Monday, 23 December 2013
AFTERMATH: Christmas Cracker
Hello, and a happy Christmas too. As you may know, the first 22 episodes of this blog, from Jan to April 2013, are the text of my ebook, 'How To Become A Crack Addict', which you can read here, or buy on amazon if you like. If you do, please leave a review, as all feedback is appreciated - there are three already, but the more the merrier. Now this blog is the near-daily ponderings of yours truly, Benjamin of Turnham Green. And, for your edification, here are today's ponderings...
Spare a thought for the lonesome soul in a quandary over the festive period. I once was such a soul, desperately trying not to score with the money I had in the lead-up to Christmas. Naturally, I failed, and found myself having bought no presents, with a foodless fridge, and a sense of foreboding engulfing me as the drear day neared. What am I gonna tell my mum, neighbours, and friends? Where shall I say I'm spending the baleful day? What mysterious acquaintance shall I fabricate as an alibi? Will I make up one lie for everyone, or a few to suit each well-meant enquiry?
Then, having fended off various questions, and the odd invitation, Christmas Eve arrives and, because of the imminent string of bank-holidays, money goes into my account early. I panic, realising there's just a chance I could buy a present or two, and, even though I'm resigned to festive isolation, maybe get some nice food in, and at least celebrate quietly in front of the telly with red wine, some weed, old Doctor Who's, and a pile of nuts and Pringles. Yes, maybe I could make an early New Year's resolution, and make Christmas the watershed for change in my dour life.
Naturally, I score. Returning Christmas Eve night, I surmise that New Year is probably the best time for resolutions. Anyway, now I've given myself a clear run to Jan 6, without a penny to my name, dwindling instant pastas in the cupboard, and half a carton of soya milk, but at least I can't score...I'm a prisoner of freedom. Oh, what have I done, as I languish, sweating on my bed, Discovery History chuntering in the corner, telling me about the rise of the Third Reich. Oh god, what have I done?
Then the phone rings. It's a friend who's just got an unlimited tariff on their mobile, which means they can yelp their woes at me without a worry at any time. They leave a message, saying they're having a meltdown with their erstwhile half-love. I steam with rage as their message goes on, and on, and I just don't care, but I know they'll keep trying until they hear from me, when yet more excuses will have to be found.
Then, just after midnight, I'm trying to get to sleep, when the phone goes again. Another friend is wishing me happy Christmas, which I resent, and I know that I'll have to make a call or two when I unwillingly rise midmorning. I can't sleep, and heroin's comforting veil has dropped away, and life just seems awful, tense, bitter, and hateful, just a slow helter-skelter of regret and remorse.
After a couple more hours, and another rise of the fucking Reich, I somehow slump into a semi-sleep, flecked with blurred nightmares that wake me with a start, still dark. The breakfast show is on, but it's a different presenter from usual, cos it's Christmas, and he's playing crap. I hear my neighbour's door, my letterbox rattles, in drops a card, which I resent, and begin sweating in case they knock. I glisten for ten seconds, stiff on my stony bed, and their door closes. But I feel hounded, even though there's nothing but good will for me from everyone I know.
And then, the big day begins. I roll over, basting in my own juices, utterly stuffed, panicking the phone'll ring any moment. Hitler has given way to Henry VIII, and I try to trance out with the Tudors. But the damage is done, again.
And that is my Christmas reminiscence for today. And I'm mightily relieved it is a reminiscence, because that pretty much describes the last ten Christmases I've known. But not this time, which I think might call for a little tinsel.
Oh, and here's a link to one of my songs, which you may have heard before, but all ears are welcomed... here it is... Get Out Of My Room
I hope you have a merry Christmas though, and thanks for dropping by. Hope to see you in the next few days...