Depends on what I've had...
Driving Over Lemons, An Optimist In Andalucía...
Is the title of a book written by someone who’d gone in search of a new life and been willing to devote both time and effort to pursue it, in the same region of Spain as I now found myself.
He’d arrived with his wife and a dream, whereas I’d just abandoned mine, bringing just me and my ongoing nightmare for company, devoid of optimism, looking no further than the next opportunity to get some money from somewhere then go and visit Pedro, the most unpleasant drug dealer in the entire world.
A new life?
Nope just more of the same shit in a better climate, the only lemons involved, regularly squeezed into a burnt spoon to cook Heroin with.
Sharky had collected me from Granada airport after a journey I had very little recollection of other than fixing the last of my heroin in the toilet at the airport, buying a bottle of Jack Daniels and passing out somewhere over France as I cradled Jack in my arms and wondered if the small bottle I had in my wash bag contained enough methadone in it to get me through the next few days. I’d had the strange notion that I would actually be able to detox myself gradually by drinking lessening amounts of the sickly green liquid and increasing amounts of cheap local brandy, as ridiculous a notion as anything I’d previously entertained in a long history of deluded ideas about myself and what I was capable of doing, or more pertinently, not doing
“You look fucking awful Si”
“Thanks mate….I’ve brought some methadone with me to get through the cluck so I should be ok”
Five minutes later we’re sitting in Sharky’s car sniffing lines of cocaine from a cd cover as he steers us out of the parking lot and onto the road that, hopefully, will take us to Orgiva.
It’s not that he doesn’t know the route it’s just that he hasn’t slept for a couple of days and isn’t really in much of a better state that I am…………snifffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff
He is now.
I explain my plan.
“So, yeah I reckon I’ll be ok in a week or so mate, got some juice with me, a few Valium, bit of cash, fuck it! I’ve done it before enough times eh?”
“Green Dragon Festival starts next week Si”
“They’ll be loads of people doing gear there, lots of French and Spanish Junkies come, as well as the local ones, think you’ll be ok?”
There will be drugs, lots of drugs and certainly the kind of drugs I am ‘attempting’ to get away from
Just to be clear, what I have just notionally indicated is that at approximately the same time as I run out of methadone, roughly 3000 drug-gobbling, Techno aficionados will descend upon my doorstep for a week’s revelry and unbridled debauchery. There will be drugs, lots of drugs and certainly the kind of drugs I am ‘attempting’ to get away from.
“You sure Si?”
“Yeah, I’ll manage.”
Anyone fancy a flutter on what happens next?
I fucking hate Techno.
At that point in my life it would be safe to say that I hated Techno as much as I hated myself, which was a lot.
I’d had a near death experience due to Techno on the side of a mountain in France many years before but that is not why I hate it.
I hate it because, like me, it is shit and very, very annoying, particularly when you are withdrawing from heroin and you feel like you want to die.
It was also, as soon as the various generators and sound systems started up, relentless and very loud.
It sounded like a lot of final nails going into the coffin masquerading as a bed, in which I lay, thrashing about not having slept for days and rapidly becoming too weak to get up and go and do something to remedy my situation.
Did I say ‘too weak’?
I meant almost.
You’re never too weak to score.
Did I say remedy?
They were a bit cagey at first until I showed them a recently acquired abscess on my arm and heaved up some sick on their firewood, after which they decided I was cool
What I meant was go and make it worse in the long run but considerably better than it was when the Techno started.
And it was bad even before the first sound system started up.
A French sound system.
How did I know they were French? Un moment s'il vous plait.
I looked over at my shoes and asked them if they would consider trotting over to the ‘bag shop’ for me to get some smack from Pedro.
Not surprisingly they didn’t respond.
I had a quick puke onto the floor of my abode and ten minutes later am rattling down the hill on my way to try to either sell my digital camera or find something to steal, then score. As I stumble on, I have to pass the French people, who were currently just adding to my discomfort, but were not actually the source of my misery, you can hardly stumble toward yourself can you?
I saw the tin-foil.
From 50 yards I also saw the face of the person clutching it just inside the cab of the truck that was attached to the sound system.
I saw myself, a French version of myself.
From ten yards I smelt the smell.
Burning heroin, yummy, yummy, yummy.
I love French people.
They were a bit cagey at first until I showed them a recently acquired abscess on my arm and heaved up some sick on their firewood, after which they decided I was cool, they then took my camera as payment for a few grams of what turned out to be very weak, but just about strong enough to stop me from shitting myself, heroin. I am invited into the back of their truck, which stinks to high heaven, but allows me an opportunity to get stuck in to the gear, while my French chums start taking photos of us all with their new expensive digital camera.
20 minutes later, I love Techno and French people with equal vigour.
Heroin turns you into such a dickhead.
They rapidly get bored with me banging on about the recording studio and record label I am going to start up here, it doesn’t take a great deal of intelligence to figure out that some skinny English smackhead who’s reduced to selling his possessions for a bit of shit heroin, was probably not the next Richard Branson !
As the French people carried on with their preparations for the upcoming festival, I stumbled off to annoy anybody who I came into contact with, figuring I’d head into town to get a drink or ten at the ‘Metal Bar’. Sticking out my thumb in the hope of getting a lift from the numerous vehicles heading my way, it soon becomes apparent that nobody wants to stop and pick me up, what the fuck was wrong with these people?
Eventually a couple of ‘normal’ British tourists en route to a week’s walking holiday in the mountains, pull over and offer to drop me in Orgiva, the ride takes less than ten minutes by which time I’ve convinced them to ‘lend’ me 30 euro’s so I can get a bus to Malaga in order to catch my plane and fly home to visit my sick mother.
“But you’ll miss the festival Simon?”
“Family comes first Jean, we have to keep our values intact these days don’t we?”
I bid them farewell, thanking them profusely before throwing away the address I’d insisted they gave me to allow me to return their kind donation and trotting into the Metal Bar to see if I could find someone to talk to and buy them a few drinks in the hope they’d like me.
Why wouldn’t they?
The Confessions of a Coke Dealer series will be published as an as yet untitled book by Mainstream in Spring 2013
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