Sandpaper Cadillac



A slice of m inelegant attempt to clean up…again...



                                     Sandpaper Cadillac



         It had been a great plan. The trip abroad. Single aim? To kill the beast within. A geographical they call it in the fellowships of narcotics and alcoholics anonymous.

         A simple error in mental negotiation of a tricky position. The point is — If I go abroad I won't know anyone there. Ipso facto: I won't be able score! So far so good, its gonna be perfect. Two weeks in the sun, a stint of RnR and a return to London for the rest of my life. What could be simpler?


         Naive thinking? Ho Ho...


         A lack of experience in the finer points of sobriety — that hateful word. Especially for those of us who thought we were still young enough, still with a point to prove with an arrogant finger to the Gods.

         The upset of all that wasted time. The empty decades. The empty horror: the beast that creeps across the floor behind you, then, carefully, painlessly, he inserts a bastard in your brain.



                                      He is there to kill you.


         No cold-blooded shot to the temple, just the slow lingering torture of desperate unhappiness.

         To be honest, it’s a great deal more than just unhappiness; suicide is probably the right word really. Or rather, the dream is suicide, but the will is weak. We choose to use and try not to upset anyone we love. Mind you we assume that, when in times of trouble, when we do seek help from our traumatised families, we shouldn't be too surprised when they turn us away at the door. They have secrets too. Which is why we have the problem in the first place.


         Doing a geographical. It’s a bit like hitting a Homer*.


         Geographicals are renowned for they’re inability to resolve problems. Taking a holiday while still in active addiction will always lead to problems.

         A week earlier I had phoned the London NA office to find the French meetings in Paris for when I arrived. To find some helpful NA member who could put me up for the night before heading south. Soon arrangements had been made, all was well. The unmistakable sense of relief slips in for the gentle soothing of ones’ tattered nerves.

         A magical mystery tour of a rendezvous in Paris. How cool is that?

         Maps packed, phosphates bagged up. Just had to finish the last of the gear before I set off.

         Okay, change of plan, spent three and a half hours trying to find a vein. Am in a right mess. Far too complicated to think about leaving now. Will have to cancel today. Better to wait till tomorrow. Better get another bag so I don't have to go out and score before I leave for Dover. Hours later I went to bed thankfully; for I was once more nicely mashed thanks.


         The following morning began as it always did. The twisted sister of yogic sun salutations. Instead of facing the rising sun I would sit up and empty the last wrap of gear into my spoon.

         My loving cup, my morning Hoorah! My Breakfast of Champions — tea and toasted brain. Lovely.

         Zippo ignited, works squirted clean, spoon set to boil and my loverly bubbling hit.


         Breakfasted, dressed, packed and all straps strapped and secure. Finally I was ready. It was 11:30 a.m. Had to push off soon or I’d lose another day. Better finish the rest of the gear. Then I realised I had far more than I thought.. but I simply didn't have time to use it all. Will have to leave it. It will be a treat for when I return. Wait.. wait.. I hear something....wot is this that I see out of the corner of my weary eye? Uh oh. I spy a deadly assassin. He is lurking.... they melt into the background you see. You forget their stealth and swiftness. Their subtle use of sabotage. (Coincidentally, sabots were wooden shoes the French under-class wore. When industrialisation arrived in the country they would hurl their shoes into the gears of giant machines bringing them all to a grinding halt. Hence ‘Sabotage.’ No point, just intrestin', thass all.)

         My loathing, doubt and fear, hand in hand, teetering on the brink, making excuses to sit back and do nothing. FCKOFF! I’M GOING WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT. (Sometimes, not often, one can climb above the bastard and shit all over HIS day for a change.)


         Foreign displacement; fear and thrill all in one. How I love the dichotomy. Especially when I’m sat on a large and beautiful motorcycle.

         Solo foreign travel and into the unknown. While it tweaks at the gut I can still see the road ahead — tho’ well organised for a junkie on the run that is — and it never fails to thrill.

         That great feeling one gets as one heads towards the coast. It stands proud, shoulders back, just like the cliffs. One of those great, real adventures just across the channel.... gulp! Nobody to blame if it all fucks up. Just me and the bastard in my brain.

         Finally we've Channeled the Channel, boated the off, petroled the pump and edged of the Calais. The dreary bit at the start. So now, under clear skies, heading south. Ahead: Hope and the images to come.           

         Péages, motorways, the French, the Germans,

         Amazing how even little old Renault 5’s can trip along at an easy 100mph, engines barely ticking over... Mercedes cruise by with a dry-back at one hundred and fifty.... BMW’s, Saabs, Ferraris, Jaags, Aston Martins. All that money... Where does it come from? (Please note: rhetorical question.)



                                   Geographical, part two:


                                           Arrival in Paris....

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