Accompanied by the drummer of my band, Sean Watson, most of our days were spent reeking havoc on the infamous Ferrier estate in Kidbrooke. When we tired of throwing stones at people’s windows, we’d steal large quantities of milk off the milkman and hide ourselves high up on the balconies, pouring it on unsuspecting passers-by as they walked through the many rabbit warren type pathways. We would often collapse in uncontrollable fits of hysteria as our victims tried in vain to apprehend us.
One particular afternoon saw us both have a crack at shoplifting, our target being a local hardware store, hoping if nothing else, we’d get chased by the manager.
Sean created a distraction by talking to the man about a Saturday job, while I committed the actual theft.
I grabbed the first thing that my trembling hand rested on and slipped the object into my blazer before silently walking out of the shop to the freedom that eagerly awaited me. I was about to cross the road when the sound of heavy footfalls boomed behind me. Spinning on my heels, I expected to come face to face with an irate shop manager, but to my relief it was Sean, “What is it? What did ya nick?”
“Fuck knows.” I put my hand into my pocket and pulled the mystery object out; it was a large tube of Evostick.
A short time later, we were crawling through the tiniest of gaps behind a low-level car park, and very oblivious to the world that surrounded us; we introduced ourselves to the fine art of glue sniffing.
I cannot speak for Sean, but for me it was the most awesome thing I’d ever done. It completely transformed the way I thought; there was no pain or fear, and I felt no sadness whatsoever. The make-believe world I had so often dreamt about began to flourish, enfolding me within all its glory.
Crisp blue skies,
A sun so bright,
Sweet smelling flowers,
Birds taking flight.
An ocean of colour,
The horizon so bright,
A feeling of hope,
And nothing to fear.
And fields full of corn
Chairs in the garden,
Swings on the lawn.
The howling of wolves,
Death and decay,
A dread in the heart,
At the start of the day.
Scared of the shadows,
And what they contain,
Of a brain that’s insane.
I began to sniff glue on a regular basis; enthralled by the way it made me feel. Every opportunity I got was spent with a carrier bag at my mouth, escaping the hell that had become my world.
During the periods when I wasn’t high, and the way the come down left me feeling, a new kind of anger started to emerge, giving me a compulsion to inflict harm on myself, as well as becoming more physically violent towards others.
I soon started picking on the local kids, demanding that they give me their pocket money, threatening to beat them up if they told their parents, (and sometimes beating them up anyway). Every time a cat or dog came near me, I would lash out as hard as my strength would allow.
At times they appeared to have his grotesque smile, and this could send me over the edge. Sometimes I’d sit for hours within the confines of my room, stabbing my arm with a sewing needle. I’d stab harder and harder, enjoying the burning pain. It took my mind off the memories, images that now tormented my brain on a daily basis, except for the occasions when the glue took me away.
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