Chasing the Dragon

Your greatest work of art, of course, will be yourself.
Heroin, like most of the other strong narcotics I've tried, had no effect on me the first time I've tried it. Until my naivety was crushed along with my spirit my only association with heroin was watching the Zammo from Grange Hill (a BBC TV kids program) descend into addiction, eventually caught with smack in his calculator when he wasn't even going to a maths exam! Zammo chased the dragon and got a smack on the nose was the graffiti found in Grange Hill school the next day.

Like Zammo I chased the dragon, and it did nothing the first time. Chasing the dragon is vapourising the heroin by heating it on tin foil and breathing the fumes with a funnel usually also made of foil. The first time was with the friends of a girlfriend in Cambridge. She was a lovely hippy called Sharon, and as far as I know is the only woman to ever flee a city to escape me. She ran away to Manchester. True story. This was all a long time ago.

The second time was with a beggar called Jesse. He had long dreadlocks and a large good natured Alsatian dog. He wasn't homeless as he had a bare room in the YMCA hostel in the centre of Cambridge. It was there I chased the dragon with him. I was mad and homeless at the time. I thought I'd been enlightened and was the archangel Michael. Ah well, it's a way to pass the time.

We smoked the heroin together and then went out into Cambridge city centre to beg. He stood on a street corner and I sat down on the pavement and closed my eyes. It felt like the pavement folded over me and the world ceased to exist. Along with all my problems and the weight I was carrying. I was floating over mountains of evergreen trees. The mountain and the trees were the green of green screen monochrome computer monitors. I floated merrily.

I can see why it's so addictive. I did follow Jesse around again in the hope of more heroin but he left me looking after his dog and then shouted at me for losing him when he returned.

Not long after that I was picked up by the police and taken directly to Bedford prison for breach of a civil injunction, undoubtedly saving me from heroin addiction in the process.

But that's another story.

"People think they're so grown up. Why would you ever want to grow up? You can be smart and sensible without having to do that."

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