Sunday, 6 April 2014


Hello again, or for the first time.  Just in case you're not aware, the first 22 posts of this blog are the text of my ebook, 'How To Become A Crack Addict' (Jan to April 2013), which you can read here, or buy for three quid or so on amazon, in the form of an ebook, or for a kindle.  Nowadays, this blog is the fairly frequent musings of me, and I am Benjamin of Turnham Green.  And here is today's helping of Benjamin of Turnham Green, that's me...


Time was when this was the most important question I'd be asked.  Now, although it's not the most important, it is the most regular.  I used to go to my local coffee-shop (a well-known chain) on money-days, hoping that somehow I'd be able to hold the day together, and not go and use crack.  The theory was that if I could at least look bookish midmorning, something might kick in and make the rest of the day bookish too.  Or maybe I'd have a really good idea, go home and begin a book, or some extraordinary piece of art, a song, anything but crack, with its inevitable, agonising comedown.

It rarely succeeded.  Some days I'd haunt the coffee-shop when I was broke, usually because I'd used crack a day or two before.  Without money, as you know, it's hard to get anything.  I used to fake the stamps on my loyalty-card, to get a free cappuccino - a faint red felt-tip crescent usually passed as a feeble stamping from a previous, perhaps puny barista.  Then, innocent as you like, I'd receive a free drink of my choosing, would sit down, read my braille book, and hope, pray even, for that special idea that would change my life, get me out of addiction, and despair.  Or maybe I'd pray for that watershed meeting, made sweeter by coincidence, with whoever happened to be at the next table...a woman who, due to knowing nothing about me, found me interesting...or would it be a publisher, who, by my general loquaciousness, would sign me up there and then, begging for the rights to my drugs hell, which I'd already disclosed, a few sentences into our chat.

But, more often than not, I'd just sit there, reluctantly reading something in braille, like Beowulf, or Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse, neither that uplifting, resenting the fact that I'd come to a point in my life where I was faking stamps on my loyalty-card, peering blurrily at the world which seemed another dimension from the one I inhabited.

But now, I hope you'll agree, I've changed, been reconfigured, am trying, striving for something I don't even care much if I reach, because now I'm so serene that I know it's the travelling that matters, not the arriving.  Oh, how I hate the cult of arrival.

And at least, on my caffeine-pocked pilgrimage, I don't stamp my card anymore for a fake cappuccino.  I pay may way now.  I'm transfigured.

Please come back, because I have abandonment issues.

And please hear my song, which is here:  Cappuccino Morning

And that is all I have to say today.

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