Never Too Late!

Never Too Late!
any resemblance to anyone real or imaginary is mere bad luck
we are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are trying to get up


Out on the night

"...write immediately, while the memory is still fresh, for it will not be the same a week afterwards..."

Early April. It is the "Reclaim the Future" party. The old showroom for black London cabs on Holloway Rd just off Highbury Corner has been taken over and turned into an immense party venue. There's a stage for bands, a few different-sized rooms with decks and DJs, there is a cinema room furnished with armchairs upstairs, and the glass-fronted showroom part has been turned into a lounge with a bar. A further labyrinth of corridors and glass-fronted offices offer spill-over space for little drug-taking circles to form. Happy chaos.

I run into an old friend who immediately offers me a line of ketamine (+ketamine video on Against my better judgement, I accept.

The second-to-last time I took K, I could see microwaves... My mobile phone rang a moment after I saw the microwave beam establish the connection... As soon as I touched the phone, I was one with the electronic nervous system of London, my own neurochemical system melding with the network of optical cables; I am ten thousand electronic eyes watching the streets through cameras... I answered the telephone and said: "I can see you... through the train windows.... I can see you through the CCTV through the train window, you're at Euston..."

The last time, again the phone rang. I picked it up. It was God on the line. He told me not to do K.

But I couldn't refuse. So shortly afterwards I was stumbling through the chaos of the party with a taste of vomit in my mouth. I felt bad. I wanted to go home and lie down. I stumbled around looking for the exit, miserably lost in the party, snatches of overheard conversation lancing my suppurating mind...

" mate, he's a shop-lifter, yeah? So when he goes in to the JobCentre to sign on and they ask him what his occupation is, he says 'hunter-gatherer'. Hunter-gatherer, hahahaa!"

If someone tells a joke in the forest and there's no one there to hear it, is it funny?

"...I'm off then, gonna go home and bang up some speed and masturbate all night to porn vids.... both hands.... remote control in my mouth, like this: glglgrrrllmm..."

Finally I find my way outside and head for the exit gate. Very slowly, I become aware there is a mob of people twenty to thirty deep pressed against the fence with the gate in it. Some of them are throwing bottles or pieces of brick over the fence. Beyond the fence stands a line of riot police in full robo-cop gear. I gape: they seem to have blocked off the whole of Holloway Rd, just because of our little party...

For a moment it feels like a riot is about to explode. Some sort of negotiation is going on: the police back off, still sealing the area, and the music is turned down.

People wander around the suddenly very quiet party, wondering what to do next. One by one, people wander off up the road, the more suspicious-looking ones being frisked as they pass the line of police. We watch them in the street outside through the huge show-room windows, it looks like hundreds of them, go outside to shout friendly abuse at them from behind the fence and blow weed smoke in their faces. Several times, it seems like they are gearing up to storm the party or something and everything goes tense, but eventually they get bored and leave..

For a while, some people gather around the stage to watch three rastas skinning up behind a big speaker hopefully. Towards dawn, when the crowd has thinned yet more, some music comes back on.

Now, the old party circles... the easily-alarmed ones.... complain later about how the cops fucked up their party. But it was perfect! Usually, where everyone is wrapped in their own video reality, drugged-out and dancing to music, you don't get the opportunity for many intelligent conversations. But now, there was enough music for those who wanted to dance, and groups of people congregating to talk, talk properly without having to shout over the music.

"I think you should be shot," says the blue-haired Samoan girl disapprovingly, after thinking about it for a moment. (I had just sat down and loudly introduced myself to everyone and she had just asked me what I'm into. I gave my glib stock response of "guerilla warfare and heroin", and asked her what she thought of that.)

"I think I should be shot, too," I say. "On a daily basis. I think it might fill this gaping void in my life..."

[redacted] until afternoon the next day.... There are bands and great DJs, there are girls and glittering conversation, there are joints going around,
graffiti artists and little gangsters, the bar is free for me until I get embarrassed at their generosity and start paying... and there is even a heroin-using bearded Catholic who is meaning to take Holy Orders who sells Afghan hashish... tonight, once the K wears off, I'm a star and so is everybody else....

I need no wakey-uppey drugs to keep me going through the night, but the residual withdrawal symptoms are wearing on me... I lurch abruptly out, into the warmest spring day yet, after leaving my new beautiful people my phone number and address and invitation to come and chill out later... [redacted]

 and i have the pictures...

and i'm not the only one...

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