Tag Archives: stoned

Escaping Reality, Emotionally Retarded

6 Jan

Pain isn’t something I am skilled at dealing with. Escaping pain, however, I am as good at as an Irish traveller is at fighting. Shrooms being my route of choice these days. It’s where the love lives. When life gets too ugly for me to be able to look at it, I discreetly slip away from the world and pay a visit to the realm of contentedness. These past few weeks I’ve been going there more regularly than I would usually need to. I am feeling emptier than I have in years. My spirit has been extinguished. An ache that won’t shift. A constant nausea. Too many shit things all taking place at the same time. A friend, one of life’s good humans, is lying in a hospital bed while her young kids and husband can only sit and put their faith in doctors and medical technology. Christmas. New Year. And not to mention the rejection dealt to me by a woman, – well, two rejections. Just one woman. But I was fool enough to climb back into her bed the moment she let me and then in the morning deja vu – who has, although not intentionally, absolutely crushed any confidence or feeling of self-worth that I had in myself before I met her. Destroyed. Man, I was in such a good place before that girl came into my life and turned it upside down. These things combined have knocked me on my arse. Not that anyone will know it. I am not a talker. Friends trying to engage me in conversation about what’s going on in my life just make me recoil. They meet a brick wall. It is not my way. Nor am I a social user of anything. I don’t like to have company when I’m feeling the benefits of whatever it is that my body has ingested. I fly solo. A bit of Me Time. I wait until I know I have the flat to myself for a night, and if that situation doesn’t arrive I take a bus out to my mum’s house in the sticks. No city, no cars, no street lights, no noise, and most importantly no people. A retreat. A place where I can get under the covers, drink tea, get as stoned as I want without being disturbed, and float away with the aid of some shrooms and some psytrance. It gives me perspective. Helps me to remember, even if only for a short while, that I have been prescribed an extreme dose of good fortune and managed to escape the poverty by being given the opportunity to work again, after a few years of sitting in a damp corner, occasionally having food gifted me by charities, shoplifting at times, and at other times just going without nutrition. Makes me realise that surely that was a far less desirable situation to be in than the current one of emotional trauma over a woman. Emotion is forgotten when you’re starving. These days I can eat when I’m hungry. I can drink when I’m thirsty. And I can smoke weed when I’m…….. awake. Basically. This time last year I couldn’t do any of those things. Well, as my dad used to say to me as a kid, “There’s plenty of water in the tap.” So I could drink. But you get the point. Things have been worse. Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment.

A week or so ago when I didn’t have any work the next day, I travelled out to my mum’s with everything I needed to be able to chill out. In the evening I laid down on the settee in the living room, ate some shrooms, wrapped myself in a blanket, got comfortable, pulled my hood up over my head, put my music in my ears and closed my eyes to block out the telly in the corner of the room that my mum was sat on the other settee watching. She knew to leave me in peace to enjoy my trip. And then the usual vivid memories started to come over me. The ones where I am actually back there, experiencing it again but at the same time detached, like Scrooge stood next to the ghost of Christmas past. If that makes sense. I went back to a night almost 20 years ago.

In that happy place

In that happy place

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I’m Back In 1995

15 Dec

Lately, when I lie in the darkness at night smoking a couple of spliffs in bed and switching off from the day spent traipsing all over teaching my students English, I’ve been having vivid flashbacks to my childhood. Random stuff. Never anything particularly significant. But one memory always leads on to another, and I am there, back on the school field or sat in detention or on Western Road in Brighton doing Christmas shopping with my sister, my nan and my aunt. I can smell it. Hear it. Feel it. Tonight is no different, but for the fact that I don’t have to get up for work tomorrow morning on account of a chest infection, meaning I can sit up in front of my laptop and write some stuff down. I am aware that smoking with a chest infection makes me an idiot.

For some reason tonight my brain took me back to an eventful day in the early months of 1995, when I was 11, playing out like a film in my mind’s eye, with 3D glasses provided free of charge, scenes that had been absent from my memory for well over a decade. Bizaare scenes.

It’s about half past one in the afternoon and, unlike most of my mates, I’m not in class but rather the school hall. I’ve been excused from lessons because I’m in the school production and an emergency rehearsal has been called because the performance date is approaching and we’re shit, basically. Nowhere near ready. My role in the play is a small one so most of the time it’s other people rehearsing their bits while I’m sat on the floor with the other D-Listers. I keep getting told off for talking and pissing about and the teacher’s really starting to get on my tits. I’m not interested in the production, I only signed up for a part in it because I knew it would get me out of class occasionally. Also I’ve got something more important on my mind. In a few hours I’m going to be making my debut for the school’s Year 5 football team and, even more exciting than that, it’s against Manor Hall, our biggest enemy, the school from just up the road, the kids of which we fight in the park, the same kids that we went to first school with and were best friends with until we separated and went to different middle schools at the end of Year 3 and became sworn foes. This is a proper derby. And my nan’s coming to watch. And even better than all of that, we get to leave school early to get over to their school in time for the game. At 2 o’clock I’m sent to go and get changed with the rest of the team. I’m given shirt number 11. I wanted 8, because it’s Gazza’s number, but 11 is the next best thing, I’m not complaining.

There aren’t enough seats in the mini-bus for the whole team so those of us with bikes take them instead. Down Church Lane, cut through the graveyard, across the green, through the square, along Manor Hall Road. Say hello to my nan. Jog up and down. Start the game. And then a moment that will haunt me for the rest of my life, of this I am sure, almost 20 years after it happened. A cross is put in from the left wing. I don’t know by who, but it isn’t by the player that should be out there, our left winger, because that player is me, and I’m hovering about just outside Manor Hall’s box. The ball goes over my head towards our star player Ross and as it approaches him it plays out in front of me in slow motion, as I know that Ross is more than capable of taking the sting out of this with his chest and then laying it off to me, and the one thing that I pride myself on is my technique when it comes to volleying. I position myself and Ross plays it perfectly, it bounces just in front of me and sits up nicely and I take it on the half volley and connect with it more sweetly than I will ever connect with another ball in my life. I watch it fly from my boot and I know already that it’s going in the top corner. Everybody knows it. There is silence as the ball spins away deliciously to its target. The goalkeeper doesn’t even bother moving. I’m about to write my name into school folklore by scoring a wonder goal from outside the box against Them. Them from up the road. Them whose school jumpers are bright blue as opposed to our navy blue ones. And my nan’s watching. And she’ll tell everyone what she saw. She’ll tell my dad. What goal celebration am I going to do?

The ball smacks against the angle of the crossbar and the post and ricochets behind for a goal-kick.

I go into shock.

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The Hippie Hugger

7 Oct

This is a topic that I never really expected to come up. I have met a man who gives the perfect hug. A hug that feels as though it is filled with the love of the whole planet and leaves you feeling the same kind of blissed out that you get from nice shrooms.

Juan is a long-time friend of my flatmate and a short-time friend of mine since I moved in here four months ago. He is in his mid 20s, has long shiny brown hair, a Californian smile, olive skin, is about 6ft tall, wears beads, smokes weed, works as a masseur and is always smiling and positive. He is a true hippie. Make love not war. And he’s nice to everyone. And no, despite the tone of my description, I don’t fancy him. I know that’s what you were thinking.

My circle of friends in this city consists almost exclusively of hippies, so hugs on greeting are not unusual. It did take some time for my English sensibilities to allow me to feel comfortable with this level of human touch with everyone, but after a month or so I had come to embrace it. But with one rule. I would always keep the hug just manly enough. A pat or two on the back. A tensed up torso at times.

And then I met Juan in the park one afternoon and was introduced. We shook hands. He held my hand for a few seconds longer than is protocol. I didn’t feel awkward. Well, obviously I did a little bit. But not much.

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A Heartwarmingly Tragic Tail Of Family Life Set To The Backdrop Of A Fluffy And Light Desert

5 May

Yesterday afternoon I was lying on my bed, bored. Just staring at the ceiling and thinking about Angel Delight. And then to ease the boredom I did what I think any one of us would do in the same situation – I wrote a letter to Angel Delight headquarters, in which I pretended to be a 38-year old woman from Dudley in the West Midlands. I got up early this morning and posted the letter. I don’t know why. I will share the contents of the letter with you.

First, though, let me say something. I am aware that some of you (you know who you are) aren’t satisfied with merely words when you come here. Some of you want your literature sweetened with images, much like putting a bit of roast potato on the fork with the brocolli to help it go down. That’s okay, I can relate. I also know there are two types of people that wish for pictures with their text. The highbrow arty lot, educated, the ‘thinkers’, they like something tasteful, subtle and thought-provoking. For them what I’ve done is taken individual photos of all of the pages of the letter, and then I’ve mounted them onto a purple background using Paint, to create a classy looking Angel Delight letter montage.

You’ll get to that in a moment. There are also the other lot, the lowbrow mob, uneducated, the simple to please. And I tell you something, we are an alright group once you get to know us. Anyway for them (us) what I’ve done, again using Paint, is create a collage that appears to depict a smug-looking man ejaculating to the vision of a packet of raspberry flavoured Angel Delight. Extra comedy weight is added by the placing of the words ‘Whip up with fresh milk’ at the top of the packet, with a picture of a winking star next to the words. It’s as if the star is egging the masturbating man on. Saying ‘Oooh yea, go on then, whip up some fresh milk, ooooh!’ but in Ray Winstone’s voice. If you are a bit more juvenile you might just imagine the star is the winking bumhole of someone you know. Or of someone you would like to know. It’s up to you. I knew a girl once, years back, whose bumhole spoke in Ray Winstone’s voice. I did not. I made that up.  Continue reading

Gently Poking Fun At A German’s Name

24 Apr

You know how some things are funny because they’re not meant to be, and that if they had intended to be funny then they actually wouldn’t be? Like some time a couple of years ago I was sat at home watching athletics on the telly when this distance runner’s face came up on the screen, and underneath his face was written his name, and at the exact same time that I looked down to read it, the commentator said it out loud, as if my subconscious had the exact same voice as whoever it was that was commentating that day, and as I simultaneously read and heard the two words I realised that it was the greatest name belonging to anyone on the planet. Gaylord Silly. It’s fucking genius, isn’t it? Course it is! Gaylord Silly. Gaylord. Silly. Do you reckon he ever introduces himself in the style of 007? The name’s Silly, Gaylord Silly. The name is silly. But it isn’t meant to be. I truly believe it was an honest mistake on the part of Gaylord’s parents. The Sillys. Or maybe they pluralise their name to the Sillies. No, that would make no sense. But anyway, before I lose my trail of thought, I am stoned by the way, if that name Gaylord Silly had been made up by someone trying to be funny, it wouldn’t actually be that funny. Like if I said ‘Oi John, quick, come up with a funny name for a bloke on the spot,’ and he blurted out ‘Gaylord Silly,’ it wouldn’t be as funny would it? Actually whatever way you look at it, it’s always going to be a funny name. But if me and John had had that conversation a year ago, the one where I told him to come up with a funny name on the spot and he said Gaylord Silly, if we had had that conversation a year ago, I am almost certain that I wouldn’t remember it now. The name would have popped up, made me laugh, and then gone away to die somewhere. Because it would have been made up with the intention of being funny. Which would make it not as funny. Whereas Gaylord Silly’s name is not meant to be funny. So it is. In case you were wondering, me and John didn’t have that conversation about funny names a year ago. There is no John. I am rambling. Big time. I may have lost a couple of readers along the way there. Which means that I am now only left with the one.

The reason for that pointless introductory paragraph was that a couple of days ago I encountered my own Gaylord Silly. In a metaphorical sort of way. And it made me laugh enough that earlier this morning I had to go out walking for two hours just to find it again, this time with a borrowed camera in my pocket, as I am one of those weird people who don’t own a camera-phone, nor a camera, nor a phone. Which is annoying when you come across something that you either want to photograph or tell someone about. But I would say the positives of not owning a phone outweigh the negatives. I digress. Yea anyway, my metaphorical Gaylord Silly. I was out in the Spanish countryside, but could see the blue sea over the hills, which meant that I had wandered closer to the coast than usual, which also meant that I was in an area home to British, Dutch and German retirees, and before anyone accuses me of showing favouritism to any of those countries, you will notice I listed them alphabetically, and I came across this house, and as I passed it I couldn’t help but notice that the name of the occupants was engraved into a plaque by their gate. My initial reaction was to think ‘Oh look, a novelty name plaque, and not an overly funny one at that. What was the point in buying that? I bet the bloke who lives here is a riiiiiiiiiight laugh. I was being sarcastic there, that was what all the iiiiiiiiiiis were meant to convey. Basically I wasn’t impressed with this attempt at humour, and was convinced that it was the work of a dull Englishman, the kind who calls himself the office joker and who owns a mobile disco. I was just about to walk on, when I noticed that although the male’s name was an attempt at comedy, the woman’s name underneath wasn’t. At least, it didn’t strike me as such. The woman’s name was Uta Fischer. That would only be funny if an uta was something you could go fishing for. And even then it wouldn’t be very funny. It wouldn’t be funny at all. When I read the name Uta Fischer I didn’t think comedy attempt, I thought German. It was just a standard German name. And then it clicked that Uta Fischer’s companion’s name was almost definitely also just a Standard German name, and not a crap attempt at being funny. Which now made it fucking funny. In fact, my first reaction was to blurt out ‘Good grief, that’s his real name!’

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Don’t Call Me ‘Mate’

4 Apr

‘He’s English. From Kent, I think. I’m not sure he’s a very nice man, though, cos when your sister was out here Matt passed him on the road and said ‘hello mate’ to him, and he got the arse, didn’t like being called mate, told Matt not to call him mate, said he wasn’t his mate. He really didn’t like being called mate! So if you do see him, I wouldn’t call him mate.’

That was my mum describing her middle-aged next door neighbour to me the first time I’d walked past his gated off property. As she told the story, the little pair of hands that reside inside my head rubbed themselves gleefully together. The first time I saw him I was gonna call him mate. It goes without saying, doesn’t it? I mean, come on. Well that was two months ago. I never saw the bloke! Until this afternoon, that is, when I was walking down the dirt path that constitutes the road here, on my way out, and he happened to be out collecting his post from the outside box.

Before I tell you about our encounter earlier this afternoon, I’ll just tell you a couple of other quick things about this guy. His house is the ‘big one’ in the area, the luxury pad, you know. It is mostly hidden from view by the huge fencing and walls he has had put up around the land, which have been painted black, he has a massive electric gate, and unlike every other household within a 10-mile radius, he doesn’t have any dogs. This is dog country out here. Everyone’s got dogs. They serve two purposes, that of pet, and that of guard dog. But this bloke doesn’t like dogs. Instead, his ‘fortress’ is protected by a thousand and one different security cameras, whose images are monitored 24-hours a day by some bloke in an office somewhere. If you believe all the massive stickers the guy’s got plastered over his gate and fences, that is. If you look through the gaps in the fence, you can see his grandiose patio and inviting-looking swimming pool. A few times I’ve glimpsed him through the gaps as I’ve been walking past, sitting poolside on a luxury sun lounger, in his Ferarri baseball cap, sipping a cocktail that Del Boy would send back for being too colourful, with his English ‘lady friend’ on a lounger next to him, reading what I can only imagine is the Daily Mail. Just blocking out the world. Erecting barriers.

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Sorting Out The Middle East (alternative title: Being Facetious About The Middle East)

3 Apr

Oi Palestine and Israel,

Come round to my mum’s house in Spain, the weather’s nice at the minute and we’re only a short drive from the sea, personally I walk it because I haven’t got a car. Or a driving licence. And I like a walk. But yea, come round. I know you two aren’t really talking at the moment, so rather than leave it up to you to arrange a night in, I’m taking the initiative. Next Friday. The house is gonna be empty, my mum’s going back to England to visit my sisters, so just come round about 9 in the evening, just the pair of you, and bring crisps. And biscuits. And cake. And some pizzas to stick in the oven. Normally I have to remind people not to bring pepperoni pizzas, cos I’m a vegetarian, you know, but I don’t think there’s too much danger of either of you turning up with that, is there? Bring olives as well, I don’t like them, but bring them anyway. And bring oranges, we’ll make juice. I will provide everything else for the evening. When I say everything else, I mean the biggest bag of homegrown you’ve ever seen. And cushions. And tunes. It’s pretty retro, I know, but I’ve got a decent CD stereo from the 90s here, and some good albums. So what we’re gonna do is sit down on the cushions, put the bong in the middle, stick some tunes on, eat the food, make and drink the juice, watch some funny comedy on Youtube, and just bond, man, like we seem to have forgotten how to. I don’t want either of you inviting any of your other mates. I don’t want them in the house. To be honest, I’m not sure how good mates they really are, but that’s for you to realise on your own. But they ain’t coming here, alright? Good. We’ll just get stoned, eat the food, drink the juice and listen to tunes. Simon and Garfunkel, and to show there’s no favouritism we’ll also listen to Cat Stevens, and we won’t get into any arguments about what name he should be referred to as. And we’ll listen to Bob Marley. He’s got a good message. And oi, Israel, don’t even think of trying to claim a Rastafarian as your own. That shit won’t wash. And if any one of us starts getting tired or nodding off, we’ll take it up a notch and stick some psytrance on and we’ll put Media Player on full screen and just stare at the moving pattern thingy, trying to work it out. It can never be worked out. It is a question without an answer. But this common search in our minds for the solution will connect us all. We’ll chat about old times, new times, imaginary times. We will not talk about religion. Whatsoever. You don’t even wanna get me started on that bullshit, you will both end up kissing and making up, united in your hatred for the new common enemy, me. So don’t bring any of that poison anywhere near my home. We’ll just get stoned, eat the food, drink the juice, listen to the tunes and watch some comedy. A bit of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and to show there’s no favouritism we’ll also watch some Omid Djalili, and we won’t get into any arguments about whether or not he counts as a Muslim, because it shouldn’t matter either way what someone’s religion, colour, race or anything else is, especially if that person is there to tell you jokes. And we’ll watch Mitch Hedberg, just because he cracks me up more than anyone else, and then if I can be bothered to get up, I’ll stick a Stewart Lee DVD on. Eventually we’ll have to crash, there’s a bedroom here for each of you, so don’t worry about that. We’ll sleep it off, and then when we wake up we’ll go out, get some food, bring it back, cook it up, eat it up, skin up, and carry on where we left off. I’ll let you guys do the cooking, your food is so much more fucking delicious than mine, but I might make some Angel Delight. Only joking. You guys are in control of the kitchen. Basically you’re coming here on Friday, you’re staying til Sunday, and we’re gonna just be in the moment. After that it’s up to you. I’m not gonna keep pulling strings to get us all in the same room together. We’re brothers, man! So after this weekend it is up to you. See how you feel about each other then. But for this weekend only, come to my house, just the pair of you, leave any negative feelings outside my door before you come in, bring crisps and biscuits and a cake and some pizzas and olives and oranges. And a toothbrush. And we’ll sit down on the cushions, put the bong in the middle, stick some tunes on, eat the food, make and drink the juice, watch some funny comedy on Youtube, and just bond. And if you don’t walk out of here having realised that what bonds us all far outweighs what divides us, even you two, then there’s something wrong with the pair of you. See if you’re not talking seriously about tearing down that apartheid wall once you two have had a smoke together. This is good weed guys. The kind that was created to be shared. You’ll see on Friday. See you then. Peace.

shalom-salaam-peace-big

 

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