He told me he’d happily use every drug going. Every one. ‘Life’s too fucking short to worry ’bout it,’ he’d say. He was a drug consumer by conviction as well as lifestyle; ‘I’ve seen some shit,’ he’d tell me, ‘and I’m not betting my shirt on a positive outcome.’
Most drugs he was using regularly, or had been using, or intended to use at some time in the near future. He didn’t go berserk, it was a long-term commitment; he paced it. Weekends was usually speed. Weekdays was dope. He worked as a mental nurse, ‘psychiatric nurse’ he’d tell me, in a serious tone, and he used his position of authority to filch the necessaries for the occasional temazi parties. He excelled in anti-psychotics. He supplied particularly potent viagra to all and sundry amongst his friendship group.
He even used crack cocaine a few times, which he described as like getting mugged by a particularly brutal orgasm.
But not heroin.
He’d tried it a couple of times. ‘Man, it was sooo nice. I tried it once and it was better than heaven, better than sex.’ He smiled at the memory of it, shivered, took a long drag on his blifter. ‘Then I tried it again and it was just as good.’
‘You didn’t try it a third time?’ I asked.
‘Naww,’ he replied, slurring a little now, ‘First time, your turning a key. Second time, you’re opening the door. Third time you’re stepping over the threshold.’
He sat back, one arm draped across the arm of the old settee, the velour covered in smoke burns, the fingers of his other hand reaching down to rake across the wiry, knobbed spine of May, the ancient lurcher who lay between his bare feet, ‘Third time is for keeps, baby. Third time is for keeps.’