thy WILL be done…” Blue I am and gold in the light, but the red gleam is in my eyes. I thought I saw Frankie selling his arse full of skagg in the Puerta del Sol. No more, let there be a veiling, let the light devour men and eat them up with blindness.
Then Frankie lost his job in beds of purple, caressed by magnificent beasts of women with large limbs and fire and light in their eyes and masses of red hair about them. I thought I saw a hooded monk selling contraband watches on the metro, he gave me a holy book to read in the lav. “I am the winged snake that giveth knowledge and delight and morning glory seeds to stir the hearts of men with drunkenness, the prince of needles, riding horse, scratch my name on your arm with a fountain pen PuNK, this means you really love me”
Frankie came home to the sky blue pisser smacked out, weeping blister, broken tooth and bloody nose. “I lost my job” he said. I waited for the focus to pull into line, nothing happened. We junkies don’t know anything except jacking up or looking for something to jack up, and we can never know love. Wind up Pack up Move on.
Then we slept in a junkie flophouse, a bed in a wardrobe and state provided needles thrown in. The question is of intensity of experience and anyway it was always so for the fucked up. By candlelight we whispered of literature, Burroughs, the needle, masochism, love and hate, pain and ecstasy and heroin. The perfect and the perfect are one perfect not two; nay are none. Nay, nay and thrice nay, stop titivating madam. And I fucked myself up, buying from dealers, cutting and cutting, sustaining my habits and diminishing my interests. The last hotel seemed to be a lunatic asylum for ex-police informers and those that wish to fuck drug-addicts. Thou hast no right but to do thy will, do that and none shall say nay. Nay, nay and thrice…
Coiled around each other cleaning up the monkey in lukewarm rusty bathwater, we conspired to spend our last fifty quid on smack, child of my bowels, heroina, cocaina and hash. I get up at three, but this time we’re really fucked and I have to drag out to score again.
Ringing three bells to get into the building, tying knots in condoms, then get past the guard, stuffed full of plastic wrapped balls of heroin, up three flights of stairs in a caged lift, bolitas like the bollocks of some prehistoric fish, ringing three bells three times, Frankie shove them up his bum, in the right order now, put the skagg in the condoms, put the condoms up the arse, and an ex-policeman opens the door and unlocks our room. I thought I saw Frankie emptying his bowel in the Puerta del Sol as the police waved us by. A feast in your hearts, in the joy of my rapture, and a feast every night to the pleasure of utmost delight. That way I’m going to heaven, into happiness death, then I forget everything. Wind up Pack up Move on.
Finally we moved into St. Euthanasia’s Half-way Home for the marginally deranged, where an hysterical piss-head drove himself to full-blown drug-psychosis suicide, leaving the sorrows of pain and dying to the dead and regretting, sorrows are but as shadows, they pass and are done. I am a naked brilliance in the voluptuous night sky, sky high, a fine spray of fluid shooting into the velvet sky.
Waking up is hard to do. A clinging sense of violation persists, like having your diary read aloud by a flatmate, or your telepathic sentimentality ridiculed by a jealous lover.Even now, as the memories subside, I can feel the grip loosening on stone cold memories. Wind up Pack up Move on.