It has been nearly a year since my last post. I guess I have found a little more stability now, this was why I moved to england again so I guess this is good. My aim for Cambodia is still there, in fact I now have a date, at least roughly late November. Over the last year a few things have happened however and I will now update you all over the next few days starting from a year ago.
Sleepless in Soho
I had been to work today just like any other day but had planned to meet my girlfriend after work in a little pub just off Holborn after work, this was fine a while, we ordered in a bottle of white and drank most of it but somewhere along the way we started to argue. Th end result was that I stormed off into the night (work day tommorrow) and my girl went home, both angry with each other.
This is where I do as I often do, or did, and turn off my phone and start to drink proper, I headed for soho and spent a few hours in some of my fave haunts but the important bit comes when I find myself still in soho after everything has closed. There are always places open down there but midweek it is really reduced to bar italia and I was down closer to Rupert street.
I met up with a morrocan man who was homeless although he did not really look it, and was also a smackhead, he did kind of look like a smackhead. He assumed I was a new addition to the homeless scene and we moved around the streets of soho, I followed him on his hunt for H. I actually gave him 10 pounds to score with first saying it was my last and he of course took it and I got to follow him and see things usually reserved for the addicted, we headed to chinatown where, in the doorway to a closed restaurant we found two dealers: one well-dressed black man in his thirties and another black man from south london who later introduced himself as Spider ans he gave me his homemade bisiness card with a spider's web drawn in the corner, along with a couple of other junkies one of whom, a dishevelled woman in her twenties probably, accused me of being first police then a nonce. Morroco ( I never found out his name) bought a couple of rocks and out came the pipe.
The pipe as I will call it was the first of it's kind I had seen, although I was to see a few more that night. I was one of those 5cl spirits bottles with the bottom cut off and stuffed with what I think was ordinary cotton wool, although now slightly browned, the rock of what I think was smack ( although now writing this now I wonder if it was crack rather than heroin?) was put into the narrow bottletop and the large end was put into the mouth, the rock was lit and the fumes, somewhat ineffectively filtered by the cotton, inhaled. The bottle was then passed to those who were involved. The next few hours were spent with Morroco and I chasing up shadow people who owed him a fiver here and there and other ways of him getting hold of money for his monkey, he told me that this was how he lived all the time to support his substantial habit. We climbed up staircases I did not know about to rooftops of bars to scour the floor in search of fallen bits of rock, he smoked a number of small rocks in this fashion which were probably not drugs at all but it was a chance and he was strung out. We smoked on the first floor of the quite famous NCP carpark just up from the windmill tavern, Morroco knew all the places where people smoked the demon and was determined to find any leftovers.
The back alleys of soho, in places, are full of shadow figures, all smoking the same rocks(must have been crack), you walk a deserted street and turn into an alley to find ten people, all with these small plastic bottles to their mouths and all averting their gaze so as to not meet your eyes. Morocco at one point borrowed a pipe from a homeless guy, who looked more the part, caked beard, dirty clothes, shitty blanket, nothing but a crack pipe, it was the only possession he had. You know, in a way I understand, if you live such a shadow existence then you, more than anyone else in the world, need to escape, but what a monkey to carry on your back!
At some point along the way Morroco started to talk about finding somewhere to sleep and at that point I took my chance when he wasn't looking and dived off, I found my travel card and headed for the night bus, planning to call in sick and sleep all day in my comfortable warm bed. As much as I had got to know? Morroco that night and he had given me a fascinating look into the life of a central london crackhead living on the streets it was both depressing and interesting, I would never be there, would I? Should I have helped him before leaving? I had a warm house to go to but had I helped more with money it would have gone to rocks and the sad fact is with both smackheads and crackheads, you just can not trust them.
I did feel a guilty but what can you do? Some people choose the monkey for their own back and some people get chosen by the monkey.