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Foss died, I just heard.

He’d been in and out of jail recently, had done some bad things. Then he got straightened out and became a drugs counsellor. Then he relapsed. And now he’s dead.

Lot of people I know didn’t like him, but I thought he was cool. A liar, sure. A thief. Untrustworthy. But once you factored all that in, he was charming. Good company. Intelligent in his own way. Thoughtful.

‘I find out what people want,’ he told me, ‘and I give it to them. And then after a while, they get used to it, and they start to need me.’

He was talking about relationships in this instance, not supplying Class A drugs, but it was no coincidence that his approach to social interaction was based on his observations of the more successful sales techniques of drug dealers.

He was tactile, garrulous, generous with his attention, and very successful with women. There was a desperate, myopic glee about his lifestyle; a huge appetite for experience and human intercourse.

For some unexplained reason, if you gained access to his top-floor flat, you noticed he didn’t have any doors, but there was always a large pot of stew on the oven; he wore cheap trainers, not even trainers, just canvas plimmies, and lived on borrowed money between unemployment cheques.

I’m not lauding him. He was what he was. You wouldn’t want to spend too much time with him either, because he’d spend all your cash, eat all your food, sleep with your girlfriend and then borrow back the drugs he’d just sold you to use for himself. And keep the money you’d paid for them.

Anyway, he’s dead. The drugs got him.
The lifestyle.

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