give me oil in my lamp keep me burning
The rain was like iron bullets on the apartment’s factory type window, except larger with black aluminium frames and loose locks. If your final steps are these windows then take a few back and remember the open plan micro loft room with its high white walls, the torn poster of nevermind the buzzcocks on your right to your left – a web of wire as a headboard filled with black hearts and silver and scarves and long leather gloves in front of a queen sized white bed covered with the flag of Swaziland and King Cetshwayo. A side of kitchen, a black belt in the sink, a couple of signs of other dilly dallying of the spirit cleaning out in jik and water, a shower and basin to the left, out we go. Let’s face it – it’s an empty gallery. The lifts, the new ones then the old ones, then the fire escape – a double wide metal door swings far too buoyantly open, the sliding door pass, the night staff at reception, a slightly guilty look, two lazy guards watching your movements in twelve different areas on a large flatscreen, a ridiculously ostentatious swing out front door – 4 metres long pushing you to the pavement, Pata Pata the restaurant, Chalk Café – the Bioscope independent Cinema, fluorescents on every corner. More Security and then straight back to your vehicle, if you’re lucky and a keen observer or modern cultural anthropologist a dusty black kid on a skateboard might whizz past you…and then fall over….or there might be a party of some sorts or an arty opening…or closing night spilling out onto the streets…. . However if your name was Eric or Max or whathitsname and especially if you were a Nigerian Eric or Max or whatshisname you would not taking this little trip through the grand entrance up the stairs through the doors to the empty gallery that protects the door to Main Street Life’s real inner sanctum.And it would most certainly not be at any kind of reasonable hour whereby the residents and businesses would still be abusing each other….and the mood was gay….No your entrance and its timing would be very different.
Click, push, giggle, slam, click, turn, push open. The mood immediately is serious. This shit is serious. Its 2am, I’ve been waiting since 8pm when he told me the long drawn out story when he would be getting off, then stuck in Sandton at 10, countless smokes, positions sculptured by sheets, lame movie…lame lame lame movie and why now on a Friday night. I can still hear the last of the arseholes from the Monster Munch party on the roof. Rabid and hysterical fucked on a mixture of cheap vodka hidden inside Russian Bear bottles – thighs slapped into fake leather leggings and stamina…my fucking god, whats the fucking time now? 1am, ‘ dude listen I’m sorry but this is fucking ridiculous, its cool I’ call someone else (but he knows I wont), you know.
- Give me 20 mammie, the rain is very hard here.
Whatever, I have to wait. I check the syringes on the kitchen counter, search for rogue cotton balls with a trace of gear, bump that, I hate reusing anyway..i hate been that desperate, but its not even like that, its just. Well you don’t even get a rush so ….whats the time?
Max’s number lights up on the cell. ‘ are you hear?’
- How much you got?. ‘I told you I wanted three grams, I got 700, I’ll give you the two on Monday, promise’
- No mammi, the rain is too hard. 900, otherwise I can’t come out all that way
‘yeah yeah I got 9, just hurry’
I don’t got nine. I got five. I’ll sort it out when he gets here.
It’s the same black golf that pulls up around the side street from the Main Street hotel/apartment whatever the fuck they want to call it, nightly around 3am. I’ve seen him lurking earlier, maybe at around 6am, or after a serious night he can be here by 8am, before most of the Main liners are up..save one or three of the respectable lot of working people who somehow got swayed into thinking that the building was actually cool and reflective of their coolness and hipness and we made it ness…the ones who got sidetracked…who couldn’t leave their old real life living on the breadline in the middle of the shitty city centre soul and move to the suburbs to bathe in the bliss of clean white commercial and successful south Africa. I wonder sometimes who are the real rebels? Those that stayed and deluded themsel ves or those who moved and excluded themselves?
Dish dash, down the stairs, Elo is at the ATM, he needs a few packets of sunshine as well, I’ll drop a few lines into my spoon and speedball, I decide on whimsy. The side door bangs behind me. Fuck it, its raining to fuckery outside. Slimslamming the rest of the rogues tucked up safely in their cells, I dart into his car, already trembling with andrenaline. Nothing I mean nothing feels the way those 10 minutes before you slide that blunt eye into tarnished skin, hit the red and change your personality forever. The chest heaves violently you can hardly talk, string words together, don’t ask me any fucking questions. Let me concentrate. Let me make sure there’s no cotton on the tip, make certain the exact spot of the last exact hit. Don’t interrupt me. The people who have witnessed these strange demonstrations of power plays within my little tomb know all this. They sit silently on my bed or at the metal table stolen from the back courtyard of an old dump of a building that will soon house popular tartlets and deluded designers, film makers, more and more wannabees – a perfect combination of modern day horrors wrapped and packaged without any sense of infinity. They’ll sit on the uncomfortable black plastic chair and either cut up white lines on a Modest Mouse cd or sort through really shite weed bought from Rasta at the shebeen all the while stealing sad glimpses of me at the kitchen counter preparing my respite from the pains of my head heart and body and then when the bathrobe belt falls effortlessly to the floor and the syringe hits the bloody muck in the sink and I take that first breath of buzz, I’ll look at them and finally engage.
There’s rumours rumours everywhere. People glance and people stare. Doors stay locked whilst tongues still cry we’re here for you when you’re ready lies.
Its insane but you start off with a little piece of nothing, you add some black, some definitive articles, you get a job, a to do list, you creep forward ever so slightly, you’re happy you think, the scars have faded, the eyes remain blood shot but those around you those who’ve know you think you’re doing well. It’s the best you’ve looked in a long time I was told by a dear friend. Fat I thought. No I mean it. That’s the thing its always well meant, aint it. It’s a maroon cover of concern of feelings that jump and sliver into new resolutions. You lift your chin a little higher, you write you think much better, you strive a little harder and then one day kinda out of the blue there’s a shift in your mind, its so gloriously delicate its almost invisible, it’s a quiet thought that multiplies into a philosophy that you’ve always known will keep you safe, will keep you sane. Its an intangible desire to disappear to separate yourself from the scurvy of waking up falling asleep aspiration ambition empathy conversation other people and life. It’s a silly desperate perfect answer. It’s a slight shifty satisfying waster. It undoes all you’ve done. It unravels all that has been wound. It sedates and delivers you to spaces explored by few, it comforts, it condemns you, it frightens and repels you. Its width height girth knows no boundaries, there are no asylums, no scrapes, no tears, no sex, no day , no night it is an infinite suggestion that defies religion science and sense. If you’ve pandered to its whispers if you’ve braved the backlash the withdrawals the despising looks and whimpers of others, if you’ve thrown away all your respect your cares your loves your titles your works your awards your future then you are rewarded by access into its loom into a numb cavernous dimension which sets you apart for ever from everyone else. They say its seductive, its more than seduction. Seduction is sickness, its flesh its desire its tangible its renumerated, it’s a currency – but this this my friends and foes this is myth this is fantasy this is more and better and cleverer and distinct and insatiably pure and it bellows achingly loud it devours and feeds you with every delusion vision and vice you have ever known and all that you will never know until you try it.
Have you ever been beaten raped or reprimanded so badly that you have purposely and momentarily lifted your mind from the situation and swam som ewhere else? Have you ever wittingly divorced the truth from the untrue under duress? That’s the place where we succumb we sink, and we sink whilst inhaling the last breath of every shamed warrior and we die detached and disposed. And most of all we die.
Its half past noon exactly. I’ve been up all night up all day, agitated beyond belief. The kind of mania that comes from rereading books I’ve reread betrothed to arguments I’ve argued to pointlessness, to routine to too many hours too many minutes too many fucking days too many fucking pointless hysterics and the blood is now dripping off my arm onto the bed, onto the sheets, the pillow my long sleeve white cotton shirt, the music the tv the radio the extras all seem to be well rehearsed, me I’m sliding I know there’s no romance in this stupid entanglement of a tattooed guy to my right and a large girl stuck between the pillows at the back. He stares at me and mutters something about turtles and water and rain and I stare into the sun and recognise for a second that he actually wants to fuck and that’s like the most hilarious proposal I could think of right now, besides, Mac 2 Durban division will be at the petrol station in like 10minutes and I’ve got to get out of here the thing is we’re short on sthe plastic supplies the needles are useless we’re like samurais with toothpicks and the phone starts ringing and I answer it and I feel myself agreeing and I see myself driving to the pharmacy at mid fucking day the worst time of the day to go anticipating long ques and those disapproving glances from the pharmacists who all know I collect my suboxone every third day and they know that THAT aisle should be off limits to me but right now or just then I don’t care. I just need a perfectly slick affair with the tools of my trade and not have to indulge my double life to keep the peace, to keep the sanity of everyone around me except myself. So I leave with tattooed boy by my side ranting on about teepees and piranhas and he puts in a tape of bob marley and I groan and I listen and try to concentrate on the road until we hook up with mac 2 and its fast and its on the side of the road as the station is hot with pigs and we pull into a lane and scuffle to fix with the last ok needle and then everything’s fine…again.
We were really close to having it on I think, when I think of zean. I mean I always wanted to you know. He’s fit, cute, intent. He’s straight like the ramones. He’s a razor blade in thought and a slug in speech. He cared most of all and I guess when you’re short of warmth a flame is better than a fire. He’s gone now like they all do. They just disappear. That’s the problem with reality it doesn’t last.