Abandoning Paradise

Chapter Six     Crossing Scotland

Meeting Simon

Simon is a character I met while I was wandering around and we would get to talking. He is about my age and about as scruffy but he seemed cool as we talked together. If someone is of a mind to do it, a conversation will swing to getting high and with him it did. This was even more cool as I had not been high in a long time.

We did not see each other often but in time he told me he had some hash and would I like some of it. I asked him if it would be possible to get a very small amount of it as I could not afford much. It turned out that wasn't a problem as he couldn't afford much either.

It was smooth as every so often we would get together and smoke a little hash. We could talk like hippies for a while and later I would write. Playing guitar is my favourite thing when I'm high but that's out for now and instead writing fills the endless need to make things. That need is always there but getting high gives it a different turn and that difference is fascinating.

The visits with Simon were rare treats and in time he said what he really prefers is heroin. This shocked me as I didn't expect it but that puts a big question in front of me. All my life it has haunted me to know why a good many of the musicians I respect the most were using heroin. Can it possibly be that there really is something in heroin that makes them different.

For some time I thought about what he said but now what difference does it make. I'm grounded, broke, cold and hungry in some land where I'm probably stuck. One more bad decision is not going to change things a whole lot.

Simon told me if I had ten pounds then he would add his ten pounds and we could get a bag of junk. He went off to do that and when he came back he measured out two lines on the table. He immediately snorted one right down and pushed the stuff over to me. Without using one lick of stoner common sense, I assumed from him this is the right move and I did the same thing.

There was no instant effect but it started coming quickly. Simon was talking but he was getting farther away. There wasn't a panic but something was coming over me strongly and I must have looked unnerved. I could hear Simon telling himself some kind of a story but it didn't matter what he said.

Simon stood up as he was clearly ready to go and wanted to get on with it. I was relieved as his presence had been confusing things even further and I wasn't at all sure what was happening.

So began one of the worst experiences of my life. I started vomiting soon after he left and delirium mixed with vomiting continued into the next day. During that time I wasn't sure if this was bad enough that it would finally kill me. It seemed inevitably it must but there wasn't anything I could do about it as I could hardly walk and there was no phone. It was several days before I could keep my balance with any confidence.

It's now several more days and I did see Simon. I didn't feel the need to speak and neither did he.

The irony is I still don't know why Miles Davis was a junkie but I do know the price to find out is too high.

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