Get out of my house
When I used to be a heavier drinker, I never quite enjoyed myself as much as the Bacardi adverts promised. A surfeit of sex and wild abandon. Maybe even some confidently executed small talk. What I didn’t realise though was that if you swap the alcohol for the class As, you can bring all types of wankers back with you. I've lived in some real dumps and also some remarkably enjoyable cities and areas. The North of England, London and Toronto are noticeably different places. The one thing they all had in common, though, was the ability to provide any flatmate with an endless supply of tools to bring back.
Because I don’t have half of This Life’s plot devices up my arsehole, I get the sober experience. Never, in the face of such overwhelming evidence to leave the drugs alone, have I wanted to be so off my tits. Anything to blunt the experience and make sure that at least the memories were vague.
Living in London now, I’ve been exposed to a fair few drug cocks. But living in Dalston, as you may have read, means the gene pool is skewed to the Paedo Glasses Brigade. Sharing a postcode with the highest demographic of failing, unemployed (unless you’re counting part-time bar work) filmmakers, writers, actors and musicians is bad enough on weekdays, worse at weekends, but unbearable when there’s more snotty sniffing than talking. Watching someone who you know go mining K-holes every weekend just leaves you with a vague unease. Watching someone wonder why their work mistakes always come after a weekend with just one night’s sleep leaves you with unpleasant resentment.
I never really understood that sympathy was a finite resource, that your goodwill can so noticeably be exhausted, when you have to tolerate someone - clever and kind when sober - locate oblivion in the face of all reason. Just thinking of the various types of addled bruisers brought back to places I've lived, the types of clowns who end up giggling at stairs, is a tedious chore.
There’s the stoners - if religion used to be the opiate of the masses, then for a few years in the sixties and seventies, it came perilously close to being replaced by smoking a few joints and listening to The Grateful Dead. A disgraceful state of affairs, certainly, but quite relaxing nonetheless. Nowadays, it’s for wiry, chippy youngsters intent on damage, a gateway drug to carnage far worse than Byker Grove. Imagine a Richie Aprile with pre-prison vim and vigour intent on having your wallet - a terrifying thought.
"People on ketamine are much, much easier to kill than a zombie. In fact, give them a power drill and there’s every chance they’ll do it themselves."
Then, there are the chaps on MDMA. I plain don’t like pill-hippies. They’re constantly declaring friendships and preaching love when their presence makes me want to do anything but. The first time I realised I was around a fair few people on ecstasy was a house party in Brixton. Now, you might say it was a mistake of me to even bother with a house party - it might as well have been purposefully constructed as Exhibit A of London’s cunt epidemic. But it certainly wasn’t a mistake of mine to severely dent everybody’s high by describing in challenging length, with provocative detail, the effects of famine on the world’s poor. The little victories.
One of the few things worse than a drugged up hippy, coming up on MDMA or down on a spliff, is a hippy in your own house. If I pay rent, I genuinely have no expectation to hear world music. Womad can piss off.
But even worse than that are people off their plums after a few lines of coke. The city boys slumming it over in Shoreditch, creeping up Kingsland Road. Overconfident, not funny, and intent on stamping their will and view on the rest of the world. Unashamed capitalists ruining the two days of the week I don’t have to leave the house to face political reality.
It’s not that I don’t sympathise. Honestly, do you like real life? Nope, nobody sensible does. It’s a crushing drag interspersed by sleep, bog breaks and illness. You know what’s also a crushing drag? Spending time with people on ketamine. If you’ve ever got nostalgic for watching Joey Deacon on Blue Peter, then watch entranced as your friends hoover up a vet’s anaesthetic supply. They’re on their way to becoming an ever more senseless reconstruction of Dawn of the Dead. But stupider. In Dawn of The Dead, the zombies overpower the humans. It might seem like ketamine’s reach is getting similarly out of hand, but here’s a tip: people on ketamine are much, much easier to kill than a zombie. In fact, give them a power drill and there’s every chance they’ll do it themselves. Or a flight of stairs.
You know who I wouldn’t mind being brought back? Junkies. At least they’re quiet.
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