Cowboys Of Junk | By: rochelle jones | | Category: Short Story - Dark Bookmark and Share

Cowboys Of Junk

Cowboys of Junk
The year is 1987.

Cowboy-someone who is reckless or irresponsible
Junk-A slang term for heroin. Other street names include black tar, china white, dog food, dreamer, dust, H, horse, skag, and smack.

\'Heroin was previously the drug of choice because one of its effects is to make you not give a shit about what you are doing,\' says Yvonne Oliver. \'But after a while, the sense of euphoria and oblivion that heroin provides starts to fade and you end up taking it just to feel normal. Crack is the next step and provides a new buzz.\'

Ten Rules Whin Oan Skag - Created By Ash n Burn Boy
1. Nivir share needles wi any yin. No under any circumstances kin ye share a needle wi some yin.
2. Nivir shoot up in a public place unless ye absolutely huv tae. Ye dinnae want any cunts gieing ye shite fi using.
3. Whin cooking up, use black tar heroin.
4. Nivir buy fae people whae huv contracted HIV or AIDS fi risk ay gitting it yirsel. Ah think thit’s common sense, though.
5. Cook up in a room in which ye willnae leave n cannae be disturbed or
6. Whin unable tae use heroin due tae personal events, use any substitute shite ye kin git yir hands oan tae prevent withdrawal.
7. Shoot up only in the bend ay the elbow or the back ay the knee or at absolute desperation the neck. Dinnae ivir shoot up in yir arteries. Amputation kin result fae thit.
8. Use only clean needles in which yins ye huv used alcohol swabs tae cleanse it or boiled tae kill oaf any infection.
9. Whin measuring yir dosage be exact as possible. Aloat ay the times dealers cut n measure wrong sae eywis be careful n ken yir amounts.
10. The best time tae fuck is whin ye still goat the effects ay heroin in ye. It increases the pleasure n brings up aw sorts ay desires n arousals. Advance in sexual performance is often anticipated.

A Regular Day ay Mine - Ash
Julie git’s the hirey n ah git the skag fi us tae split. Whin she git’s the hirey, ah take it tae Hawk, whae, in exchange, gie us the skag, the ivir sae sweet, dark heroin. Hawk cooks it fi us, n thin we use it. We nivir share needles. No way in hell, no wi the new epidemic aroond. No, wir careful junkies.
Julie gits dosh by prostitution. Now, ah lurve her n aw, but this is how we git dosh fi skag. Ah dinnae really fuck her, no because ay her weys, jis thit ah’m nivir in the mood whin she’s aroond. She’s gaun maist ay the day n ah git bored waiting fi her sae ah wank oaf by masel, ma ain biscut-ersed self. Whin she gits home, she’s bin cowpining aw day n thin ah huv tae leave tae git the skag sae we nivir huv time tae really fuck. N ah’m okay wi thit because ah lurve her sae much n ah’m jis gled tae be wi her. No client of hers gits thit fae her.
Ah git the poppy fi skag n go tae Hawk’s flat. Hawk is ma present drug dealer. He offers better deals thin others gadges ah’ve met n boat fae. He eywis cooks it fi us sae ah dinnae huv tae cook it. Easy access.
Ah kin feel it now. The sickness. Ah feel like some yin is takin a knife n scraping oaf layers ay ma bones. N ma muscles are detertiorating, like being poked wi needles n thit they’ll pop any second. Ah need a hit. Ah really do. Jis a shot, tae numb aw this n fly high in a euphoric wave. Thit’s the best part pf junk, the euphoria.
Whair’s Julie? Ah need a hit n she’s gaunnae come home soon tae gie us the poppy fi a sweet, dark hit. Eftir she’s done riding some rat-arsed punter, she’ll come home n gie us the dosh necessary fi junk purchasement. Whair is she? S 10:37. Ah feel horrible aw ower. This is only a minor withdrawal, no a major yin. Ah’ve hud only minor withdrawals, no major yet n ah hope no in the future.
Ah wish she’d git here now. Now, please. Ah cannae stand this. This awful, unbearable sickness. Ah wis laying oan the floor wi ma heid against the waw, whin ah hear the door click. Finally, she’s here, ah tell masel, finally. Ah close ma eyes, but ah still hear her. Her heels tap the groond as she walks tae me. Thair sae loud.
--Ye goat the dosh, ah sais.
--Aye. Sorry ah’m late, jis thit this nippy doss cunt ah wis wi couldnae find his wallet. Here, she sais. Ah open ma eyes tae see her wi the hirey she’s earned by riding. A sigh ay relief is uttered by us. She’s trying tae hand it tae us. Ah try tae lift ma airm tae git it. Ah dae it. Ah grab it n try tae git up. Ma bones are being sliced n ma muscles tortured. Julie helps us up.
--Git the junk fae Hawk n come straight back. Ah almaist gitting the sick feeling.
--Ah widnae, ah’ve goat the sickness.
--Ah’m sorry.
--Ah goat tae nash.
--Bye. Ah walk tae the door. Each step is like walking through a field hotchin snow. Ah try tae keep it thegether, jis fi now, jis fi today, jis til ah git the ivir sae blissful junk, ah tell masel.
Spawny fi us, Hawk lives close by. Ah huv tae walk only a block aweys, but ah dinnae if ah kin.
Junkies, as ah’m telt, kin experience withdrawal symptoms a few hours eftir last use. Masel usually feels um eftir 4 or 5 hours. Ah dinnae ken whin Julie gits um, but ah’m sure its aboot the same time as us.
Ah leave our flat. Ah close the door. It bangs. The loud noise echos in ma ear. Sounds kin be unbearable whin yir oafay junk tae long. Ah go tae the end ay the hallwey, turn aroond the corner, n look at the long stairwey in front ay us. This is gaunnae be difficult, ah tell masel. No wey this is gaunnae be easy. Ah go doon yin step n make it. Ah go doon um aw withoot a real problem, tae ma surprise.
Ah git tae the bottom. Ah stand up straight n feel pretty good. Ah pause, thin ah take yin step foreward n now ah dinnae feel sae good. Ma stomach shrills in agony. Ah put ma hands oan it n bend ower. Ah fall tae the groond. Ma airm hits the groond hard n ah wince in agony ay aw the present pain. Suddenly ma nerves go hay wire aw the sudden. Ah cannae stand it. Ah feel like yin ay those cartoon characters thit go green, thin plaid, thin go green again n thin they upchuck. Ah am gaunnae green, now plaid, n now green. S coming, ah kin tell. Ah spill oot ma guts, they hit they ground. S sickening tae see something come oot ay ye because thin ye ken it wis supposed tae be in ye. Withdrawal of skag kin make ye vomit, sae tae us this is normal boady function. N sometimes daily. But ah still hate tae see the site ay it.
Ah wipe ma mooth n spit oot the rest ay ma stomach acid. Ah stand up n tell masel the skag is still worth it. Tae us, it’s eywis worth it. The pleasure n bliss ay ivir sae sweet, dark heroin is eywis worth it. Eywis.
Ah open the door n git oan tae the sidewalk. S dark oot. Ah struggle tae walk the block. Hawk’s goat it aw ready fi us n ah jis huv tae pick it up. Easy access.
Ah walk the block n open the door tae his building. His flat is oan the first
floor, spawny fi me. Ah think if ah had tae go up some stairs, ah’d end up pouring ma guts oot again.
Ah git tae his door n huv tae knock 5 times. Ah pause eftir ah knock 2 times, thin knock once, pause, thin knock the last 2 without pausing. This code tells Hawk ah’m a junkie who needs his skag n no jis the DS or some other draftpak. Hawk keeps a schedule ay aw his clients, sae he ken ah’m gaunnae come today. He opens the door wi a very cunning smile. He hands us the ivir sae sweet, dark heroin. Ah take it n hand him the poppy. Ah smile back, only ma smile is more ay a “thank God fi ye” smile, likesay.
He shuts the door. Maist ay the times ah git the skag fae him, we are curt like this. We only talk whin we huv tae n we rarely huv tae.

Broken - Ash
--Ah’m telling ye, Julie ah seriously think ah broke ma airm whin ah fell. It really hurts. Ah rub the bones n accidentally touch the yin spot thit hurts maist. Ah cringe at the sharp pain in ma foreairm. Julie is slapping the vein oan the bend ay ma other airm. She aboot tae shoot up fi us.
--Ye shood go tae the doctor, she sais as she rubs the vein jis tae make sure s thir. Ah stare cruelly at her. She deeks up at us. -- Whit?
--Ah cannae go tae a doctor, ah shout tae her.
--N why no?
--Julie they’ll ken ah’m an addict n try tae git me help.
--Ah thinks ye afraid. She stoaps slapping the red vein n grins at me.
--Ah no scared if thit’s whit yir applying. She rolls her eyes n giggles. --Ah’m serious, ah say laughing a little jis because she wis dooin it.
--N what’ll happen if ye dinnae go? Ah ken, yir airm will go rotten n the bones willnae ivir heal properly n ye’ll be in sae much pain, ye dinnae iven ken ay it yet. She laughs really hard n ah try tae hauld back ma laughter. Ah look awey. Ah stare at the waw oan the other end ay the room. She keeps chuckling. --Oh c’mon, ah wis jis teasing ye. Dinnae be mad, please. She gies me some puppy dog eyes n ah utter a little snicker. Ah look back at her. She goat a huge grin oan. Ah smile tae. --No, but ah’m serious ye shood go tae the doctor. Ye dinnae want it tae git worse, likesay?
--Aye ah’ll go but jis eftir this hit, likes? She leers at me n starts slapping ma airm again. Ma veins nivir really seem tae want tae come oot only eftir thir bursting red n thin they bump up a little bit. --Julie kin ye go wi me thir? She pit’s the needle back intae the bowl n gits up. She walks awey. --Julie, whit? Whit’s wrong? Ah dinnae see any flames? Whit is it, c’mon? She stoaps in her tracks n turns aroond. She gies me a very evil bucking look.
--Ah thoat ye wis gaunny go by yirsel, eh? Ye ken ah huv tae git hire whin ah’m no wi ye, likes? Ah git up n walk near her. Ah reach in tae kiss her but she backs awey.
--Julie, ah am wee little scared but dinnae git mad at us. Ah want ye tae come, please?
--N why dae ye want us tae come wi ye?
--Well…ah, well ah, likes-
--Whit is it, jis say it?
--Ah love ye. Sae please come wi?
--Ah will but we huv tae go now or ah cannae go?
--Whit?! Ah say angrily. We wir jis aboot tae shoot up n she wants us tae go now?
--Ye heard me let’s go. She goes by the door n grabs her jaykit.
--Cannae be fucking serious? She opens the door n glances at me. Oh, tae fuck she is serious. Ah dinnae want tae go. Ah wid huv rather shot up n thin gaun whin ah wis still feeling heroin effects. --This is no fair.
The doctor hud asked me aw sorts ay irrelevant questions. Ah hud answered the best could, trying no tae iven mention anything thit could hint ah wis oan skag. He took an x-ray n ah tried tae cover ma heroin tracks the best ah could wi ma sleeve but he saw it anywey. He gie me a scowl n continued oan wi the x-ray. He concluded it wis jis a greenstick fracture. He gie me a little pain medication fi whin he wid set the bones correctly. It kin barely feel it whin he pushes oan the painful spot oan ma airm. He wraps it in a soft cast n lectures me tae be careful. He takes yin mair deek at ma broken veins n shakes his heid n walks awey. Whit a cunt. No respect, jis decides tae judge me first. Ah would rather huv the radge gie me a “yir gaunny ruin yir life speech”. If he did thit at least ah wid be able tae make fun ay him in ma heid n smirk at him behind his back.
--It wisnae thit bad, eh? sais Julie as ah leave the room ah wis in. Ah gie her an sinful grin n make ma wey oot ay the hoespital. She follows me.
In ma interpretation, hoespitals are the absolute worst place tae git sick in. Now, ah’m no talking aboot whin ye git sick or injured n got hair fi help, ah mean whin ye go intae yin place n find yirsel coming oot wi an illness. Ah huv two reasons fir thit. Whin in a hoespital ye dinnae ken whit ye could catch being aroond aw sorts ay sick punters. Alsae if ye git sick in a hoespital, thin yir done fir. A hoespital is the cleanest place ye’ll ivir be at n if something could survive in a hoespital, like bacteria n it gits inside ye, thin thir’s no wey yir boady kin win. Thit’s really the only reason ah dinnae like gaunny tae yin. S a horrible place tae be at, especially wi the new epidemic. The fright ay AIDS n HIVS is at s highest n me ay aw people shood be careful. Ah think as long as ah dinnae share needles or use dirty yins, thin ah might come oot ay this decade okay.

Heroin - Ash
Whin using everything seems exciting n worth living tae see. It makes ye feel everything good n bad aw at yince n somehow ye feel at ease wi aw the shite in the God damn world. But thin whin the initial effects wear oaf, yir stuck in neutral. Dinnae feel great but certainly feel like shite. Ah kin understand whin addicts relapse eftir being clean. S an easy thing tae dae. Ah mean whin oaf heroin, yir forced tae be a part ay society. Ye sit oan a park bench n watch kids playing tag, dogs walking n playing Frisbee, young teenagers making oot, n plenty ay other stuff thit wid be utterly dull. But if ye wir oan skag while oan the bench, ah’m sure nowt ay thit shite wid bug ye at aw.
They say addicts are unorganized because they dae only two things, find a wey tae score skag n thin yince taken cair ay, shoot up. Now ah dinnae think thit thit is necessarily true wi ma case. Ah use heroin whin ah kin n other times ah will take substitute shite sae ah kin go oot wi ma friends n ah’m convinced Burn Boy dis the same thing. Addicts dae in fact huv a life ootside ay heroin.
HIV n AIDS hus become a big thing now. Ah certainly dinnae want anything like thit in ma boady. People say it comes fae junkies n thit s aw thir fault. Blame the addicts n move oan wi yir fuckin shitein life. Ah kens whae fault it wis. S no addicts, but partially correct. Partially yes because if some daft addicts decides tae share needles n thin they spread it amongst themselves n thin thair are those punters whae blame it oan junkies whin actually it could ay come fae any yin whae hus hud unprotected sex. No fair tae jis pour thit horrible reputation oan us. S disrespectful. Ah dinnae blame ivirything oan punters withoot Durex tae use. S no nice. Ah thin iviry yin hus a right tae dae whitivir the fuck they want tae dae in thir own time iven if it is fuck.
While oan skag, ye tend tae no gie a shite aboot the rest ay the world because nowt ay thit matters whin ye huv an strong n tangible addiction sae in a sense, they are right whin they sae addicts only cair aboot scoring n using. Alsae in a wey, s aw they shood cair aboot. Skag allows ye no tae gie a fuck whither yir clothes are clean, whither yir flat is in toap condition, whither or no if yir gurl is really intae ye, n iven whitivir the fuck yir government is dooin if ye huv yin tae iven follow or if ye iven realize thair is yin. Nowt matters, ivirything will come tae an end n we will aw become yin blink ay an eye oan a timeline. Nowt is worth mair than life, except a better life in which is the yin ye dinnae huv or cannae ivir git.

Sunrise n Scorin - Tommy
Ah dinnae dislike Ash fi being a junky because he is still ma best friend. Ah have kent him since wi wis a wee ankle-bitter. He has eywis been thair fi us n ah huv bin trying the best tae dae the same fi him. He n Julie are real close thegether n ah gaunnae meet up wi um at this pub. Ah huv nivir bin tae this yin but fae whit Ash says is top notch.
In a wey, ah kind ay envy the relationship Ash n Julie huv, only because ah huv nivir hud yin. Ah wish ah did. Ah nivir hud women be attracted tae me like Ash has. Whin ivir ah go oot wi him some young girl asks him if she wid like tae go somewhair, but of course he denies. He lurves Julie tae much tae dis her like thit. Any girl whae takes yin deek at us jis walks awey. Ah dinnae think ah look thit bad. Ah huv goat brown hair n black eyes. Ah used tae think ah wis attractive, now no sae much. Ah like tae think thit sometimes ah huv a special spirit thit immediately makes it sae whin women deek at me they think ah’m ugly n no worth it. N thit Ash has a spirit which makes women immediately want tae huv him. Ah ken it’s no the truth, but ah jis like tae think it’s the reason.
Here ah sit, in the pub Ash told me tae meet him at. Loud music, rat-arsed cunts hissing at the bartender fi more bevy or voddy tae drink, women in short dresses thit seem tae say cowpin me, the button-nosed bartender telling drunks tae leave, a small telephone in the corner, a man n another start tae hit each other, another draftpak yells bar fight, two more punters join in the brawl, the bartender shouts at them tae leave, n thair ah sit. Ah dinnae think this bar is very top notch like Ash says.
Ah see the door open. S Ash, but ah dinnae see Julie. He’s disnae ken whair ah’m sae ah yell at him. His turns his heid, sees me n smiles at me. He walks ower tae me. He walks by the doss cunts in the brawl n tries no tae look at them sae he disnae make um think he wis a part ay it. He sits doon next tae me. He’s goat a huge smile oan.
--Hey, how’s it goin? Ye see thit brawl? What nondy cunts, eh?
--Aye. Whair’s Julie, likesay ah thought she wis coming, ah sais.
--Julie is at her ma’s. Ah thought she wis coming tae, but ah guess she couldnae. Hey bartender! A Guinness please! The bartender looks at him n rolls his eyes. --Hey jis git the drink, ye choc-box! The bartender grabs a Guinness fae behind the bar n gits him a coaster. He gie it tae Ash n the bartender walks awey. Ash takes a sip. He seems tae like it by the look ay his expression.
--Let me finsh this bevvy n thin we’ll go, eh?
--Okay, ah sais. He chugs the rest ay his drink n we started tae heid oot. The brawl hud stopped because the bartender threatened tae call the polis. A woman looked at Ash. She scanned his body. Ash didnae ivin notice her, he jis kept walking. The woman looked at us n walked awey. Ah think the spirit told her she wis an ugly buckin shut of woman. Ah think Ash’s sais something a bit nicer.
We walk oot oan tae the street. S has goatin brighter oot. Whin ah went intae the bar it wis still little bit dark oot n now the sun is peeking over the horizon n burds are talking sae loudly. Ash is walking in front ay us. Ah dinnae ken whair he wants us tae go.
--Whair are ye taking us, Ash? Ah sais. He turns around n smiles ingeniously at us. He stands up straight wi his airms crossed.
--Ah tell ye later, likesay, we huv tae git thair first, eh?
--Ye sly cunt! Tell us. His smile gits bigger n thin he snickers n turns aroond n starts tae walk again. He leads us tae the end ay the street n turns the corner. Ah keep following him tae whair ivir he’s gaunnae. He turns the street corner n now wir gaunnae near a cemetery. We walk aroond the cemetery tae a hill. Ash runs tae the top ay the hill n looks ower the edge n he points tae the sunrise. He looks at me n grins. Ah do the same. Ah walk up the hill n look ower the edge. Thair’s a grassy field wi some sheep grazing. Ah deek at the sunrise n it’s beautiful, sae beautiful. Ash sits oan the grass beside us. Ah do the same.
--Ah foond this place a couple days ago n ah jis hud tae show ye it, he sais. Ah’m gled he showed it tae me, ah really am.--Tommy, he sais.--Ah huv tae go tae back tae London next week, ah’m jis thair fi a bit though. He disnae look sae cheerful tae huv this conversation. Ah sit doon next tae him.
--Why do ye huv tae go back, fi yir ma? His ma hus bin sick n is getting worse. His faither, oan the other hand, used tae beat him up aw the time. He wid burn his airms wi cigars n thit’s why Ash disnae smoke. He wid also whip him wi a metal buckle, leather belt. Ah felt sorry fi him, but Ash disnae like it whin ah do because ah think it reminds him of his biscut-ersed life. Ash started tae do heroin whin he wis n now 19 he’s 21 n still an addict. His parents moved tae London whin they foond oot his ma hud cancer.
--Ah dinnae want tae go thair, Tommy. Ah cannae do it, he sais. He looks miserable.
--Thin dinnae go. Ye dinnae huv tae, do ye?
--This time ah do. Ma ma’s in the hoespital n the doctors say it’s no lookin tae good. Ah dinnae blame him fi no wanting tae go. Ah dinnae want Ash tae go either. Ah still think his faither is gaunnae hurt him n by the looks ay it, sae does Ash. Ash sniffs his nose n itches it.--Let’s go, ah huv tae score a hit fi Julie n masel, he sais as he stands up.
--Awright. Ah stand up tae n take yin last good look at the sunrise. Ash is already walking doon the hill. Ah follow him. We walk aroond the cemetery, turn the corner, n pass the pub. Ah dinnae whair he’s taking us, but ah thinks it’s tae Hawk’s flat or Papa Skag’s place. Ash is walking n ah’m following him, whin he opens the door of some building. He holds it open fi me, ah go inside, he closes the door, n walks tae the door ay someone‘s flat. Ah follow. He opens it wi a key he hud in his poaykit. Ah go inside. He closes the door. Ah see a boy sitting oan the groond wi heroin gear. Thair’s music playing softly, it sounds like Lou Reed’s Sweet Jane, but a woman is singing.
--Hey Burn Boy, this is Tommy, n Tommy this is Burn Boy, he sais. Burn Boy looks at us n smiles.
--Hi Tommy, here tae shoot up? He asks. Ash laughs.
--He disnae use, whit are ye listening tae?
--Ummm, s Cowboy Junkies. Burn Boy reaches behind him tae turn up the sound oan the boom box. --Ah like the song. It reminds me ay us. Like how wir cowboys n we use junk, likesay. Hey, cowboys of junk we are, eh? Ash chuckles, again.
--Aye, cowboys ay junk. Pretty smart. Whair’s Papa Skag at? Ash asks.
--He’s in back, Burn Boy points tae a room whair ah’m assuming Papa Skag is at. Ash starts tae walk tae the room, ah follow ‘im.
The room is empty, except fi a mattress wi an auld torn up blanket oan it wi an aulder looking punter wi jis blue jeans oan laying oan the bed. His chest wisnae thit bad looking, but no something tae show oaf. He sees us n takes oot a wee black bag. He hands it tae Ash n Ash takes it n gie ‘im some money. Ash turns tae me.
--Let’s go. Ash leaves the room n ah follow. --Bye Burn Boy. Ash pats him oan the heid as he walks past him.
--Ash! Burn Boy yells as wi are right by the exit door. Ash turns aroond.
--Whit? Burn Boy smiles as he dangles Ash’s wallet.
--Ye sneaky bastard! Ash yells. He runs tae git him, but Burn Boy dashes awey n now Ash is chasing him aroond the flat, calling him names n trying tae grab his shirt tae git a hold ay his wallet. --Tommy git him! Burn Boy runs by me n ah jis shake my heid n laugh. Ash tackles him in the corner ay the room. --Gie me ma wallet or ye baws’ll be sore n ah mean really sore. Burn Boy holds oot the wallet n Ash grabs it, thin slaps Burn Boy oan the face.
--OWW! Ash gits oafay him n kicks him in the gut. He kicked him lightly, jis tae tell the cunt whae’s in charge. Ash looks at me n shakes his heid in disgust n thin looks at Burn Boy, whae is still oan the groond hurting.
--Ah didnae kick ye thit hard cuntchy!
--How wid ye ken, thit really hurt! Burn Boy sits up n winces.
--Awright, we goat tae go. Bye Burn Boy. Burn Boy deeks at him n smiles a little as he waves good bye. Ash opens the door n thin we leave the building.
On the sidewalk Ash is walking faster tae git tae his hoose, thit ah huv tae almaist run tae be behind im.
--Sae, ah sais. Burn Boy is alsae an addict?
--Aye, he answers. He’s young tae, only 16 ah thinks.
--Oh no, 16 ye say. The perr gadge.
--Dinnae feel tae bad, he’s a smile. Ah cannae help but lurve the young cunt. He grows oan ye like thit. A sly little punter he is though.
--Oh ah see. How dae ye ken him?
--He’s Papa Skag’s nephew.
--Does he live wi Pap Skag?
--Aye. Like any other young punter, he hates his parents. Common trait ay teenagers, likesay. Mind us, dinnae ye?

Burds - Tommy
--Ye need a girl, a nice n easy broad. Jis fir yin night, that’s aw ah’m saying Tommy, yells Burn Boy ower the loud music in the club.
--Ah ken, but no burd is ivir attracted tae me at first site, likesay? ah explain.
--Aye. Ye goat tae huv a personality right awey or they’ll think yir a shy, bitter gadge.
--Ah huv a personality, ah sais being a little offended.
--Nae, ah’m saying ye goat tae stand oot mair, ken? Ah big breasted blonde walks in front ay oor table. Boath ay us eye her doon. She passes us n Burn Boy looks at me. --No, she’s mine, Tommy! He jumps ower the table n runs eftir her n stops right behind her. He taps oan her shoodir. They start talking. Ah cannae hear um because the music is tae loud.
Ash n Julie are by the door. He’s necking her n she’s giggling n taking deep breaths in her excitement. Ah envy them. They huv a sexual, meaningful, n loving relationship that ah’ve nivir bin spawny enough tae ain. Ash whispers something in her ear n she laughs sae hard ah kin almaist hear her fae across the place. Burn Boy is walking back tae my table wi his heid doon. He sits next tae me.
--She k.b.ed me. The hoor thoat ah wis tae young n gave me the elbow. What an ill-mannered cunt tae refuse me. HOY! BEER MAIDEN! ANOTHER LAGER! A waitress comes ower. She refills Burn Boy’s pint n gies him a very fuckin evil stare.
--Anything else? she sais in a very snotty wey. Burn Boy grin ingeniously at me, thin at her.
--Aye, how boot ye suck ma knob? She’s appauled at his request n jis storms angrily oaf. Ah cannae stoap laughing nor kin Burn Boy whae hud tae keep a straight face until she left or he wouldnae come oaf serious.
--Ah cannae believe ye jis did thit, ah sais.
--Ah no, ah couldnae hold back ma laughter any longer. If she hudnae left, ah would ay burst. Ah laugh iven harder. --Whir’s Ash? Ah look at whair him n Julie were n now they are no thair.
--Ah think they left.
--Those cunts. Withoot iven telling us, sais Burn Boy.

A Night ay Bliss - Ash
Ah lick a nipple n it’s firm, elegant n playfully tasteful. She pushes me against the wall. She smiles full ay life. It teases us. She slowly walks tae me, dangling each foot in front ay the groond before she’s gaunny set it oan. The anticipation excites the situation greatly. Such a mocker, Julie is. She undoes ma jeans, while ah kiss her lips ivir sae softly. Ah shake ma jeans doon n oaf ay ma legs n still maintaining a tongue dance inside her mooth. Ah’m such a good kisser. Ah pick her up n she screams withoot realizing ah’m gaunny cairry her tae the bed. She laughs n surrenders herself tae ma force. She’s necks me while ah cairry her thair. Ah set her oan the bed lightly n slide ma hands oan her leg.
Ah’m at the end ay the bed when a git a hold ay her keks n glide it doon her legs. Her gled expression encourages me oan. She spreads her legs apart. Ah put my heid in between her thighs n swirl ma tongue around. Ah faintly hear orgasm whispers fae Julie. Thair muffled but they urge us oan. Ah try harder tae make ma tongue gie her pleasure n ah’m sure ah dae because now she is shouting in amusement as ah dae it. She hits her climax n ah pull back.
Ah stoap n see her smiling n taking shallow breaths as she puts her hand oan ma cheek. Satisfaction ower took her. She’s gasping in pleasure. Ah see her breasts n think it’s time fi ma birl. Ah git oan the bed n lay beside her. She gits oan top ay me n ah securely hold a breast. Her skin aroond the breast is sae velvety n delicately indulgent. Ah put ma knob inside ay her n we start thrusting. An angel is simplifying ma world n ah lunge forward n backward as ma performance increases.
The best part ay heroin is the euphoric surge thit follows the injection, n the best part ay sex is the orgasm ye git when ye n yir partner boath experience the joy ay an uncontrollable climax. She hits top first, ah follow n then we relax fi a second. She collapses oan my chest. She puts her heid under ma chin. Her dark brown hair tickles my chest n chin. Ah sharply breathe in air. Julie kin barely slow her breathing she gaunny sae fast.
Thit wis wonderful, jis excellent. No client ay Julie’s gits that much oot ay her. She lifts her heid up n looks at me. Ah cannae believe how much ah love her right now.
--Ah love ye, ah love ye sae much. Dinnae ivir leave me. Dinnae ivir dae thit, ah whisper tae her. She looks deeply intae ma eyes.
--Ah love ye tae, she sais gently. Ah kisses her oan the cheeks, thin oan the mooth, n thin oan the other cheek. She’s try tae kiss me oan the lips but ah dinnae let her because ah jis keep kissing her aroond the face n neck. Ah keep whisperin ah love ye, ah love ye, ah dae, dinnae ivir leave me Julie, dinnae leave me. She quietly sais repeatedly, ah winnae, ah winnae.
Ah hope she nivir leaves me. Ah lurve her tae much tae see thit happen tae oor relationship. Ah cannae live withoot her.

Sugar N Shite - Ash
Hawk smiles at me, but this time ah broat Burn Boy along sae he invited us inside fi a drink. Ah think Hawk’s flat is shitein place ivir n ah’m no trying tae be mean but s true.
Moldy waws covered wi auld paint, lime filled baithrooms, an overfilling toilet, greasy oven stains, torn carpets showing the hard splinter-filled wood, lamps withoot shades, rusted silverware, brown, murky water, n oan top ay the mattress in the corner ay the room, the vile blanket hus a vomit stain oan it thit smells like a skunk’s arsehole. Alsae oan the mattress thir’s some perr cunt’s cum fae his n his arrogant lover’s one tumultuous night stand. Jis the shitein flat ye’ll ivir see.
--Why dinnae ye move intae a nicer flat, eh Hawk? Ah bet wi aw thit dosh ye goat ye could git a better place uptown, sais Burn Boy.
--No, Ah couldnae, Burn Boy. A nicer place means higher rent cheques. Ah need ma hirey at aw times. Besides, s no thit bad. No thit bad, ah thoat tae masel. S shite, the shitein ay aw the shitein places oan earth. Ah cannae iven believe ah thoat ma place wis bad. Comparing mine tae his makes me feel better in a wey.
--Ah need lots ay thit substitute shite fi whin ah’m awey, ah tell him.
--Ash why dinnae ye jis buy mair heroin whin fi yir trip, eh?
--Ah dinnae huv time fir any hits n ah really only wid want a hit whin ah huv time tae enjoy it. Can ye gie me some vallies diaz tae? ah asks. Ah want tae cut doon ma heroin dosage. Dooin thit will decrease the cost ay heroin fi me n wi vallies diaz or valium diazepam ah want suffer any major effects ay withdrawal if ah git any.
--Whit are ye gaunny iven dae in London, Ash? Score burds? Git another addiction? Tie up loose ends? Ah gie him a very fuckin evil look. --Ah’m jis curious.
--Ah prefer no tae talk aboot it, likes?
--Ye ken whit yir problem is, Ash?
--No ah dinnae ken whit it is, please inform me, ah respond in a snotty wey thit almaist makes me chuckle.
--Sugar n shite, Ash. Thit’s whit ye goat, he sais aw nonchalant.
--Whit tae fuck is thit? Sugar n shite? Whit dae ye mean, Hawk?
--Well life gies ye sugar, the good things like Julie, an education, a joab opportunity, n ah’m sure thir’s others, but ye eywis chooses the shite, the skag, the shitein flat, no joab, no mair than a high school education. He laughs.
--Git tae fuck Hawk! Dinnae be critiquing ma life n still think thit yir a cut above me, iven whin yir at the exactly same level. The shitein level.
--Ah wis jis sayin, Ash ye dinnae huv tae git mad, he sais trying tae be remorseful.
--Ah ken, kin ah jis huv the vallies diaz now? He hands the clear plastic bag tae me n ah yank it awey.
--Sugar n shite, sugar n shite, sugar n shite, chants Burn Boy as he sits oan the groond. He laughs. Ah walk ower tae him n slap him oan the side at the face. He almaist tips ower fae whir he’s sitting it wis sae hard. Ah laugh as he winces.
--Owww! Thit hurt! Ash, ah wis jis joking. Ah laugh again. Ah look at Hawk whae is alsae giggling. --Ye mates are mean, ye cunts! Burn Boy seems pished.
--Oh c’mon Burn Boy, dinnae git mad, ah dinnae slap ye thit hard.

Five Mair Days - Ash
The sun wisnae tae bright n jis enough clouds tae covered the blue sky. The weather wis like spring, no cauld n no hot, jis in between. The ootside café hud perr service. Ah hudnae seen the waiter in decades n ma coffee is tae cauld tae drink. Ah need some coffee because ah hud tae make the heroin last night because some cunt firgoat aboot his end ay the deal. Ah dinnae ken his name but the gadge really fucked up. Hawk wis supposed tae gie us some skag but some cunt took maist ay Hawk’s load n now the gadge is hotchin 800 pounds worth ay heroin. Ah hud tae help Hawk cook whit wis left ay the heroin n that’s why ah need some coffee.
Here’s the plan finish eating breakfest, if the waiter ivir comes back, go tae Tommy’s n thin go tae Papa Skag’s hoose n score some ivir sae sweet, dark heroin.
Ma fish n chips were no sae bad. The chips could use a little mair time oan the greaser n the fish could huv a little mair taste, but no time tae whinge, goat tae pay fi it n thin nash. Ah leave a considerable amount oan the table fi the waiter, n the right amount fi the food, tax included, n thin ah see him coming near me. Ah hand him the hirey n leave.
Tommy’s flat is no far fae here. Ah cross a street or two n git tae his place. Inside his place, an auld lady sees ma junky veins oan ma airm n gies us a dirty look. Ah dinnae care, she cannae dae anything aboot it except gie me her judgmental opinion or lecture me oan ma lifestyle. She dis neither n thank God fi that. Ah dinnae need her advice.
Ah knock oan Tommy’s door n he’s yells come in sae ah do. His flat is nice. The walls are a light green. His furniture is a dark brown n everything kind ay follows the green/brown color pattern. He walks intae the front room.
--Hey, how ye dooin? he asks.
--Fine, ye ready n aw? He nods. He picks his jean joaykit up n puts it oan. Ah leave his flat n he locks his door. We walk oot ay his building n decide tae go tae a pub fi awhile.
The pub wis a little tacky. The door didnae hang straight, the bartender wis half awake n firgoat ma order, n the walls hud a worn oot touch ay paint. Ah think this bar goat mair people at night because thin they couldnae see the imperfections ay the place due tae the dark lighting it hus during thit time.
--Whair did ye go last night? Me n Burn Boy couldnae find ye anywhair.
--Me n Julie left thegether. It wis sort ay a spur ay the moment decision, sorry.
--Thit’s okay. Ah hud fun wi Burn Boy.
--Oh ye did. Likesay, he’s a funny gadge. Hey umm ye listen, ah…mean… Ah couldnae git ma words oot tae ask him a question. --Do ye think in London, ma… ma faither will ummm…hit… me? Ah kin barely look at him when ah talk aboot this subject.
--Ash, ye dinnae huv tae go, okay? Dinnae feel like it’s something ye huv tae do. Yir ma kens ye lurve her n she’ll understand it’s tae hard fi ye tae come.
--Tommy, if ah dinnae go ah might no see her again n ah cannae put thit guilt oan masel, no now.
--Ash are ye scared tae go thair?
--Ah uh, umm… ah am scared…ay ma…faither. It’s hard fi me tae talk aboot whit he did tae me. He would burn cigars intae ma fore airms n ah cannae iven look at a cigar or cigarette withoot thinking ay him. He would beat me wi a metal buckle belt. He would sometimes ask me tae choose between his fist or his belt. Ah choose the belt. The belt would put mair guilt oan him. He would alsae through beer bottles at me whin he wis tae drunk tae git up fae his chair. He would beat me wi anything he could find that he cold repeatedly bludgeon me wi n that wouldnae break. S no like ah wis a bad kid or anything ah jis wisnae ma brar. Ma brar wis sent tae fight in Vietnam n wis reported M.I.A oan November 12th, 1973. Ah wis only eight n ah barely remembered whit ma brar looked like. He nivir came back, they only foond his dog tags three days later, but no him. Ma faither started tae drink heavily eftir thit n thin he started tae blame me fi no living up tae his expectations ay me being like ma brar. He wanted me tae be a general in the war but thin it ended n he goat angry wi me. We did argue aloat. Each argument ended wi me bleeding, ma faither drinking mair n ma ma sat in the corner ay the room, greetin. Ah nivir hit him back when he wis beating me up, ah jis took the punishment. Ah widnae try tae run either because thin ah would jis git hurt mair.
Ah dinnae blame ma ma fi no stoapin ma faither whin he wis beating me up, because ah widnae git in the middle ay one ay oor fights either. She tried her hardest tae lurve me n prepare me fi school days, but whin ah wis 17, ah stoaped gaunny tae school n she n me nivir really hud much ay a connection anymair. She should ay hud a better husband instead ay ma faither. She deserved a loving man n someone who could ay bin there fi her whin she loast ma brar instead ay beating up the other son.
--Ah wish ma ma hud a better life. Ah looked at Tommy n he jis stared back at me wi sympathy in his eyes. Ah bet he wishes ah hud a better life instead ay being a heroin addict withoot a joab.
Tommy’s parents died when he wis jis 4 sae he moved next door tae ma hoose tae live wi his Aunt Sharon n Uncle Joseph. They were nice people. They nivir judged me n they wir the ones tae make me want tae huv a loving relationship wi a woman because ay what a perfect couple they made. Tommy still keeps in touch wi them.
--Ah think ye shood go now, sorry mate, ah think ye shood say goodbye tae yir ma. Sorry, but yir right ye cannae put thit guilt oan yirsel.
--Ah ken.
--Whin are ye leaving?
--Umm, next Wednesday. S jis five mair days. Hey, umm promise me something, likes? ah asks.
--Anything? Whit?
--Promise me thit whin ah’m back fae London ye’ll huv a gurl, okay?
--No, Ash women dinnae ivir like--
--Ye sais anything, did ye no?
--Okay, fine, ah promise tae huv a gurl whin ye git back, he sais miserably.
--Barry, ah huv goat tae nash sae ah’ll see ye soon, rites? ah rise up n heid oot. Ah leave the shitein pub n go oot oantae the street. The weather is now only cauld, but no sufferable cauld jis annoying.
Ah huv tae score fi Julie n us but ah am too fuckin tired. Honestly, ah could ay used mair coffee. Thank God thit Hawk hotched me up wi substitute shite because ah dinnae iven want tae ken how London wid be fi me withoot something opiate like in ma system.

Crimson And Ah Love Her - Ash
Julie slaps her elbow. Her vein pops up. Hers eywis shows up before mine, weird, eh? She is takes the needle oot ay the bowl it wis in n suddenly ah feel masel git this incredible turn oan tae her. She is sitting against the waw n hus her hair covering her eyes. Her breasts are visible through her white tank top n ah cannae help but stare. Ah dinnae want her tae see me staring at them sae ah try tae switch back n forth between looking at her eyes n her barry fuckin tits.
She is aboot tae shoot up whin ah lunge forward fae whir ah am n brush the hair oot ay her eyes. Ah pit ma hand oan her cheek n lean in tae kiss her. She disnae protest n ah tongue dance fi her. Ah hear the needle hit the groond because she seemed tae huv dropped it. Ah pick it up by reaching aroond ff it wi ma airm thit hus the cast oan it n ah pit the needle back intae the bowl fir later.
She slides doon the waw n now ah’m oan top ay her aw square-go. She pushes me back sae she kin take her shirt oaf. Ah watch in lust. Pure beauty she hus goat aw ower her boady, ah swear s true. Ah accidentally hit the boom box wi ma elbow n the song Crimson And Clover turns oan n Joan Jett is singing it.

I, now I don\'t hardly know her
But I think I can love her
Crimson and clover

Ah chuckle n Julie dis tae. Ah pull it thegether n start necking her. She undis ma skinny leg jeans. Ah wiggle thim oaf n try tae undae hers tae. She lets me. She reaches for a Durex n dangles it in front ay me face n ah ken whit she wants us tae dae. Ah make no disapproval.

I, now when she comes walkin\' over
Now I\'ve been waitin\' to show her
Crimson and clover
Over and over

Fuckin barry she is. Cannae believe how fuckin lucky ah am tae huv her. Ah pit ma knob inside ay her after ah huv lubricated it n now we thrust. Fuckin barry.

Yeah, I\'m not such a sweet thing
I wanna do everything
What a beautiful feelin\'
Crimson and clover
Over and over

Ah cum n she shrills in excitement. Oh am ah gled tae huv made her happy.

Crimson and clover
Over and over
Crimson and clover
Over and over
Crimson and clover
Over and over
Crimson and clover
Over and over

End ay the fuckin song n ah am still fuckin gasping fi air. Aww man wis thit great. Fuckin brilliant idea. An amazing wey tae say good-bye before ah go tae fuckin depressing London. Jis yin fuckin great wey tae toap it oaf. Aw thit n such a barry finish. Fuckin beautiful. Ah wish ah dinnae huv tae leave. Ah want tae stey, but sorry, no ah cannae. Huv tae say good bye tae ma ma. She will be gled tae see me n ah will be happy tae see her go tae or at least ah hope ah will be.

Success - Tommy
How much longer can ah go oan withoot love? How much longer can a man survive sexual deprivation? How much longer do ah huv tae wait until ah git a burd tae like me or iven talk tae me? S no fair thit ma best friend hus tae go tae London n ah huv tae git masel a gurl like ah promised tae. S no fair thit gurls dinnae like ma looks. Ah cannae change how ah look but ah kin change how ah act in their presence. Ah’ll dae whit Burn Boy sais. Ah’ll show personality, stand oot, n git masel a nice n easy broad. Their first impression will no longer be the shy, bitter gadge. No, no more. No longer kin ah be sexually starved n no longer kin ah be with ma lonesome biscut-ersed self iviry night watching late night shows n counting the minutes until ah huv tae go tae work. No, no any longer.
Iggy Pop’s Success is playing in the club. Success is a perfect song tae dance tae. Aw the broads n gadges go oantae the dance floor. They dance. Ah chug the last drops ay ma bevvy n go oot thair.

I can\'t help myself, I can\'t help myself
I just got to got to got to, I just got to got to got to...
I can\'t stand it, got to got to got to

Ah huv tae find a burd sae here ah go. Ah deek at a black-haired yin. She smiles as ah dance next tae her.

Here comes my face, here comes my face
It\'s plain bizarre, it\'s plain bizarre
Here comes my face, here comes my face
Out of the crowd, out of the crowd
Sweetheart I\'m telling you, sweetheart I\'m telling you
Here comes the zoo, here comes the zoo

She lets us stey beside her sae ah do. She has pretty blue eyes ah kin help but stare intae. She is beautiful in the colored lights they huv spinning aroond oan the ceiling. Ah think the spirit sais nice things tae her. She points tae the bar. She’s signaling let’s go sit n huv a drink.

Alright! Baby, let\'s blast off, oh, baby let\'s blast off
Blast off on success, blast off on success
Oh you slay me, oh you slay me, baby, ooooh, you slay me, baby
I\'m gonna do the twist, I\'m gonna do the twist
I\'m gonna hop like a frog, I\'m gonna hop like a frog
I\'m gonna go out on the street and do anything I want
I\'m gonna go out on the street and do anything
Oh, shit! Oh, shit!

--Sae come her often, ah ask. She shakes her heid no. She smiles at me.
--Ah came wi my friends n ah cannae believe how much fun ah’m huvin. Whit aboot ye?
--Ah’ve bin here…like ah, ah come here sometimes, ah struggle tae say.
--Ah’ve nivir bin here, well ah’ve bin by here but nivir inside. She’s sweating aloat. She wipes some moisture oafay her forehead. Ah kin help but think how sexy she is. Ah think she is a little drunk. Her words are slurred n her boady keeps swaying back n forth oan the bar stool. Ah hope she disnae fall ower. --Ye want tae git oot ay here? Aw ma friends huv left. This is ma yin chance tae git a burd tae come tae ma hoose but ah huv tae play it smooth or Ah’ll be back watching late night shows by ma lonesome self, nae no tonight.
--Aye, let’s go oot ay here.
We leave the club n walk tae ma hoose. Surprisingly she is still intae us or mibbe she is tae drunk tae notice how ah look or mibbe she jis wants sex tae git ower a past lover. Aye, ah like thit reason. Revenge sex is better thin regular.
--Why the sudden urge tae go? she ask us. Oh no, ah kin mess this up now ah’m sae close tae ma place.
--Ye sais ye wanted tae leave sae wir leavin, ken?
--Aye, ah remember now. Ah think she is drunk. She cannae really walk straight. Now ah dinnae think ah kin cowpin a drunk, vulnerable burd. S no fair tae her but if ah say no or seem offended whin she wants tae huv sex she’ll git angry n leave. Whit shood ah dae? Sex or k.b. her? Starve ma knob again or huv a wonderful orgasm? Ah shood ask her but ah huv tae be smooth if ah dae.
--Umm, dae ye…ah mean…dae ye want tae, likesay, umm, huv, ah…….. Ah cannae ask sae ah hope she kin piece thegether the words ah sais n connect um. She grabs ma hand n deeks at me. She goes oan her tippy-toes n kisses ma cheek. Her face is beaming at me. Ah smile tae. She kens what ah’m saying.
--We’ll jis listen by ear tonight, eh?
--Whitivir ye say.

Funeral Blues - Ash
Ah huv nivir seen a dead boady before. Ma brar’s funeral wis a closed casket. She looks lifeless, but at ease wi everything now. Ah cannae really look at her. Something in ma stomach drops n it tumbles ower whin ah see her. Thit squirming feeling is tae uncomfortable tae huv sae ah winnae deek at her again. Ah shoodnae huv iven done it once, now thit ah think ay it.
--She went peacefully, you know? sais ma Uncle Harry. Ah dinnae much care fir his American accent. Damn cunts ower seas want tae huv the whole world in a fuckin cage. Ah cannae stand um. Whae ivir kin, is a doss cunt.
--Ah ken, ah sais. He disnae gie me any assurance in whit he sais, more sae angers me. Ah dinnae think ma ma shood ay gone tranquilly. Ah thinks she shoodnae huv died in the first place. It wisnae fair. Ma faither shood be in thit coffin looking limp. He shood ay goat cancer n no ma ma. Ah wish things hud gaun better fi her n no like this.
Ma faither will beat me tonight, ah kin sense it. He is repeatedly staring at me in a sadistic wey n thair’s nothing ah kin dae except take the beating n move oan. Eftir aw, ah eywis choose the shite ower the sugar. Thit’s how ma life goat here, ah guess.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Ma ma didnae deserve anything she goat in her life. Nae me, ma faither, whit happened tae ma brar or death. Nowt ay it.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

She couldnae go like this. A tear falls doon ma cheek as they lower the coffin. Life shat oan her n she couldnae fight the will ay fate sae she suffered willingly until her death.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong.

The world cannae dae this tae good people. People like ma ma cannae huv this happen tae um, s no fair. Mibbe ah deserve whit ah goat but no ma ma. She nivir meant tae hurt anybody.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Whit in the world hus ivir bin good? Nowt. Drugs, wars, thousands dying tae the hands ay another, millions dying because ay famine, illness, n murder, animals killed n processed n wasted n thin distributed tae feed aw the fucked up cunts running the world. This world is in a state ay perpetual merciless events. N nowt hus ivir been good, why shood ah strive tae be oan toap if the world will dae this tae good people while the soulless pricks torment n destroy anything they kin find. Fuckin no worth it n thank God fi skag. S eywis worth the numbing sense ay control ye huv whin oan it. But no, ah huv tae dae this substitute shite until ah go back hame. It willnae numb am pain. It cannae ivir be as powerful as sweet n dark skag. The ivir sae pure heroin.

Success II - Tommy
She wis fuckin barry. Oh yes, very fuckin breathtaking. She is laying oan ma chest. Her hair feels like silk oan ma chest. Tae fuckin good. This is barry. We hud jis hud sexual intercourse n ah still cannae believe she let me git this far without realizing ah’m ugly or something n thin deciding tae pull back n go hame.
Eftir sex she fell asleep oan ma chest. N now thir’s a gargantuan amount ay satisfaction oan ma face. A very huge fuckin smile n ah shood be fuckin cheery, though. Ah mean ah jis hud sex wi thit black-haired broad ah met at thit club wi Iggy Pop’s Success in the backroond. N well jis a perfect song tae play oan this occasion. Success happened tae me, finally n now ah’m tae fuckin happy tae contain masel.
She lifts her heid up n seems aw dazed looking at me wi her lovely, graceful eyes. Fuckin barry, ah’m telling ye. She looks at her watch.
--Oh shite, no tae fuckin hell, she sais tae me while she is gitting up. She searches fi her pants. But wait whir’s her keks? We fuckin loast um while we wir playing aroond. Barry, eh? She is really nashing. Ah wonder why though?
--Whit’s wrong, eh? Ah dinnae see any flames?
--Ye huv goat tae leave. Are ye fuckin joshing me? Ah huv no pants oan n no keks, whir am ah gaunny go? Ah dinnae want tae search fi um this early in the morning. S tae fuckin early.
--Tommy, ah huv tae go tae work.
--It’s Setirday! ah remind her.
--Ah dinnae cair, ah huv tae work? she explains.
--Why the fuck did ye accept a joab wi work oan Setirdays?
--Go Tommy! she sais pointing tae the door.
--Fine, but kin ah see ye again?
--Sure, but leave now. Ah grabs ma stuff n leave. She slams her door behind me. Fuckin hell! Yin second ah’m wi a barry fuckin broad n the next she’s nashing me oot the door. Ah dinnae think ah will ivir git broads but ah’m no sure ah really want tae.

Bruised Up Badly - Ash
Ah huv tae go back home n see Tommy n Julie. Ah ken they miss us. Ah dinnae if ah want tae see um though. Ah dinnae want them tae see the countless bruises n cuts oan ma boady. The black eye ah huv. How will they respond? Ah dinnae want tae find oot. No thit ah think they’ll dislike me but ah dinnae want tae huv tae tell them whae gie it tae me. S better fi me tae jis move oan n try tae firgit it.
Ah board the train unwillingly. Ah sit in the back tryin no tae be noticeable. Ah dinnae want tae be stared at. Thit’s the last thing ah need. Ah need a hit. This substitute shite Hawk gie us isnae as good as a sweet, dark heroin. He gie it tae me tae prevent withdrawal while ah’m in London n ah’m thankful but it’s still shite. London is pure shite tae. N ah’m no jis saying thit because ma faither’s here but jis because ah’m surrounded by drunk limies. Their annoying. Their teeth are crooked n sae many pikies n cocknies running aroond wi indecipherable accents. Ah ken ah no yin tae talk wi ma Scottie slang n dialect but at least ah am not a pikey. Ye cannae iven understand um. They speak gibberish tae git whit they want. Pure shite, England is. No thit Scotland is any better but at least were decipherable.

The train is at home or close tae it. Tommy’s gaunny pick me up. Ah dinnae want him tae see us. Pitiful, ma appearance. The train comes tae a complete stoap n ah git oafay it. Ah see Tommy waving his hands n calling ma name as he runs ower tae me. Ah turn ma heid in a wey whair ah’m still looking at him but he cannae see ma black eye, but he will git a good look at the scratch oan ma cheek but he willnae assume anything ay the cut.
--Hey Ash! he shouts at me. Ah tryin tae keep ma heid in the position.
--Hey Tommy, how’s things withoot me aroond? ah ask. Ah cannae keep it up withoot coming oaf rude sae ah look directly at him. Unfortunately he sees ma eye. He sais nothing. Good, ah dinnae want any sympathy lectures. Tommy hus ken me long enough tae ken how ah goat it. He disnae huv tae say anything.
--Oh no, Ash he didnae--
--Tommy, ah dinnae want tae talk aboot it n dinnae tell Julie. Let’s go. We heid oan home in some Joe Baxies n make it aw the wey tae ma hoose in less than 2 hours. Spawny, eh?
Tommy goat work temarro sae he n me cannae chat much sae he goes hame. Ah stand in front ay the door ay ma flat. Ah hope Julie is sleeping or gaun. She cannae see me like this. Ah dinnae want her tae. Ah unlock the door wi ma key n open it. Ah look aroond, n nae sign ay her sae far.
--Ash?! Is thit ye? Oh no, ah tell masel. She comes walking oot ay our room. Ah pit ma luggage doon.
--Aye, ah’m back. Please dinnae let her see me. She saunters ower tae me. She deeks at me wi a puzzled expression. She pits her hands oan ma cheeks, careful no tae irritate the yin scratch. Ah try tae look awey but her hands keep me fae doin it.
--Ash, whae did this tae ye?
--S nowt, dinnae worry aboot it.
--No, tell me. Ash, tell me. Ah push awey her hands n pick up ma luggage. Ah walk intae our room. She follows. She is mad thit ah’m no telling her.
--Julie, s wis jis some upset, drunk cunt in a pub ah wis at. S nowt. Dinnae worry aboot it, ken?
--Ye lying tae me, whae really did it? She kin eywis tell whin ah’m no telling the truth. S like she hus x-ray vision.
--Ye dinnae want tae ken n ah dinnae want tae tell ye. Thit shood make her scoobie.
--Dinnae be like thit. Ye shood tell me.
--Be like whit, whit am ah doin?!
--Dinnae be sae secretive aboot yir escapade in London! Whae beat ye up?! She really wants tae ken n if ah keep the fight gaunnae thin she might leave or git really mad. Ah huv tae confess.
--Ma faither did it! Are ye happy now! He beat the shite oot ay me! Are ye happy tae ken now! She sais nowt. Good. Again, ah dinnae want empathy fae any yin.
--Ah’m no happy. Her eyes are flooding up wi tears. Ah hug her n say s okay while ah pat her back.

Whit If? - Tommy
Ah git tae see Ash now thit he jis came back fae London. Ah decide tae walk faster tae git thair. Ah missed him n ah wid ay seen him earlier but ah hud bin real busy wi work n aw thit shite but now ah’m no.
Ah swing the door open n quickly git tae his flat. Ah am almaist nervous standing in front ay his door, like ah shood feel bad fi no visiting beforehand. But ah huv goat tae shake it oaf. Ah ken Ash wants tae see me. Wir mates, no wir best mates n cannae go long without meeting up. The door opens n s Julie. She wis aboot tae leave.
--Oh hello thir Tommy. Huv no seen ye in awhile. She smiles.
--Well aye, ah wis busy but ah came tae seen Ash. She looks doon at the groond n glances back at me wi a crestfallen expression.
--Ash is no dooin tae well, he a well… he, jis go seen him, ah huv goat tae nash. She walks awey n oot ay the building leaving the door open fi me. Ah walk in n deek aroond fi Ash. Ah finally seen him in the his room. He is jis sitting thir n staring at the waw. He hus goat no shirt oan, jis dark grey jeans. He seems almaist deid. He disnae iven acknowledge thit ah huv come. Ah go n sit next tae him oan the crummy, dark green couch. He takes a deep sigh. N now ah notice aw sorts ay cuts n bruises oan his boady. Some oan the sides ay his boady, like yins whir his ribs are n he hus goat a black eye. Ah ken whae did thit. His faither did. Ah’m sure ay it. Ah cannae believe he did it again. Ah thoat he wid huv changed by now, but no, ah guess he is still a giant prick. If ah ken Ash, he jis let his faither dae it tae. He didnae iven bother tae fight back or run ah bet.
--Ye dinnae huv tae sais any thing Tommy. Ye ken whit happened, rites?
--He did it again, did he no? Ash deeks at the ceiling.
--Ay course, he did it again. He beat the shite oot ay me, again. Ah fuckin hate him! he shouts. Ah pit ma airm aroond his shoodir n he starts greetin. He uses his hand tae cover up his tears.
Ah mind whin we weir wee kids n he hud bruises or cuts oan him. He would say tae the other kids thit they wir only cuts fae whin he wis climbing the tree tae git the cat. Thin iviry yin jis laughed n he wis excused. But thin in high school, some punters goat nippy n made fun ay him fi it. He usually tauld them oaf, but thin iviry yince in awhile he wid swedge wi um.
Ah ken this wis gaunny happen whin he went tae London. Ah could jis sense it. Like an animal before a hurricane, ah hud a inner nous tae it aw. He shoodnae huv gaun n ah fuckin ken it. Ah fuckin did n ah did nowt. Whit the fuck kind ay mate am ah no tae warn or prevent ma best mate, but instead jis act nonchalant tae it aw n let him shake it oaf. Ah feel sae fuckin bad fi him. Ah mean jis imagine if his faither showed him love instead ay throwing beer boatils. Thin whit if, eh? Thin Ash might no be an addict, right, ah mean he widnae huv hud tae use drugs ay any sort tae numb or hide his feeling fae the world. If only, eh?

Train Traffic - Tommy
--Here’s ma plan sae far; first come tae ma hoose wi yir luggage n whit huv ye, then we go oan the train, go tae Darrel’s flat n huv as much fun as possible, ken? sais Ash.
Fi months we’ve bin discussing the new plan tae go tae Darrel’s party but now s almaist here sae we’re planning oan how we git thair. Ash’s idea seems the best fit. Darrel is ma cousin but we aw real close thegether. Burn Boy is coming along tae.
--Aye thit soonds rites but whit train err we taking? asks Burn Boy.
--Umm well, we kin take the L Train thit goes tae Lanark whair fae there we kin wait fi an hour fi the ELS Train tae arrive n thin we’ll end up by Darrel at 3 o’ clock. Soond good? Sure did n we aw decided tae dae exactly that.
We aw picked up oor glesses.
A toast tae life, yin fuckin good party eftir another! ah sais. Oor glesses chink as we hit them thegether. We pit them tae oor mooths n chug. Oor heids fling back as we finish oor pints.

The L Train arrived only five minutes late. We aw board the train n sit in back. We aw goat regular jeans oan n t-shirts. Ma shirt is plain white, Ash’s Burn Boy’s shirt is that of 1983’s Lou Reed’s Rock and Roll Animal, n Burn Boy’s is God Save the Queen fae the Sex Pistols. Ah like Ash’s better than Burn Boy’s. Ah think Lou Reed’s music wis mair ay a success than the Sex Pistols, but they still hud notable sensations.
We sit thair fi hours. This train ride wis the longer yin ay the two. S only bin 26 minutes n ah’m bored oot ay ma mind. Naeboay’s sais anything since we goat oan the train. Ah dinnae ken if ah shood break the silence or no. Ah’ve come tae find oot ah’m no a very talkative person. N ah’m okay wi thit but ah wonder how many things in ma life could ay bin significantly different if ah wisnae. Or how things would ay bin different fir Ash or Burn Boy if they nivir foond skag. Or if Julie hudnae decided tae be a prostitute tae git dosh.
Somehow me n Burn Boy hud goatin intae an argument aboot whae wis better Lou Reed or the Sex Pistols.
--No, no, no, the Sex Pistols started the punk movement in the U.K., Burn Boy states.
--Aye, well Lou Reed wrote personal, poetic songs thit hudnae bin seen in rock befir.
--Aye, but he alsae wrote aboot drugs. In ma mind, ye cannae write aboot drugs, like heroin n speed in personal weys, their fi iviry yin. Johnny Rotten’s sadomasochistic credits him fi thit style.
--Lou Reed is still better, ah sais.
--Whit ivir ye say, Burn Boy sais as he smiles. --The Sex Pistols are still better than Lou Reed any day, he mutters under his breath. Ash slaps him oan the back ay the heid.
--Hoy, whit wis thit fi? he hisses at im.
--Burn Boy, yir a foul cunt, likes? Ash sais, grinning.
--Ah hate ye aw, ken thit? Burn Boy states as he turns awey n looks oot the windo. Me n Ash jis laugh.
The train comes tae a entire stoap n we git oor luggage n board oaf. Burn Boy takes oot a cigarette n desperately lights it. Ash fearfully watches Burn Boy dae this. He cannae stand cigarettes because ay his faither.
--Burn Boy why are ye given thit nick name? ah ask. Burn Boy blows some smoke at ma face while the train departs. Burn Boy rolls his sleeve up n shows me some circle-shaped scars oan his foreairm. He points tae them wi the cigarette in his hand.
--Like um? Did im masel That’s why ah’m named that.
--Ye burn yirsel? Why? He jis looked at me n walked awey wi his cigarette. He walked by the ledge ay the place. It wis a weird station, likesay? It hud a balcony kind ay thing aroond the edges. Burn Boy sat hissel oan top ay the ledge.
Ash wis silent. He walked by the ledge tae, only like ten feet awey fae whair Burn Boy wis. Ash leaned against the ledge n folded his hands oan the rim. He looked ower the edge.
--Likesay, sais Burn Boy, whae disnae soond cheery anymair, more so hopeless. Come tae think ay it he husnae sounded cheery aw day. Perr gadge. Ah wonder whit’s wrong. --Huv ye guys ivir thoat aboot dooin it?
--Dooin whit? Asks Ash, seeming unconcerned.
--Ye ken, thinking aboot ending yir life. Burn Boy says this impassively. Ash n me deek at each other, greatly disturbed by whit he sais. Burn Boy catches a glimpse ay us, thin looks at the view ower the ledge again. --Likesay, fi me s no sae easy no tae think aboot it sometimes. He soonds sae casual in this very serious topic. Ah dinnae ken if ah shood take him seriously or no. Burn Boy throws his cigarette oan the groond.
--Burn Boy, Ash sais, looking ower the edge tae. We boath are thinking the same thing, thit Burn Boy might dae it right here n neither ay us wants thit. --Burn Boy come oaf the edge. Let’s go git something tae eat, Ash deeks ower the edge again n swallows a huge lump in his throat. He touches Burn Boy’s shoodir, hoping no tae scare im but git him oafay the edge. His hand wis shaking he wis sae nervous. Ah wis a bit uneasy tae. Burn Boy turns his heid n looks at Ash n me. He seems anxious. His hands are thegether is his lap n he keeps tapping them oan his leg. He cannae seem tae hold his heid still. The cigarette is oan the groond, burning. He looks at it. Ah think he’s imagining hissel scorching. He deeks at the view again thin he gits oafay the ledge. Ash gies him a huge hug n pats him oan the back. Ah dae the same.
--Let’s go eat. Some fish n chips, eh?, Burn Boy whispers quietly, but loud enough thit we can hear him.
N thit wis it. Neither ay us ivir heard Burn Boy mention suicide again. Ah dinnae why he wants tae dae it. Mibbe Ash kens why since his life wisnae very good n ah’m sure thit action hus bin in his heid at least once. But Burn Boy wis only 16. How kin he feel thit wey aboot life. He’s sae young.

Major Tom - Ash
--Whit is a party withoot drugs, eh? Darrel asks.
--No a very good n member able yin! ah reply. Tommy is sittin thair in the corner, aw biscut-ersed. Ah shood go talk tae him. But whit shood ah say? Ah ken, the promise we hud made before ah left fir London. Ah wonder whae he foond or iven if he did find. Ah go sit oan the couch next tae him.
--Hoy, ye punter this is a party! Whir’s yir excitement?
--S here.
--Hey, did ye ivir find some burd like ye promised ye wid, minds thit?
--Yes, ah mind it n ah did find a lassie.
--And…ah sais leaving space fi him tae continue.
--Well, she n me are dating n ah ken ye wanted me tae have sex but ah couldnae dae thit tae her. She wis tae, likesay…
--No drunk, eh? Well, at least ye foond some yin. Ah’m gled if ye are.
--Aye, hold oan. Ah git up n git two glesses ay alcohol fi the two ay us. Ah gie him yin n me the other. --A cheer tae her, whae ivir she is. May ye boath be perfect fi each other n eternity. We hit oor glesses thegether n other people at the party clap. Ah dinnae iven ken they heard me. Darrel comes walkin ower.
--Hey punters, huvin a good time?
--Nae whair’s the acid?
--Eh hold oan. S almaist ready. A young lassie comes oot ay the kitchen n says s aw set. Ah run intae the kitchen but notice Tommy isnae following me sae ah grab his airm n pulls him intae the kitchen wi me. Ah take yin capsule fi me n yin fir Tommy. We go back tae the couch. Ah pit mine in ma mooth n tip ma gless back. It goes doon. Tommy is still looking at his in silence.
--Swallow it, Tommy, ah tell im. He pits it in his mooth n chugs his drink doon. --Feeling better now, eh? Tommy smiles. --Now wait a half hoor n ye’ll feel great, likesay?
--Half an hoor a long time.
--Aye but s worth it, s worth it aw, trust me.

Ah hear music box being turned oan. David Bowie’s Major Tom is turned oan. Perfect song tae here whin yir aboot tae hallucinate, eh? Awwww, this drug is powerful. Ah feel it working. Ah really do. Ah kin help but smile ah feel sae good. Ah iven laugh. Ground Control!!! Ah laugh sae hard.

Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you

Check ma thoats. Their under control. The room is spinning while ah’m oan the groond. S insanely great. Ah feel sae good, awwww aye ah dae. Ah really dae. The pleasure ay certain drugs is speechlessly unfirgitable.

Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Lift-off

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare

“This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

Lift oaf! The ceiling deeks like s falling oan me lightly. Ah jis laugh loudly at the marvelous masquerade.

For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much (she knows!)
Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear....

Major Tom whair huv ye gaun?! Ah’m feeling sae very fucking good n ah’m lightly being taken tae heaven. Major Tom!

“ am I floating round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do.?

Yes, yes ah am floating aroond a can n ah feel sae very good. Far beyond Earth’s control n ma ain’s n thit’s jis splendid. It really is. Ivirything is whin yir oan a drug. Euphoria’s false show. Reality’s brutal truth.
Whin oan LSD, the effects dinnae go awey fi almaist 12 hours eftir initial consumption. N thank God fi thit, ah needed a trip awey fae reality fi awhile. Ah think Tommy did tae. Julie could ay used yin tae, but she went tae her ma’s fir the long weekend. Burn Boy took some acid tae, but ah cannae mind whair he wis whin ah took mine. Ah think he wis necking some broad in the back ay the room. He’s eywis necking broads. They huv this natural attraction tae him n they seem tae believe his lies. He tells um he’s 24 n an accountant. Eight yonks older than his real age n they still cowpin him. Spawny cunt.

Waking Up - Ash
We aw woke up the next morning in the same room. We hud passed oot. Ah woke up first, thin Tommy did. Burn Boy did eftir ah yelled at him tae. Under the blanket, which covered only his waist n doon, he hud nae clothes oan. Ah couldnae laugh whin ah saw this.
It turned oot the burds, whae Burn Boy hud necked, wis a thief n stole his wallet n clothes. Ah think she took his clothes fi a laugh.
--Burn Boy did ye ride her? ah sais still chuckling. Burn Boy thin realizes whair he is n whit hud happened. Ah laugh iven harder.
--Ah did, ah thinks, ah mean ah mind dooin it but ah no sure. He sits up n looks aroond fi his clothes. --Thit cunt! She took aw ma clothes! Ah laugh sae hard aw faw ower oan the groond, almaist dying ay laughter. Tommy is dooin the same thing. --Shut up, ye slags! This isnae funny! He slaps Tommy oan the heid.
--Ohhh, look at ye. “This isnae funny” ay course it is, but Burn Boy mind thit this isnae funny fi only ye, ah sais, still smiling at this hilarious event. Burn Boy scowls at me. --Burn Boy ye kin borrow some ay ma clothes until we find thit cunts whiraboots, likes?
--Thank ye, sais Burn Boy in a pretentious tone.
We leave Darrel’s thit night. Burn Boy hus tae bum some ay oor clothes, due tae the disappearance ay his. We git tae oor hame town aroond 12:30 at night. It wis agreed among us thit we hud good timing.

Faucets n Scorin - Ash
The faucet is a ball faucet. The water willnae come oot ay the tap. This flat hus the maist shitein landlord ivir tae be sae ah willnae iven bother tae ask im. This is an easy problem. Ah dinnae think DIY kin help me oan this yin, though.
The faucet isnae turning oan. Ah turn oaf the main water source n undae the tiny screws tae remove the handle. Ah use a bread knife tae adjust the ring inside the cap. Ah take oaf the ring n cap n ah see aw the inner parts ay the faucet. Ah take oot aw the springs n seals n pit them in a bowl tae assure ah dinnae lose them. Thair’s sae much lime scale n dirt. Ah scoop it aw up wi ma hand. S disgusting. Ah need new seals, O-rings, springs, n the ball ay the faucet. They aw look like shite. They’re no shiny enough thit ah kin see ma face in them, more sae filthy n grimy tae the touch. Ah almaist throw up tryin tae git rid ay them. Ah huv enough restrain tae stoap masel but still, s deeply ghastly n nauseatingly undesirable.
S pure shite huvin tae fix yir faucet, ye nivir ken whit yir dooin is right or if it will jis fuck it up mair. Ah dinnae huv enough poppy tae hire a plumber tae fix sae thit leaves only us.
Builder’s Square is 3 blocks awey. Ah take some substitute shite sae ah kin git through the day withoot huvin tae shoot up. S shite though. S really is. Ah walk intae the store n go straight tae the kitchen center fi the new parts ah need. Ah pick oot the cheapest brands ah kin find. The new seals, new O-rings, new springs, n new ball fi the faucet. Ah deek aroond. Nae yin is aroond. The aisle tae ma right hus only mair appliances n the yin oan ma left is another section. Thair’s Papa Skag! He’s in the other section, shoaping. Silly cunt, disnae iven see us yet. Ah walk ower tae him. The mirrors oan the aisle, ready tae be sold, show ma legs n waist moving as ah walk. Some ay the mirrors show ma legs closer than others n some ay them show ma legs bigger n farther awey than they really are.
--Papa, ah hesitate tae say his nick name because some yin might here us n ah dinnae want. Ah dinnae want thit at aw. --Whit ye dooin here?
--Ummm, well ah need some good cleaners fi ma baithroom, likesay?
--Aye, git this yin, ah point tae a great brand thit ah huv used. He smiles.
--Thanks Ash, Ah’ll git it.
--Hey, ah whisper. --Dae ye huv any skag oan ye? ah ask carefully making sure nae yin’s aroond tae hear us.
--Aye ah dae, but no wi me. Huv tae come by ma place. Ye kin come ower tonight n shoot up if ye like?
--No thanks, ah wis jis wondering. Ah huv tae nash, bye.
--Bye Ash, he sais.
Ah dinnae really want a hit, more sae assurance ah could huv yin. Ah couldnae huv shooting up in Builder’s Square but mibbe in the baithroom ay some pub close by. Ah huv seen other junkies dae thit. Ah consider shooting up anywhair but ma hoose jis tae desperate n weak tae be something ah’d dae.
Ah pay the cashier whit ah owe him fi the parts n go. Ah walk the 3 blocks, still in work, the substitutes allow me no tae huv pain fae withdrawal, but ah still feel the need, the same need ah eywis huv, the need tae huv some vigorous n authentic heroin tae ease ma craving. Ah hope Julie hus some dosh fae last night’s client leftower.
Ah fix the faucet in the only wey ah ken how tae. It works. Water comes oot ay the tap n ah drink some ay it. Thit’s the first thing ah wanted this morning, a drink ay cauld water, but nae the faucet jis hud tae break. Piece ay shite, honestly. Thank God fi Builder’s Square though. Withoot them ah’d be wasting poppy oan some plumber vacating his arsehole like some wanker n telling me whit tae dae n no whit tae dae wi ma plumbing. Doss cunts, plumbers are. They make me sore.
Ah see no sign ay Julie, sae ah decide tae take somemair substitute shite tae reduce ma oncoming withdrawal symptoms before they git worse. It is the form ay pills, which makes it mair difficult tae tell how much ah shood take, sae ah jis swallow yin pill. Ah tilt ma heid back tae help the pill go doon.
Ah dinnae think Julie is intae heroin as she yince wis. Ah think she wants tae quit n go back tae school. Ah dinnae ken if ah wid like thit because thin whair wid ah git ma dosh fae. Ah need dosh fi heroin purchasement.
She opens the door n there ah am laying in the same place ah eywis am, the groond, heid against the waw, boady looking limp n in need ay a defibrillator tae shock some life intae us. She sets her purse doon oan the space next tae the door. She shuts the door, s loud n whin ye feel like me right now, loud noises kin be excruciating. Ah deek at her. Her clothes are hookerish, come tae think ay it. A short top, small jean skirt, black heels, n iven her brown hair is hookerish being aw riled up. She is supposed tae deek like thit fi her joab. She glances at me. Lying thair, ah must come oaf deplorable tae her. Ah am sort ay though.
--Ah done wi heroin, Ash. Ah want tae go back tae school, likesay? Ye huv tae understand, ah cannae be a call gurl the rest ay ma life. Ah need an education, ken?
Ah slide ma heid doon the waw, almaist sae it touches the groond, n close ma eyes. Ah dinnae want tae hear whit she jis sais. Go back tae school, she sais, n whit dis she want tae be. Eftir being an heroin addict, ye cannae dae much else wi yir life because ivirything jis sort ay back fires oan ye, n life withoot heroin tae numb ye isnae as beautiful, more sae repulsive in iviry aspect. Thit’s why ah dinnae ivir want tae be clean. Whin yir oan heroin, yir sort ay blind n almaist impervious tae society’s promises ay a better life.
--Julie why are ye dooin this aw ay the sudden? Whair am ah gaunnae git ma dosh fae?
--Ah’m sorry but ah think s something ah shood dae. Ah heard Burn Boy hus a joab, ask him whir he goat it? Aye, mibbe he kin git ye yin tae?
--Kin ye jis score us yin last hit, thin Ah’ll find him n ask him, but kin ye jis dae thit fi me?
--Awright yin last yin, but thin ye huv tae ask him, rites?
--Aye rites, ah sais. Ah lift ma heid up tae see her hauld oot some poppy fir us sae ah grab it. Ah’m gled she’ll let me huv yin last hit, but next time ah’ll huv tae git a joab fi dosh. S no gaunny be easy.
Ah go tae Hawk’s this time. He’s gled tae see me. Yince again we’re curt sae ah git back tae ma flat in a fairly short time. Easy access, ah’m telling ye, s the best. Ah take the needle oot ay the black purse he gie me n stare at it fi a couple ay seconds. Ah wrap ma belt aroond ma bicep, tightly. Ah slap the bend ay the elbow, until s red. The vein is now sticking up. Ah poke the needle intae it n it hurts fi a second until ah feel the blood rush tae ma heid n the euphoric wave along wi it. Ah groan in pleasure. It feels sae fuckin good. Aww, aye very fuckin good. Ah breathe heavily n proudly. Ah faw oantae the mattress n drift intae a unconscious state ay endless bliss.

The Yin - Ash
--Hey Tommy, whit dae ye like better, huvin sex or huvin a gurl suck yir knob or huvin um gie ye a hand joab?
--Oh Ash, ah cannae answer thit.
--N why no? ah inquire.
--S fucking personal? Tommy hisses at me.
--It wis jis a question, ah mutter trying tae seem innocent sae mibbe he’ll feel bad n tell us his opinion anyweys.
--If s jis a question thin why dinnae ye tell me yir opinion oan the subject? Tommy sly expression tells me he disnae think I huv an answer, but ah dae.
--Well whin a broad gies ye a hand joab, it is jis perrly amusing than sexual. Tommy looks confused. --Ah mean, likes, any man kin wank oaf by hissel but whin a gurl dis it tae a man, ah think gadges only let um dae it because they want tae see it happen, more sae thin fi pleasure, ken?
--Okay, n whit aboot the other two?
--Well whin she sucks yir knob, ah think s more sae playfulness than being sexual enjoyment, likes?
--Ash elaborate.
--Ok, whin a burd sucks yir knob, she is jis warming ye up fi sex n sex is wey more aboot success, likesay bliss, fulfillment, ken? Tommy nods wi an expression saying he wants tae laugh n ah dinnae blame im. --N same goes fi whin us gadges play wi a gurl’s lovely area?
--Okay Ash, whit aboot Julie, eh? Is she how ye foond oot aboot yir logic oan sexual activities?
--Julie’s completely different subject?
--Whit dae ye mean by thit? Tommy asks.
--Ah love Julie n whit ah wis jis talkin aboot, hand joabs, sucking knobs, n sex, well nowt ay those include love. Those things are either fi whin ye first realize ye love a gurl or whin ye first meet a gurl whae ye kens we’ll only be a fling tae ye.
--Ah thoat Julie wis yir fling?
--Oh no, Tommy. Nivir wis she ma fling. Ah love her, likes? She the well, the…Tommy smiles at me.
--Whit are ye trying tae say Ash? Thit ye love her. He laughs n takes a sip ay his drink. Ah gie him a face ay reassurance thit ah’m no joking now. He looks at me seriously. --Ash yir no saying thit ye love her, like, ah mean really love, love her, are ye? Ah think fir a second ay whit tae say in response tae him.
--Ah love her n Tommy, ah think she’s the…likesay…the, uh the…well the yin, likesay?
--No, ye cannae be serious, eh?
--Nae, ah think ah am serious. Ah huv nivir felt sae invested n mesmerized by any yin like ah huv by her. Tommy, ah love her, ah really do. She’s the yin, ah’m telling ye.
--Ah’m gled fi ye, ah really am. How are ye gaunnae purpose tae her.
--Ah dinnae ken, ah dinnae ken. Goat any ideas?
--Nae, ye huv tae come up wi it, sorry. He wis right, ah dae huv tae come up wi how tae do it or it willnae be as sincere. How dae ye purpose tae the woman ye plan tae spend the rest ay yir life wi, n still seem romantic. Ah owe it tae her tae be charming, fir aw she’s done fi us. --How ye gaunnae pay fi the ring, Ash?
--Well…uh, ah think Burn Boy hus a joab, ken sae ah think if ah ask him tae help me git the same joab as him, mibbe thin ah kin scrape oaf enough poppy, likes?
--Burn Boy hus a joab, how’d he dae thit?
--Dinnae ken. Ah huv tae nash mate.
--Bye Ash. Ah leave the pub n make ma wey ower tae Papa Skag’s. Burn Boy’s bound tae be thair.
Ah open the door tae Papa Skag’s n look aroond. Burn Boy walks intae the room, looking very careless as tae the fact thit ah showed up.
--Whit, whit dae ye want? he asks being very rude.
--Whit’s wrong wi ye?
--Papa Skag hud this heroin deal, likes n well ah wis gaunnae git some ay it n ah think ye wir tae, but thin something went wrong n now s missing.
--Oh no, whae dae ye think did it? ah ask shocked.
--Umm, me n Papa Skag think it wis an addict whae goat greedy. Mibbe Shorts or Grill. Personally, ah think it wis Shorts, sais Burn Boy, whae is really upset, ah kin tell. Those gadges wir boath addicts ah hud met before. Ah dinnae much like Grill. He wis very condescending n Shorts wis, well, Shorts wis stupid. Ah really cannae decide which yin ah think it wis because they’ re boath idiotic enough tae think they could git awey wi it.
--Let’s go pay um a visit, eh?
--Aye, he lifts his heid up n smiles. --Aye let’s go git iven.

Gitting Iven - Ash
Tracking Shorts n Grill doon wisnae sae easy as ye think. We hud tae pay some auld punter a ten-spot jis tae find thair whiraboots. Turns oot they boath live in the same flat. Ah saw Tommy aboot tae leave the pub we wir jis at, sae ah invited him tae come. He agreed tae. Ah huvnae bin involved in a brawl in quite some time. The last brawl ah kin mind wis whin ah wis in 8th grade. Danny Nolin made fun ay the wey ah looked n ah beat the shite oot ay him. He couldnae iven fight back ah wis dooin sae good.
Ah huv thit excitement some people git before thair aboot tae fight. Ah feel powerful. S feels good tae feel like this. We huv reached thair flat n are now standing in front ay the door.
--Ready, Ash.
--Ready as ah kin be, ye?
--Ah’m ready.
--This is gaunnae feel very buckin good, eh?
--Aye, very good. Ye want tae kick the door doon or shall ah dae it.
--Ye kin dae it but hauld oan, ah knock oan the door n thin ah back awey tae gie Burn Boy some space. --Go ahead, ah grin widely. Revenge is delightful, whin appropriate. Burn Boy takes two steps back n thin wi a forceful kick he knocks the door doon. Ah laugh. We aw go in. Thair’s Grill oan the groond hurled up. He cannae iven believe whit jis happen. Shorts runs intae the room, wi an appauled expression is oan his face. Me n Burn Boy jis deek at each other, thin we each go eftir yin. Burn Boy pulls Grill oafay the groond by grabbing the collar ay his shirt n yanking him up. Thin he punches him in the face repeatedly, while blood poors oot ay his nose. Perr slag. Ah go eftir Shorts. Whit kin ah say, ah hate the cunt. Ah punch Shorts right in the jaw, which knocks him against the waw. He tries tae git up but ah jis kick him constantly in the back n stomach. If ye dinnae believe oan how much this really dis hurt, thin obviously ye’ve nivir bin in a great brawl, but ah oan the other hand huv n kens how painful it is. Tommy jis stand sin the corner ay the room trying tae be honest looking.
Ah grab Shorts’ hair n jerk it back. Ah let him fall tae the groond. Ah pit ma shoe oan his chest as he squirms oan the floor. Ah press ma foot doon n thin watch his expression change. Ah stoap n pit ma face closer tae his.
--Whir’s the skag at? ah ask.
--Uhh…uh, ummm well we dinnae, we dinnae…huv it. His eyes look sorrowful. Ah look at Burn Boy n Grill, whae Burn Boy hus in a heid lock. Grill’s face in wincing n trying tae git free.
--Burn Boy, he looks up tae see whit ah’m aboot tae say. --They say they dinnae huv it.
--Thit’s nae true n ye cunts ken it. Now whair is it?! Grill’s worried expression tells me he’s aboot tae say wir it is. He opens his mooth n closes his eyes. He disnae want tae say it but he hus tae.
--S in the kitchen, the bottom left corner cabinet. S thair, trust us. Burn Boy pushes him tae the groond n ah pit ma foot back oan Shorts’ chest.
--Tommy, ah shout. --Go see if he’s telling the truth. Tommy walks intae the kitchen. Ah cannae see him. --Is it thair? Tommy?
--Aye, s here. Tommy comes oot ay the kitchen wi a suitcase.
--Burn Boy, ah sais. --Are we good? Burn Boy walks ower tae Tommy n takes the suitcase. He sits doon oan a chair n opens it. He smiles n deeks up at me.
--Aye, aye wir good. Wir fucking good. Aw fuckin set, mate. Grill is lying thair oan the groond half grinning n half wincing. Ah take ma foot oafay Shorts’ chest n smirk at him. He jis stares at me.
--Awright boys, ah yells. --Aboot time we goat oot ay here, eh? Thanks fi yir cooperation, s much appreciated. Let’s dae it again some time, eh? Burn Boy laughs. Ah leer tae. Burn Boy gits up fae his seat n walks tae the door. Ah motion Tommy tae come along n thin we aw leave. Ah shut the door behind me as ah wave goodbye tae um. Shorts wis bleeding oan his cheek n Grill wis bleeding fae his nose. Ah think they goat whit they asked fi. Turned oot Burn Boy wis right, saying thit is wis Grill n Shorts thit took ay the heroin.
We aw decide tae go tae this new pub thit jis opened last week tae celebrate oor triumph. Ah order a Lager, Burn Boy a Guinness n Tommy a lemonade wi gin. We make a toast tae those lads greeting oan the groond, no ma idea, s Burn Boy’s. But ah make no protest tae his toast because it fit’s the occasion, sort ay.
--Burn Boy ah firgoat tae ask ye, kin ye git me a joab working at the same place ye are?
--Sure, anything fi a mate. But let us ask ye yin thing, dae ye iven ken whit ah dae?
--No, whit is it ye dae?
--Waiter at a banquet uptown, likesay, s no a very fun joab, waiting oan rich cunts aw day long, no fun.
--Ah’m no looking fi fun, Burn Boy. Ah’m looking fi good pay, clean dosh. They goat thit?
--Aye they goat thit.
--Sae ye’ll git me the joab? ah ask jis tae reassure masel.
--Ah sais ah wid the first time didnae ah?
--Ah wis jis making sure, ah sais. This is great. Ah’ll git a joab n be ready fi dosh fir skag. S aw good, no s aw great, aw very fuckin barry.

First Day Oan The New Joab - Ash
--You have to place new spoons, knives and forks. Also anything that our guests will need when they’re here like plates or napkins All that you need is in there, he points to a room next to the chef’s kitchen. --Is that clear?
--Aye, crystal. Ah smile. He jis rolls his eyes at me n walks awey. Thit gadge is ma boss, Rollins. He’s pathetic. Burn Boy sais ah hate him eftir the first day n ah think he’s right. Rollins hus already made aw ay his judgments oan me like thit ah’m a stupid daftpak looking fi dosh n thit ah’m no a very hard worker but he is sort ay right aboot the hard working part. Ah dinnae feel like ah shoold gie tae much ay an effort while working here but ah will gie a little effort jis tae escape fae being tossed oot the door. Ah think ah kin handle thit though.
A couple comes n sits doon at this table n a family comes n sits doon at another yin. The place it starting tae fill up. The host hus repeatedly lectured me n Burn Boy oan how tae behave in a proper manner n how tae properly assist his guests. Ah wis trying tae watch Burn Boy’s face tae see if he wid signal tae me “let’s fuck wi them” but he didnae dae it.
--Ah cannae stand rich cunts at aw, ah whisper in Burn Boy’s ear. He nods in agreement.
--Yir gaunnae huv tae if ye want the dosh fi junk, he mutters back.
--Ah ken but ah wis jis saying, ah tells him. Ah huv tae pit forks, knives, spoons, napkins, a table cloth, a glass fir each guest n a pleasant attitude oan each table. Ah hate this joab already. Burn Boy wis right, s no fun. But thin again, ah didnae expect it tae be fun only good poppy.
--I would like the ___fancy food__ with the __fancy wine__, sais some snobby wife ay the husband at the table. Ah write the order doon.
--And fir ye sir, whit wid ye like? ah ask the auld man at the table. He hears ma accent n looks disgusted by whair ah must come fae.
--Yes, I would like the __fancy food___ and the same wine as my wife just ordered. Ah write it doon oan ma wee little notepad.
--Awright, ah’ll bring yir wine n thin whin the food’s ready, ah’ll gie ye thit. Ah take thir menus n walk awey. Ah walk by Burn Boy. He grabs ma airm n smiles ingeniously.
--Goat tae huv a high tolerance fi cunts, likes?
--Ah ken. Ye dinnae huv tae tell us. Ah kin figure it oot fi masel, ken?
--If ye say sae, he goes back tae separating the forks in spoons in a bucket. Ah walk tae the chef’s kitchen n gie him the orders. Ah dinnae iven say hi tae him he’s sae busy.
--Here you go, Rollins hands me the dosh.
--Thanks, he rolls his eyes n walks awey. Time tae score some skag, ah tell masel. Ah dinnae mind whin ah hud my last hit ay pure heroin. Ah huv bin busy n jis taking some ay the shitein substitute. S works but no as good.

The New Year Welcomed - Tommy
Julie quit skag some weeks ago n she hus stopped being a prostitute. She goat a joab at a small diner. Things are gaunny barry fi her n me. Ah no dooin sae good. The new year is approaching n ma gurl jis dumped me.
Ash is dooin good, ah think. Ah’m gaunny see him at this new club tonight. Me n him are gaunnae party until the new year arrives. Here he comes now.
--Hey Tommy! How are things?
--Awright, ah guess.
--Still mourning ower thit cunt, are ye?
--Sort ay, ah sais. Ah still miss ma broad, the yin ah met whin Ash wis in London fi his ma’s funeral. She dumped me. She sais things hud gotten tae complicated n we are better oaf separated.
--A Lager please, Ash sais tae the bartender. --Tommy ye huv tae ken thit some broads are no good broads n ye jis huv tae keep searching, likes? This disnae mean anything, ken? Gurls are still gaunny like ye, jis no her, eh?
--Aye, but jis ah thoat she wis gaunnae be mine but thin she tossed me, likes?
--Ah went through plenty ay broads before ah met Julie. It takes time Tommy, thit’s aw. Jis wait, ye’ll git yin soon enough, jis ye see. Hoy, umm whit did ye think ay whin we beat the shite oot ay Shorts n Grill, huh? Whit did ye think aboot thit?
--Ah dinnae ken, mate. Ah jis nivir saw ye sae mad.
--Ah dinnae think ah huv ivir bin sae mad, mibbe whin ah foat Danny Nolin. But no recently, likes? Ah laugh.
--Ah mind thit. He wis a doss cunt tae say those things aboot yir faither.
--Aye he wis a cuntchy. Ten mair minutes, he tells me.
Aye, ten mair minutes until the 1988 hits us. Ah hope this year will be better thin this yin. Ah really hope it will be.
People in the club are shouting each second at the top ay thir lungs.
Ah yell thit yin.
Ah want the brand new year tae be the best year ay ma life.
Please be a barry future year, ah tell masel.

--Happy New Year Tommy! shouts Ash.
--Ye tae, mate.
--Its ‘88 mate! It really is! he shouts. We hug n chug oor drinks. We leave the place n go hame wi smiles oan boath ay oor faces. This is a new year, we cannae help but be happy. Ah still feel bad aboot ma last relationship but ah huv hope fi the new year n thit comforts me a lot.

No Mair Nights Ay Bliss- Tommy
Ah am sae happy thit ah walk doon the street wi such a huge smile thit people stare funny at me but ah dinnae cair. Ah’m gaunny tae Ash’s place jis tae say hello n see if he wants tae hang oot oan his day oaf. Mibbe go tae a pub or go see how Darrel’s dooin, ah dinnae ken, jis anything wid be barry. Ah’m barry. Ash wis right, no aw burds are bad n thit ah jis huv tae search. Ah’m in the mood tae go searching now. The new year hus tae huv bright n beautiful good burds aroond. S goat tae huv um.
Ah knock oan Ash’s door but s already open sae ah lightly push it fully open. Ah peek ma heid in.
--Hello? ah ask. --Any yin hame? Ah go in n see no Ash n no Julie. Ah go intae the kitchen. No one. The family room. No one. The baithroom. No one. Ah start tae panic. Whir kin they be? Thir room, mibbe. Ah go tae thir room n thair’s Ash sitting oan the groond, Indian style. He’s greeting n he’s goat a piece ay paper in his hands. He’s staring at it.
--Hey Ash, umm whit’s wrong? Whir’s Julie? Ah look aroond. She’s no here.
--She’s gaun, Tommy. She’s gaun ah tell ye.
--Whir she gaun?
--Ah dinnae ken but she left this note. It says she goat it, he sais.
--Goat whit?
--Oh no! Ahs whir’s she gaun, ah sympathizes fi him. HIV is a bad thing tae git, very bad.
--She’s gaun, Tommy. Gaun. Whit dae ah dae? Ah dinnae ken ay anything tae say. Ah mean whit dae ye say whin something like this happens. Ah decide tae say the only thing ah kin jis sae ah ken thit ah did sais something.
--Ye huv tae understand, Ash, she did this no because ay ye but because she thoat it wis right fi yir relationship tae end like this. Likesay, dinnae ye think s better tae huv it end whair ye hate her thin huv things end oan a much worse note. He lifts his heid up n glances at me intensely. He’s greetin. His eyes are red n full ay tears thit he is trying tae hauld back. He crumbles up the note n throws it across the room.
--Ah need a hit. Ah really do. He sniffles his nose n rubs it. --Let’s go. He grabs his jaykit n we leave his flat.

Yin Last Hit - Tommy
He sais he needed a hit n ah dinnae blame him. He really looks like he could use yin. Fi awhile he hus bin taking the substitute fi heroin stuff n husnae hud the time tae git a hit n now thit this happened, ah ken he needs a hit. Ah dinnae say anything while wir walking tae Papa Skag’s flat. Whit kin ah say. Nowt ah kin say or dae kin really help. S something he hus tae git ower by hissel.
--Papa, s us, Ash n Tommy. Open up, Ash knocks louder n louder until Papa Skag opens the door. He looks a wee bit dazed tae whit’s happening. Ah think he jis goat up fae sleeping. Perr gadge.
--Didnae ye hear. Ah’m done.
--Whit dae ye mean, done?
--The DS goat tae me n took awey aw ma drugs n now ah goat nowt tae sell sae ah’m done fir. Go awey.
--Go awey, c’mon, ye goat tae huv something in thir.
--Ah goat nowt ye hear! Nowt! His face is red n he disnae feel like repeating hissel, ah kin tell.
--C’mon Tommy, let’s go some whir else. Ash’s face is livid tae. Ah think he needs a hit mair thin any yin in Glasgow. He storms oot ay the building n ah quickly follow.
--Whae we gaunnae tae now?
--Burn Boy’s, he sais seeming irritated.
--But whit aboot Hawk. He’s bound tae huv some.
--Nae, no Hawk.
--Whit, DS goat tae him tae?
--Nae, HIV. Ah dinnae want tae buy his skag if he’s goat HIV. It could be poisoned, he sais, walking iven faster tae Burn Boy’s flat now. Oh no, ah think. Julie goat it n now Hawk’s goat it. Ah hope Ash disnae huv it. Ah dinnae ken whit ah wid dae withoot him. Ah hope thir’s a cure oot thair. Thin no yin wid huv tae worry aboot it as much n thin we wid aw be epidemic free.
Burn Boy’s flat, eh? Ah dinnae iven ken he hud another place thin living at Papa Skag’s. Ah thoat he wis only 16 or mibbe 17 now. Ash walks up tae some yin’s flat n bangs oan the door. A woman opens it. Must be Burn Boy’s ma.
--Yes, whit dae ye want?
--Ummm, is Burn Boy, ah mean Maxwell, is he here? The woman pouts her lips thin walks inside the flat. We kin hear her yelling but ah cannae really understand her. Burn Boy opens the door.
--Whit dae ye want?
--Ummm, dae ye huv any skag oan ye. Papa is oot n well ye heard aboot Hawk, whispers Ash.
--Aye ah did hear aboot Hawk. Ash ah’m clean.
--Whit? Burn Boy sais nowt n jis watches Ash. --Whit dae ye mean yir clean?
--Ah hud tae choose between a joab n the rest ay ma life or heroin n well ah choose no tae choose heroin. Ye shood dae it, Ash. Life isnae aw heroin. Thir’s better things oot thair.
--Like whit, Burn Boy? Ash soonds vexed. He punches the waw in the hallwey oot ay frustration.
--Well, Ash whit aboot Julie, eh? Git oaf thit heroin n mibbe marriage or likesay wee little bairns yin day?
--Dae ye ken ay any other gadges thit ah kin buy fae. Ah need a hit.
--Well ah used tae hang wi this yin punter oan 14th street. The flat number is 3234. Ye kin try thir.
--Good bye Burn Boy. Let’s go Tommy. He walks awey. We leave Burn Boy’s building n heid fi 14th street. Ah catch up tae Ash.
--Burn Boy’s right, likesay? Thir are other things thin skag, ken? He jis keeps walking faster awey. Ah run up closer tae him. --Mibbe Julie wis wrong tae leave ye but like ye sais thir are other burds n ye jis goat tae look fi um. Ah wis thinking the other day thit--he pushes me against a building waw.
--Tommy ah nivir liked other gurls. Ah loved Julie. Ah still dae. She threw whit we hud awey. How are ye supposed tae jis bounce back fae thit, eh? Ye think ah want other gurls. No! Ah dinnae! Ah want Julie back, rites?
--Uh…r-r-right, ah stumble tae agree.
--Aye sae ah dinnae want tae hear anything else. Ah jis want a hit n thin go hame n sleep, likes? He’s aboot tae greet only he wipes his eyes n walks awey. Ah cannae believe he jis did thit. Ah kin sympathize though. Ah ken he needs a hit but he didnae huv tae push us. Ah wid ay listened anywey. Ah think he jis angry at the whole day, no necessarily me. Ah run up behind him.
We git tae the gadge’s flat n tap oan his door. Some young gadge opens wi a broad hugging him. She must be his gurl or lover, n either wey they hud jis hud sex because she is in a large t-shirt n he jis hus his keks oan. Her hair is messed up tae. He looks a bit confused n ah wouldnae blame him. He disnae ken us.
--Whae the fuck are ye?
--Wir Burn Boy’s mates.
--Oh n whit dae ye want? Ash leans forward tae be able tae speak softly.
--We, ah mean ah need a hit n iviry yin ah usually go tae is well, unavailable. Sae kin ye help a mate ay a mate oot?
--Tell any yin ah’v goat it n yir deid. Hauld oan. He leaves fi a second thin comes back. --Wait ah firgoat tae ask, whit’s yir dosage?
--Ummm, well s _number_ but kin ah huv a little mair this time?
--Ah jis need a little mair.
--Rites, ah hear ye. He goes inside his place n thin comes back wi a black bag tae which ah assume hus heroin in it. Ash opens it n smiles as tae whit he sees. --Ye gaunny pay fi thit?
--Aye, ah firgoat. Ash takes some folded up dosh oot ay his joaykit n hands it tae him. --Thanks aloat mate.
--No bother. His gurl smiles n shuts the door. We start tae leave n thin we hear playful shouting, like she must be huvin a great time. Ash jis laughs. Ah chuckle tae.
At Ash’s flat he fills the syringe wi heroin. He pits it in a bowl as he takes oaf his belt. He wraps it aroond his bicep. Ah kin see some faded scars fae collapsed veins. He smacks his bend ay the elbow until s red n popping oot. He takes the needle n injects it intae his red n popping vein. He faws back oantae the bed n passes oot. Ah jis relax ma heid n try tae sleep tae. Ah look at him. He looks peaceful n at rest. Ah wish his life wis better fi him. Things shood ay bin better fi him. He goat shat oan his whole life n whin ye huv thit done tae ye, ye tend tae think s yir fault but no, s no. It wis nivir Ash’s fault, jis nivir. Things jis tend tae go horrible fi iviry yin at some point but things steyed constant fi Ash.
--Ash! ah yell tae him, but he disnae iven look up. Ash! Ah want tae say something. Ash?! Ah go ower tae him. Ah nudge him wi ma foot. He is limp. Oh no! Ah think he o.d.ed. --Ash! ah yell again. He disnae dae anything. Ah go ower tae his phone n call 911. He cannae die oan me.

Narcan - Ash
This hit is barry, jis sae fuckin barry. S taking aw ma thoats n pains awey. But, it disnae feel like a normal hit. Ah huv nivir felt sae lifeless oan skag like ah am feeling now. Ah dinnae ken why. Oh no! this cannae be a overdose. Yes it is. Oh no!
Ah kin feel masel moving, but ah’m no dooin it. Some yin else is. Ah hear little murmuring. Ah cannae tell whae it is. Ma eyes willnae open. Ah feel a little pain in ma airm. Ah take a huge breath. Ma heart cannae stoap beating sae fast. Ah almaist choke oan ma breaths because ah’m breathing sae fast. Ah look aroond. Ah’m in a hoespital. Ah am still breathing tae fast tae keep up wi it. Narcan. It wis given tae me tae reverse the overdose.

The Second Hand - Ash
Ah wake up. Ah cannae tell whair ah am fir a second, thin ah realize ah’m in Tommy’s room. Ah dinnae ken why though. Ah feel a creeping ay a unpleasant ache in ma stomach. Ah wince fi a second n thin ah feel it git worse. Ah feel like some yin is stabbing us in the belly. It hurts sae much. Ma legs kick involuntarily. Ah pit ma hands oan ma stomach n grab the skin. Ah wish ah could rip ma stomach oaf n ease the pain. Ah moan in agony. Ma heid hurts now tae. Ah’m sae irritable right now thit the clock oan the waw moves its little second hand, ah grimace at the soond. S sae loud. It tortures ma heidache n exasperates it. Ah feel ma bones decline in a hotchin sharp pain n ma muscles oan the stove being burned. They shrill their swan song. Like nails oan a chalkboard, the clock brutalize me. The second hand taunts ma ears. The soond echoes in ma heid, like a metal pole grinding n grinding. Ah scream. S sae agonizing.
--Tommy! ah shout fi him tae come. Ah dinnae hear anything. Ah bellow his name again n again. Ah hear footsteps by the door.
The clock’s second is sae cruel. The click ay it moving vibrates in ma heid gieing the heidache fire tae scald ma thoats. Ah cannae stand it. Ah squeal in terror again.
--Ash, ye huv tae come doon! S Tommy fae ootside ay the door.
--Tommy! Ah’m sae gled tae hear ye. Mate ah need a hit badly. Kin we go-
--No! Ash yir coming oaf it now n fi good ye hear! Ah hear the footsteps gaunnae awey.
--Tommy dinnae leave us! Tommy! Thir’s no response. --Doss Cunt! ah shout tae him. Thair’s no answer. He’s left. Ah pit the covers ower ma heid n wish this pain wis gaun.
The clock’s second hand mocks ma demise. Ah whimper in ma anguish. Ma legs kick, ma muscles dying, ma bones being grated like cheese oan a grater, ma heid aching n ma ears unable tae accept the gentlest soonds. Ah need a hit, ah really do. Jis yin hit tae ease aw this.
Ah cough. Ah feel like ah’m aboot tae release ma guts oot ay me. Ah go tae the side ay the bed n roll masel oaf it. Ah try tae crawl tae the door, but oan ma wey thir ah feel it aw hit me. Ma bones, ma muscles, ma heid, me ears n iviry other part ay ma boady jis goes insane. Ah feel masel go green, now plaid, now green again. Ah upchuck aw ma insides. Ah keep coughing. Ah faw tae the groond n keep coughing.

Captivity - Ash
Ah somehow git masel back oan the bed, or mibbe Tommy goat me back oan the bed, ah dinnae really remember but ah ken ah wis oan the bed whin ah wis awoken. Ah hear ma name being called softly. Ah open ma eyes slowly n timidly. Tae ma surprise, Tommy is sitting oan a chair tae ma right. He looks gloomy.
--Ah’m very sorry tae huv tae make ye dae this, Ash, but thir’s no other wey. Ye would huv tae wait tae git a drug prescription fae a doctor n by thin ye wid be ower it. Sae thit’s useless. Oan the other hand, methadone kin only be giein tae people in a rehab center, but ah cannae let them take cair ay ye, no yir better oaf here. Ah am sorry though. This isnae gaunnae be easy but things will git better eftir week or sae, jis ye wait. He gits up n starts tae leave. Ah close am eyes, thir jis sae heavy.
--Tommy, ah whine. --Tommy dinnae leave me. Ah hear the door shut. Ah sob fi him tae come back n help us but he disnae. A week is easier fi him tae utter. He disnae huv tae go through an intense withdrawal fi the rest ay the week. Ah feel masel faw intae a sleep.
Third day is the hardest, n now s here. Ma stomach grinds n twists. Ah dinnae ken how many times ah huv thrown up. Ah loast track it wis sae much. Second day wis hard n the fourth day is gaunnae be harder. Ah cannae iven imagine how the fifth day wid feel like if the effects dinnae already start tae disappear by the end ay the fourth day. God, is temarro gaunny hurt. Ah want it aw gaun. Tommy want let me leave the room. Third day ay withdrawal n ah feel mair like shite thin ivir. Temarro ah’ll feel iven mair like shite. It willnae end thit though. No, drug craving will inspire me tae relapse. Ah wid tae, if Tommy hudnae shoved hissel doon ma throat. He’s guarding me like ah’m a criminal in jail or something. Ah want tae leave tae, jis like any other caged animal, ah want freedom. Ah want a wide open field fi me tae run whir the fuck ivir ah want tae, but ah cannae ah’m being held captive fi God kens how long.

A Hot Baith - Ash
Ah’m being lowered intae a hot pool ay boiling water. Ah try tae tell Tommy s tae ho, n tae pit me doon but he jis keeps lowering me. Ah’m in the fiery pit ay water completely now. It stings ma flesh. Is Tommy dooin this oan purpose? Ah cannae iven think straight s sae hot. Ah open ma eyes now tae see the baithroom ceiling. Ah lift ma heid up tae see Tommy oan the baithroom floor leaning against the baith tub. Ah jis pit ma heid back doon n relax because the water isnae sae hot now, more sae warm n a little calming.

The Bitter Taste Ay Revenge - Ash
Ah awake eftir the seventh day n feel okay, only now whin ah’m bored oot ay ma mind ah’ll want a hit but no, Tommy widnae let me relapse. No, nivir. Ah hear little noise coming fae the kitchen. Ah roll masel oaf the bed n try tae walk the best ah kin tae the door ay ma room. Ah open it n go intae the kitchen. Tommy is sitting n eating some cereal while this broad is chatting awey. Tommy sees me n smiles. The broad turns her heid n deeks at me.
--Hello, she sais. Ah lean against the waw ay the door opening.
--Hi, ah say soonding a little pished oaf. Well, ah am pished oaf. Tommy forced me tae git clean. Withoot ma permission, thit cunt!
--Tommy, sais the gurl in a playful tone. --Introduce me tae yir brar? Brar! Whit lies hus Tommy telt this chick. Well, ah’ll go along wi anything but ah’ll dae it in a revengeful wey, jis tae git back at Tommy.
--Uhh, yes this is Ash, n Ash this is Cheryl, sais Tommy, whae now sees ma angry expression. Ah kin jis see the blood drain fae his face as he realizes ah’m pished at him n are now prepared tae git iven. He jis looks doon at his cereal n continues eating it. Whit a doss cunt, he is.
--Sae Ash, urnae ye supposed tae tell me aboot how yir brar is such a bitter n shy n bad little brar.
--Ah dinnae huv tae, ah sais. --His cock explains it aw. She looks disgustingly at me, like ah offended her, but in truth Tommy is whae ah want tae destroy. Ah stare at Tommy but he jis keeps looking at his cereal, trying tae pretend thit thit jis didnae happen, but it did. Cheryl starts laughing tae make sense ay ma attitude.
--Whit dae ye dae fi a living Ash, she asks.
--Well ah--Tommy interrupts me.
--Likesay, Cheryl, Ash works in advertising. He’s a salesman. No, how dare Tommy say thit. Ah huv a deep despise advertisers. Ah loathe them aloat n how dare Tommy say thit thit’s whit a dae fi a living.
--Ohhh! Cheryl claps in excitement tae whit she jis heard. --Ma sister wants her husband tae dae thit, sae whit’s thit like, eh?
--Well, Cheryl s like huvin Tommy’s knob inside ay ye, jis unpleasant aw aroond. Cannae feel good n cannae iven ivir hope ay gitting anything good oot it. Jis is horrible.
--Ah think ah shood go, sais Cheryl gitting up tae leave.
--Oh thit’s a shame, ye really shood stick aroond. She grabs her purse n heids fi the door. Tommy jis sits thir silently, like in shock. --Hey, Cheryl kin ah jis ask ye, huv ye hud Tommy mooth up yir cunt yet? Ah wid advice ye tae stey awey fae his mooth. He’s like a wild animal in bed, cannae be trusted n could jis snap n eat a hole through yir area thit leads tae China. Ah laugh, ah mean c’mon thit wis pretty funny, but by now she’s oot the door n walking hame angrily.
--Now why wid ye dae thit? Ah really liked her, sais Tommy. Ah jis look at him wi ma expression lacking any sympathy. Ah dinnae cair if he loved her, ah loved heroin n he took thit awey fae me. Ah jis walk right past him wi ma shoodir banging intae his. Ah go intae ma room n slam the door shut. Ah kick the waw n go tae ma mattress. Ah kick it n thin ah lift the mattress up n let it slam doon. Ah pit ma hands oan ma heid n take some huge breaths. Ah hate Tommy fi dooin this tae me but ah thin remember whin we wir kids. Dumb, wee little ankle-biters wi a heid popped full ay aw these little stupid ideas n games. Ah miss thit Tommy. Ah miss thit version ay masel, tae be honest. Ah wish ah could go back n jis stoap masel fae being whir ah am now.

Sunrise - Ash
Ah woke in the middle ay the night n ah consider it almaist perfect timing thit ah happen tae. The windo is bringing in the beautiful light ay the morning jis aboot tae start. The sun husnae risen yet, but ah want tae be thair whin it dis. Ah want Tommy tae be thit tae. Wait, whir is Tommy? Ah git up, oaf the bed n see the door is open. Ah see Tommy wi his boady against the end ay ma bed, sleeping. Ah smile.
--Hey Tommy, ah whisper gently as ah nudge his shoodir. He opens his eyes n looks aroond a bit startled.
--Whit is it? he sais while adjusting his posture tae git a better look at me.
--Want tae go watch the sunrise?
We find a great place tae sit n watch the sun wake up fae. We sit doon oan the green grass. S a little wet fae the morning dew. We decided tae sit n watch the sun come above the horizon.
--Ash, dae ye hate me? ask Tommy.
--No, ah could nivir dae thit, yir ma best friend. Ah could nivir hate ye?
--Oh well thanks. Ummm whit, ah whit dae ye plan tae--
--Tommy ah dinnae want tae talk aboot the rest ay ma life right now ah jis want tae watch the sun come aboot, likes? He nods. --Tommy ah ken thit ye think thit ah will nivir git better unless ah admit thit it wis shite being an addict but ah will nivir go tae the full extent ay saying thit, ken? And ah cannae go at the full extent ay saying ah loved being an addict, likes?
--Aye, ah ken ye willnae change yir mind but ah jis want ye tae huv a clean slate.
--Ah ken, but whit kind ay college will let me go thir, eh? Ah mean whit kin a really look forward tae? Whit dae ah huv tae huv a clean slate fi, huh?
--Well, Ash thit’s up fi ye tae decide, ken? Ye huv tae choose yir future n no wait fi it tae happen?
--Whit dae ye want tae dae today? Ah smile at him.
--Aw ah really want tae dae today is welcome the brand new day in by watching it as it starts right here? Tommy smiles at me n thin we boath jis look at the sun rise. We git tae see the sun come alive n see the brand new day start.

Click Here for more stories by rochelle jones