Hello, and thank you for dropping by. You may know, 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 on amazon, if your conscience allows. Nowadays, this blog is the sporadic musings of yours truly, your faithful blogger, Benjamin of Turnham Green. And here is today's sporadic muesli...
PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS
Like a church in scaffolding, I can feel my serenity crumbling. Those self-sufficient arches that awe the tourists are beginning to buckle, with such profound subtlety that no fracture-lines are visible yet, to cause a cordoning off, or an out-of-season refurb.
And my lack of stability and gothic serenity showed today, as I took a stroll, for the purposes of a haircut, down the old Goldhawk Road, where much of my using and general dysfunction took place. For months now, since getting some meaningful 'cleantime', I've exited my building and turned right, to the salubrious sector of the local neighbourhood, which, for all intents and purposes, may as well be on a different planet from the old haunts of Goldhawk Road, which requires a left turn on exiting my building.
But it was a left turn I took today, and as I glided along on the 94 bus down towards the hostel I used to use in, many a memory came trickling back, like so much treacle through the holes in a lump of Swiss cheese. Some of them were of dead people, which still seemed to hold a lure, even though I'd have to hook up with one of their living counterparts to get up to any mischief this time round. And I suppose it's a testimony to my progress that I felt strangely outside many of the other memories that came to me - rushing through the market with a working-girl and a very jumpy guy called Carlos, on a mission to catch Irish Kevin before he ran out of crack - who was that person, allegedly me, head down, darting through the marketplace like a shamed schoolboy hurrying to the toilets to cry. What was he? Equally, who was that person, apparently me, who was crouching in a bin-room with Faith, smoking crack from a miniature brandy bottle, then thinking he was king of the world, as he got vaguely sexual with Faith, until someone opened the door to chuck in a bin-bag, prompting a mock-search for a ring on our parts, and swift exit.
There was many phantoms swimming before me as I crossed the road to the barber's. It was a real a haircut I was aiming for, not the metaphorical one you hear about in Narcotics Anonymous meetings, often referred to by someone fond of the various phrases that float around the rooms, 'if you go to the hairdressers often enough, you'll probably end up getting a haircut'. It's a warning against aimlessly putting yourself out there, wandering down a risky street, telling yourself you're just going for a stroll, getting some fresh air, when actually you're intentionally flirting the scissors and the clippers.
But, fortunately, I've felt quite resilient lately, and crossed the road by the market, away from the hostel, semi-hoping that no old familiar would emerge from the shadows, but semi-wondering what I might do if they did. In the barber's, a tiny cupboard with a big red £6 in the window, there was barely room to move. The guy welcomed me real friendly, and when I noticed two blokes and a couple of kids waiting, I asked if there was likely to be a wait. He said there probably would be, as his mate wasn't working that day either. I said I'd come back in half an hour, but went home instead, thinking it wise to quit while I was still ahead.
So it is possible to go to the hairdressers and not get a haircut, both metaphorically and literally. I'll probably pop back Monday morning, when it's quiet, and everyone's still in bed.
Thanks for listening. That's all I have to say today, apart from a song of mine you might like to click on...Autumn Blues