KETAMINE
June 2002

I have, of late, and wherefore I know not, been filled with the desire to stuff drugs up my nose. A sudden realisation that time’s fingers were due to mash things up: smudge the jawline and inscribe lines around the corners of the eyes; drag the tits down and dimple the meat on the calves and the thighs: this was enough to impel me, curious-driven and hunger-unsated, towards illicit powders and illegal tablets. If I didn’t start developing more of an unhealthy relationship with class A’s, I felt, upping the dosage from, say, some every few months to some every weekend or whatnot, then the moment might just pass. I don’t want to be doing such things at the age of 40; it wouldn’t be dignified. It isn’t dignified now.

It’s hard to write at present. The ex read the diary a while back and yelled at me. Frances isn’t in here enough any more, apparently. Lisa was pissed off because I said she ponced money off our parents. I called Sophie a nickname with which she, quite reasonably, no longer wishes to be associated. It’s enough to make a girl jack it all in… but then there’d be this buzzing in my head. This shit needs to be lived through twice. Grabbed and shoved and held down: livid, wriggling, mine.

Friday. A gig. A boy. An ex. Some booze. Lots of booze. Put it all together and whatcha got? Carnage. I wanna draw a veil over the proceedings. A very thick veil, made of concrete and horsehair and several blocks of flats. I remember: the sharp flash of Frances’ hair as she leant forward over her keyboard; Sophie’s dad, white-haired and camera-toting: Bruce’s moustache tweaked into points; Kat’s hair, Julie’s face (frightened? Was she frightened? Was I frightening?) my ex in a red top, talking to a girl.

Let’s fast-forward through the carnage; suddenly we’re in a taxi, getting whisked off to a party. There are bottles. There is a bald German man, and a lady who turns out to be forty-three, with children, talking to me about drugs. I’m asleep. I’ve been given a pill, but I’m asleep. Then I’m in another taxi going home. The taxi driver is lost. I’m lost. Where do I live? Not where I used to, eh. The boy I’m with doesn’t know either, but the A-Z does. We’re home.

My bedroom is a girl’s room. It’s unbesmirched by boyness and testosterone. There are cosmetics teetering on a chest of drawers: Clinique body lotion, Dirty Girl soap. A tangle of hairbands and a leather wristband. The bed is huge and pink. It feels like a triple; ‘plenty of room’ as Cowboy Junkies once sang, ‘for elbows and knees’. And in the drawer next to my bed, as every good girl shouldn’t, I have a gram of ketamine.

Ah, ketamine. Funny stuff. Despite its legal status, this is a drug some other drug users look down on. It doesn’t have the towering terror of heroin, or the sheer unviability of crack. It doesn’t have the sheen of faded glamour that coats even the smallest wrap of coke. And it’s surely not eostoric and decadent, like the opium and chloroform and nitrous oxide that some of my more adventurous friends make use of. Nah. It’s a fucking horse tranquilliser.

Think about a horse. Think about its size; the meatiness of its flanks; the mastery of its face. Think about knocking that fucker out. That’s what we’re up to, at six a.m. on a Saturday morning, me and my friend who is a boy who is not gay or a minger: snorting horse tranquilliser off a Fischerspooner album, sitting on the big pink bed…