17 Mar 2006

Chasing the Forsaken Lizard...

Just had a slight relapse. I'll say no more on the matter other than it is always a great relief to struggle through the days of inertia and melancholy and stumble, moaning and groaning, into a flowing meadow of windswept grass topped off with a glowing globe of goodness. That's how I feel right now, having misbehaved, dabbled, failed to contact the pusher-man (who, incidentally, spent two nights locked-up), quit, ached, shat and puked uncontrollably for about three days and nights and suffered such terrible disenchantment that if I actually had had any hot water in the house, I would have drawn myself a bath and let the crimson flow. Of course not, but these are the species of thoughts that you have no choice but to entertain. Came out of the funk yesterday, helped in no small part by a certain Argy Bird who is, thank the gods, a bundle of fun!

I have read everything that there is to be read in the flat over the last five days of bed-ridden intolerance. I picked up De Quincey's :"Confessions of an English Opium Eater" last night and flicked through it's tough and chewy verbiage to find some jewels. This is a book that I requested as one of the literature prizes that I won at school about eleven years ago, along with Bill Burrough's "Junky", to be awarded to me, in front of peers and parents alike, by the bastard headmaster of the time (long story - unjust urine tests etc. etc!) just to cause a small stir - as it turns out, I missed the ceremony due to engorging myself on marijuana in the sun with friends, before the beginning of the holidays. I meander. Well, actually, whilst I am here, perhaps it is notable that I turned into a junky myself (part-time admittedly and not for along time from this moment onwards etc etc) while having every benefit a growing lad could have, including the opportunity to get my mitts on any book, or any drug. I guess I was just fascinated (and easily influenced, experimental, curious, unafraid, foolish etc etc).

Fuck it, anyway, Confessions was written in 1821-ish A.D. which explains why it can be hard going. However, I read most of it last night and found a few absolute gems. I include a couple hear because I think they are relevant to myself right now. So there...

"In like manner, I do by no means deny that some truths that have been delivered to the world in regard to opium: thus it has been repeatedly affirmed by the learned, that opium is a dusky brown in colour; and this, take notice, I grant: secondly, that it is rather dear; which I also grant:for in my time, East-India opium has been three guineas a pound, and Turkey eight: and, thirdly, that if you eat a good deal of it, most probably you must do - what is particularly disagreeable to any man of regular habits, viz. die." Penguin Classic p. 72

AHa Ha Ha...and on the distinction between fine wine and fine opium:

"But the main distinction lies in this, that whereas wine disorders the mental faculties, opium, on the contrary (if taken in a proper manner), introduces amongst them the most exquisite order, legislation, and harmony. Wine robs a man of his self-possession: opium greatly invigorates it." Page 73.

And finally, for good measure, the words of the surgeon Dr Abernethy:

"'I will maintain' said he, 'that I do talk nonsense; and secondly, I will maintain that I do not talk nonsense upon principle, or with any view to profit, but solely and simply,' said he, 'soley and simply, - soley and simply, (repeating it three times over), because I am drunk with opium; and that daily.'" Page 74.


See also: Plan B - "Missing Links."

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