John - where dullness is pointed. (emptyjohn) wrote in scabapples,
John - where dullness is pointed.

Hallucinating gravely (but routinely), J descended the ashgrey steps from which he early had inhaled a smidgen of the powder that was to blame for the crayon-bright echoing spirits which assailed him. Above and behind him, the “in” from which he has departed, there sounds the muffled cheer of a party in full swing, peopled with friends, strangers and shadowy comatose shapes lying under wraps who could have been either he supposed. The council flat’s ashgrey stone steps were not clean, nor perhaps had ever been in recent memory or even living, certainly all those he’d left in the warmth and din inside had tramped up them bare minimum once this very evening. But the relative deficiencies of the step as a suitable surface for the preparation of substances planned for internal use was a point whose clout with J was currently quite small and too blunt to pique him to self-reproach. In his present jaded frame had it been freshly presented to him as an element in a testimonial to his adopted and manifest degradation it would not have toppled his heart to caring. No in fact this external unwitnessed incident, he felt, spoke volumes about his feelings of self at present; that is to say he accepted his subjugation to the yoke of dilapidation and subservience to ketamine with a certain louseish louche pride. All this despite the obvious unevenness of his states (physical & mental with myriad subdivisions) and his poor sense of balance (physical - eardrum fluid pressure, hammeranvilstirrup) even when unintoxicated, (which of late was rare), J considered with an impassive face, noticing coolly the cool night air, the fitting piss reek of the lifts nearby. Turning sharply down the last flight he sees an inlit car, hears its motor’s judder, watches the soft white plumes of exhaust ascending heavenwwards. All this and more, indeed: he sees ghostly columns, ruined arches, ancient cities of fictional origin, indirectly, ambiguous and blurred. His mind’s eye’s crude REM twitching, half-sight of nictitating wake-dreamed visions, apocryphal shades drawn on his taut, retinacanvas by his drug-shot brain, macule frail and still as wideeyed butterflywings; blurred wingbeat of waking dreams. J treads the gravel in an unstraight line, weaving slightly, to the waiting cab. He leans down and into the window’s maw, checks with spastictongue that this is indeed his cab, and open the backleft door with a firm tug, shivering hand and a worry's seed. That embryonic fear remains unarticulated to himself, skulks at the darkend of his thought’s chain, submerged in grisly bobbing sea. It is however the natural state for someone reduced to their base, animal levels; unreasoned so as to not recognise danger and thusly suspicious of every unknown quantity, feral urge: flight in every case, few confrontations can be faced when reduced to such acquiescent liquor; lobotomised and invetebrated. Now out of the outside and still inclined to shut his eyes so heavy have their lids become, J boredly observes his mind's garish shadows dance upon the misted pane and beyond free against the charcoal coverlet of clouds. The cab pulls away, beads jangle, a radio is turned on, crassly pop throngs jubilantly about: heartless bacchanal thinks J; the depth of spilt gaudydrink. Head resting upon the nightcold glass J observes his chauffeur and present guard against the world; Turkish/Cypriot, late forties, stutter lit by the staggered streetlamps. A scarburst darkly hid upon his further neckside, grimly pink in brightening and cooling to obscurity in tremulous streetlit pulses. J averts his concerned gaze, tired, sobering, blasted thoughtless, soft palate powderburnt to rawness. Ratlike calculator weighs the past week's excess, hatefully begrudging gonehim his waste now futurehim is birthing. Too much, pointless, consumed needlessly. Wish i hadn't. Still, some is some is some. And then? I am punctured and never often full. J sighs, rubs his eyes unabsentmindedly. Outside London is blackly wet, the city's lights echoed in a thousand puddles, a thousand rivulets, ripples and waves, memory sifts, haltingly then and now. Hands flutter over pockets; his phone is safe, wallet yes, bag? did i bring one? safe i hope anyway. A highstreet, Chinese restaurants, a bridge, greenlanes? Ki will be mad; kind rules broken, generous to a blemish, that blemish being I, fault my own. The cab speeds on, the passenger’s eyes flutter then drift shut, his clotting breath whitens the window, fadingly, on each exhale. And beneath the frigid stars and moon it seems to him (though fumbleskulled) his path is stoneset in the broken ground.
* * *
Firstly through the effects, sought and otherwise, of the poisons they have partaken of and secondly through the psychological ramifications arising from their observation (under close scrutiny of comedowns, through a eye inclined to tear and hyperbole) of the sick jest of the repeated collapse of willpower’s towers to mealy fragments under such a minuscule force as that provided by the gentlest of pushes; viz. their own weakness, irreducible and irrefutable, the fundament of all grievances and failures whose klaxon call has been unable to halt their pitiable decline and continual embrace of this contemptible status. And finally the cruel trumpcard is yet played: such understanding, belief and acceptance of said facts in clear night’s daylight or day’s sunless umbra means nothing whatsoever. It does not retard their downward flight into again nor attenuate the lengths to which the they would strive, boldly and without fear, to ensure that their escape is frustrated. The path of least resistance. Abstinence may with time be bearable but in the short run the conduit is cold and hard to bear. Physically your turncoat flesh is wracked; a flimsiness of body coupled with a mind dulled to a single point and unable and unwishing to deal with subjects other than the key that you’re denied. Your organs having been subject to the unnatural rhythms of your appetite revolt, pain flares in you, awful sickness augments the palsy and exhaustion. If I could sleep forever… And the cure? A single taste, for medicinal purposes… Firstly, momentary annihilation of rank understanding of current predicament and the accursed occurrences which came before. This is of course a fleeting haven of unthought, mind whitewashed, bleached, blank. All too soon stains seep in, take shape as the physical world rushes back, heaves and falls around you. But perhaps this brief respite is not the greatest lure for a return to dust in the unremitting desert that separates incessant use from cleanliness (and hence, mayhaps, godliness it’s adjacent position?). Indeed as tolerance increases this effect wanes or indeed evaporates entirely. However the powers of ketamine as a anaesthetic are such that upon consumption it is impossible to believe the ache that dogged your time was ever so. Suffering in plain view of the remedy is hard indeed, whether that antidote is the spring of your fall or not; intelligence withers before anguish and need supplants any noble desires of freedom; in bondage there is peace. The voice of weakness perhaps, but the words are heavyset with passion’s timbre; deceit begets earnestness. To persuade the opposition is oft a mean feat; whether it be the splintered echo of family or the resolution for clarity in the eyes of those who love you. When the farsighted shore is laid upon a sea of quarrel the nearer soil, though barren, is sprinkled with hopeful rain. Hamlet’s pre-eminence has cast gentle light on the sins of the irresolute; to stand firm is to deny the anticipation of better days. It requires no superfluity of wit to return happydrifting on the temperate tides calmed by the perimeters we have afore set down, to return to dust, to forget the question through the simple riposte of effortless surrender. I wish I was better, the light laps above, but there is a passing paradise here now and we should not leave just yet. For who J truly set out these convoluted contentions ‘gainst convalescence is unclear, they spun out like an uncoiling lanyard or sometime hangman’s noose, unneeded for e’en without such flannel he would have dropped his head to the arctic rime and glutted once again.

* * *

Inside safe the warmly brooding house, the safe click clicking of central heating heating the walls and floor, the tick-tock of time safely passing warmly, J is snugly ensconced with duvet warmly wrapped around and about him in his snug bed with waking dreams blossoming about him, warm bud, the blazing light bulb brightly burns, the TV buzzes picture show without story images upon his blank and carefree eyes, the powdered pan lays at his right hand atop the paper strewn table amid the poor penned pictures and scribbled verse, the A4s beaten black-and-blue in cramped hand, and his senses dulled to nonsense he driftily smiles in his nest blissfully unaware of all beyond the snaking picture show the time passing thickly racing past the warmth and pipes wetly heating the sounds imagined and real clotting thickly out of sight. J’s nostrils are chalk haloes smeared with crusted powder and raw pink beyond, a burning mix of snot and dust drips slowly into his throat, he lazily swallows, clears his nose down into him. Heavy lidded eyes bat and try to see the flickering screen, to understand what happens flatly there. Slowly and uncarefully, with heavy lopsided skull he looks ledt with lazy half-drawn eye for the frying pan and the chemical snow that dusts it, thickly drifted into a pile by a frosted credit card. With undextrous hands in partial rigor mortis he cut a sliver from the main and fashions a long spear pale against the greyed Teflon field, 6 inch by 4mm, tapered at both ends. No tubed note is forthcoming, he looks but cannot see, unknown to him it’s fallen onto the softly carpeted floor, behind the table and lies beside a long lost fifty pence and a misplaced jack-of-hearts. He clutches about the floor that separates the bed and sheet-draped table, but finding not the note he knows is near he fashions a rude tube from a discarded travel-card, three days old, zones one to three, 19th November 2001. Head hunched forward over the speckled line he in one swift movement draws the fine-crushed crystals through inhalation up the rolled card and into his red raw leftmost (favoured) nose hole and hence smouldering onto the sore tissue there to dissolve into his blood stream. The pain as if the powder was unstopped and shot onwards into his brain, the burn is sudden and immense and swiftly gone leaving a moment’s sickness which subsides quickly in the rising numbness. He quickly makes another line, smaller than the first, and blasts his other nose side, then puts aside the drug and lays back eyes shut, lips parted he exhales something similar to joy but no smile crosses his face, no glimmer of happiness at all. Reclined, supine J stars at his room’s white sky, the thick cream clouds and the dangling sun that dazzles hanging from them, his nose moistens beneath the caustic dust, he swallows, his scorched soft-palette is streaked with fire. Corrosive drops dribble down his throat, he sniff and blink, swallow once more. The shadows dance upon the walls, noises curl out of the darkened corners, weird rhythms tendril into jigsaw cohesion and awake he begins to dream.
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