LOVE AMONG THE WHEELYBINS
At the end of an alleyway behind the Shepherd’s Bush branch of Superdrug, we find Kenny, the illegal alien, a Carribean beanpole with mashed-up teeth and a tendency to take too long to score. We find Tom, middleclass emotional cripple, who’s finding his job in counselling increasingly hard to hold down, having been introduced to crack by a working-girl he visited one night when lonely, angry, and all pent up. Picture also Faith, toothless nightgirl, skinny as only years of chasing crack can make you, saved from the grave by an almost-daily diet of chicken and Snickers.
Tom was skulking around for over an hour looking for someone to score through when, about to lose hope, he stumbled on Kenny and Faith exiting Costcutters. Kenny offered him a blaze on a ‘try some, buy some’ basis, and within moments they were out of sight, down that narrow alleyway they all three knew from previous times when gagging for a pipe. There they lurked by a cluster of grimy wheelybins, metal sentries at the base of a fire-escape leading up into a tarry black sky - a discreet little spot, a tiny white shard in your latest A to Z, where mainstream eyes don’t pry.
Kenny and Faith are old hands at their respective roles now. He wants a favour, a sexual one, of course, accompanied by a good old lash on the pipe. But Faith hasn’t stayed alive for thirty years, dishing out favours in bathrooms, bin-chutes and basements, without learning the rules of that infernal and eternal game of ‘gissa blowjob, gissa pipe, gissa blowjob, gissa pipe…’ She gives nothing away for nothing.
Kenny takes a lash, and down goes Faith, unzips his paltry jeans, reaches in, and there’s his ghastly dick on display in the dinge, wrinkled and limp. She’s really got her work cut out tonight. And after a minute or two it’s clear the coke has played its insidious trick again – however Faith toils, Kenny’s cumming in his head, but things are just not happening down below. ‘Are you finding it hard to get hard, love?’ she asks, like some darkside Samaritan. ‘It’s the white,’ claims Kenny, taking matters into his own hands. He’ll get a hard-on if it kills him – which it might – his heart’s pounding around 120 a minute. He still craves that meeting of ecstasies, that point where two rivers of dark treacle coalesce, foam into rapids, and smash torrentially down the rocks of death-defying delight. Yes, he still hankers after that unholy grail, where the high of the orgasm tallies with the high of the white.
‘Gissa pipe,’ says Faith, looking up like the gargoyle of seduction she knows he longs to see. He loads up a big one with a cruel nonchalance, then licks it himself. But Faith’s far from defeated, for she knows he’s now at his weakest. ‘Gissa pipe darling,’ she pines. He sets one up, offers it her, lights it, and watches her suck hungrily on the smashed-up biro that juts from the Evian bottle in his greasy maulers. She leans back, takes her buzz, lets out the smoke. He eases her back into position, and abnormal service is resumed.
Tom, marginal in a marginal world, gazes jealously on, still waiting for his intro. ‘Sorry to ask, but could you do me a pipe when you’re free?’ he enquires with flaccid politeness. He can’t let go of his passive realworld etiquette, even in this amoral nook, where mainstream eyes don’t pry. ‘Gimme five minutes with my woman,’ lords Kenny, knowing that his favourite cashcow won’t be going anywhere when there’s still a rock on offer. So, resentfully patient, Tom sits down at the bottom of the fire-escape, and waits. A sliver of him wishes he had the guts to get up and go, but the rest of him whispers, ‘it won’t be long, it won’t be long…’
But take away the pipe and this trio would probably never have met. And soon their separate existences are to resume. After a night of back-and-forthing to score, via Tom’s cashpoint, of course, the party finally grinds to a halt, and our brave threesome come scuttling from the shadows into the sharp light of the morning rush-hour, and resume their disparate lives.
Stooped and gloomy, our hapless middleclass hero paces home along heavily peopled pavements, feeling like an alien on his own planet. In ten minutes he’ll be staring angrily at porn on his laptop, until crashing into bed and praying for sleep, and to wake up unscathed at some point later in the day.
Kenny, meanwhile, striding down some unsalubrious sidestreet, feels in his pocket for the twenty stone he saw fit to hold hostage. A couple of tenners console him further that he’s probably got another couple of hours smoking in him. Who can he go to who won’t be on him for pipe after pipe? The alley’s out of bounds now – Superdrug uses those bins during waking hours.
Faith, bleary-eyed and beaten, returns to her pitch near Costcutters, which she violently protects, lays out her coat for coins to be thrown on, falls asleep, and dreams.
Perchance our three travellers will meet again, round the back of Superdrug perhaps, where the steely wheelies loom, where the fire-escape zigzags up into an oil-black sky, where mainstream eyes don’t pry.
And here is the song, 'Love Among The Wheelybins'...
Love Among The Wheelybins
And that's pretty much all I have to say today. Back tomorrow...