I never was a great fan of blow-backs. It all seemed rather grubby, like drinking from a shared soft drink bottle, or smoking someone else’s butt ends – I was rather fussy about what I put in my mouth – Well most of the time anyway! I had resisted smoking marijuana from a bong in my youth for the same reasons. Being a country boy, from a rather conservative private school upbringing, I found it dirty, distasteful and common. Nevertheless, it was terribly popular amongst my nice, middle class friends and clients. Maybe it had something to do with the risqué nature of the habit. The idea of slumming it temporarily, getting down and dirty with some multi-tattooed rough trade from the East, experiencing something of which Mummy wouldn’t approve. Maybe that was what set me aside from them all and made me the misfit in this microcosm of society. My Mother had never approved of anything I did, so if I was trying to provoke her, I was already there before the gun went off!
The principles of blow-backs were simple enough. One took a huge hit of crystal methamphetamine from ones pipe, inhaling the vapour deep into ones lungs, before kissing ones lover/partner/fuck-buddy on the lips and simultaneously blowing the vapour into their mouth, and then whilst holding the kiss, said partner would draw the stale fumes in, and then blow it back into one’s mouth, thereby increasing the intensity of the high, and when one became particularly adept, the vapour could be passed backwards and forwards numerous times, vastly escalating the magnitude of ones buzz. In reality, the vapour mixed with carbon dioxide when exhaled so in effect, one was only succeeding in poisoning the very person one was apt to love/desire/lust after! To be honest, I had never seen the point in it anyway, I had overcome my distaste on many occasions to try it, but it didn’t seem to have the slightest effect on me whatsoever.
The only point to it from the way I saw it was that one got to kiss the object of one's desire. In this age of ‘just sex’, it was not cool to kiss during intercourse. We were all looking for bigger, faster, harder, higher, rougher, - slower, sensual, caring, emotional connections had no place in this disposable, consumable culture. The art was to consume as many conquests as possible, before discarding them like yesterday's newspaper, in search of the next big target on the horizon, in a race with one's peers to be the best, the alpha male of the group, The leader of the pack – By which benchmark, no one knew, and even if they did, the goalposts were ever moving!
In a way, I had become a Blow-back – The very thing I despised the most. Sucked up into the vortex, all-consumed, mixed with stale, contaminated fumes, poisoned and damaged, before being exhaled, expelled, forced down the throats of the unsuspecting masses - trying to enhance their experiences, but was I similarly, albeit inadvertently, poisoning them too?
Now Candy Flipping – that was an entirely different ball game! I had become expert at judging the exact amount of uppers and downers to hit the perfect peak every time, and it was a fine art. Too much downer, and you tipped over the cliff face, plunged headlong into a K-hole, spiralling endlessly out of control, futilely searching for something in which you would never quite succeed, for hours on end, until you eventually came down, or in the case of G, rendered comatose for a similar length of time. Too little and you just scraped along, not high, but not really sober either. Either way it was an obscene waste of good uppers, because in whichever state, you never really had the benefit of them – But, get the mix right and you would fly! Once the rush came on, the effect was euphoric! All inhibition was out the window, and you felt a confidence nothing could curtail. Everyone was beautiful, everything felt amazing, as if every single nerve ending in your body was alive and alert, waiting for whatever pleasure took it's fancy. Oh yes! The powers of chem-sex Candyflipping were second to none, unrivalled, unlimited and all encompassing! For five or six hours, all thought of the bad, evil, mean, and unkind were banished from the mind, replaced by warm considerate, generous, comforting and cocooning. In this state everyone was safe, looked after and cared for – why would anyone want to go back to reality?
Fuck! What was I to do? The Police were now banging on the door, and they were not going to go away. Thinking on my feet, I made a split second decision to confront the issue head on and try to get them to piss off. What were they here for anyway? I moved quickly towards the entrance hall, and hissing at Daniel to keep his mouth shut, I opened the front door to be greeted by two male policemen, one tall and fat, the other squat and weedy.
“Good afternoon, we’ve had reports from one of your neighbours of excessive noise and a possible domestic argument.” Oh, fuck, was that all! I silently cursed Daniel for arriving in such a state, and causing this situation.
“Ah, no it’s fine, no problem, a friend of mine was a bit upset, but he’s calmed down now, everything’s fine!” I answered from behind the half closed door.
“Oh, right, do you mind if we just come in and take a look around?” he countered in a thick northern accent. Yes, I bloody well did! There were about six boys lying around the room in various states of undress and a plate of coke on the coffee table, accompanied by a couple of crystal-methamphetamine loaded water-pipes, Besides all this, before we’d been so rudely interrupted by Daniel, we’d all been about to slam fairly hefty hits of Tina, and an afternoon of frenetic, uninhibited group fornication had been eagerly awaited by the remaining guests. Of course I minded!
“No really, there is no need, it's all under control now, my friend has calmed down and actually he’s just leaving, thanks for your concern, its fine. Thank you. We’ll keep the noise down from now on” - Now piss off, was my exact thought!
“Actually we’re going to have to insist on coming in. Under section 19 of the domestic violence act we are entitled to enter the premises if we think someone’s life may be in danger, we’ll just take a quick look, it’ll only take a minute and then we’ll get out of your hair.” he answered, placing his foot in the doorway threateningly, to prevent me closing it. Arrogant prick, he was going nowhere! Fucking Daniel! There might not have been anyone’s life in danger on their arrival, but by Jesus, just wait until they had left! I would kill the Bastard! Reasoning that the boys would have had enough time to clear everything away and pull on some clothes, I finally capitulated, moving out of the way and opening the door to admit them, walking into the sitting room with the two of them following close behind, however my eyes were raised in horror at what lay before me. It seemed I had given my idiotic guests more credit than they deserved. The six of them had all clothed themselves into some semblance of decency, and having stopped short of ordering them into action as I headed to greet the cops, I’d have thought it pretty elementary for them to have at least had the foresight, on hearing the ensuing conversation at the door to remove any obvious evidence of our indulgence from sight, however staring back at me completely untouched in all its glory was the plate with eight or nine perfectly formed lines of cocaine lying invitingly as it had been, for all the world to see, and they were onto it immediately.
“Oh 'ello, what have we here?” causing me to laugh involuntarily. I hadn’t heard that line in decades, and had always thought it was a leftover cliché from the hyperbolic British sitcoms of the eighties, which in reality would never have been used in real life! It seemed I was wrong about that!
“Now we have reason to believe that these are class A drugs you’ve been using, so we’re going to have to search your property”. No shit, Sherlock! I was livid! Idiots! Why had they not just slid the fucking plate under the table? I couldn’t believe their stupidity! I’d had a vague idea that by law I hadn’t had to let the Police in, but in reality I’d had no choice. If I’d denied them entry they would have been suspicious of something going on, and inevitably have forced themselves in anyway, under section nineteen of whatever fucking act they were quoting, but it would have been a simple matter for these fucking, fuckwits to hide the fucking plate!
“Who’s the owner of the flat? Who lives here?” they asked, and I affirmed.
“The rest of you can go!” they replied, as the boys slowly stood like zombies in a trance and began gathering their belongings, apart from Jacob my on-again-off-again pseudo-boyfriend who had been asleep on the sofa, and had continued to remain so throughout the whole process. I had a feeling he was faking it, but couldn’t understand why.
Daniel had been carrying a rather large backpack which was lying on the floor under the breakfast bar where he was sitting
“Why are you sweating so much” One of the cops asked him
“Because I just ran all the way here from Frognall” he replied, and they swallowed it! Of course it had nothing to do with the great slug of crystal meth he must have slammed before his arrival!
“Go on then clear out, the lot of you!” The fat cop answered. He waddled over to Jacob and shook him roughly on the shoulder,
“Come on sleepyhead, off you go!” he added, “Time to go home!”
Jacob rose disorientated and wandered into the bedroom, and I couldn’t see what he was doing, but the fat copper wasn’t interested in having him hang around, and threatened to arrest him if he didn’t leave. Whilst this was all happening, the sneaky little short one had run around picking up both my phones, both iPads and my MacBook pro, like a seagull on a rubbish tip.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I shrieked, whereupon Jacob ran back in, eyes darting as he searching the room. Seeing them in the little pig’s hands, he immediately seized upon them,
“Those are mine!” he stated, making to grab them out of the grubby little pig’s hands. At least someone was thinking, I thought to myself, but unfortunately he wasn’t quick enough.
“We’re keeping these!” he answered, “You can have them back after we’ve ascertained that they haven’t been used criminally”. The whole situation seemed to be playing out in slow motion in front of my eyes like a bad B grade movie, but at the same time everything was happening so fast that I had no chance to circumvent the inevitable. I felt like I didn’t know which way they were going to jump next, and was powerless to prevent them from unearthing more incriminating evidence. Each new uncovering made me mentally kick myself for not having thought of hiding it before their discovery, but there were two of them and only one of me, so I had little chance to do anything as they were watching me like a hawk.
It was then that I noticed the ounce of coke; still sitting in its bag as it had been delivered earlier in the day, save for the half gram I’d taxed from it to prepare the plate which had alerted them. Alongside that was an array of airtight canisters in which I stored all the other lines of product we usually had on offer, and now as the two pigs were escorting all the guests out the door I seized my chance and was galvanised into action, throwing them all well underneath the kitchen units, out of obvious sight. There was a slim chance they hadn’t seen them initially and would miss them in their search – well it was worth a try at any rate.
All too soon they were back in the room, having slammed the front door shut behind them, and now they were like flies around a septic sore, crawling all over the sitting room and kitchen, their piggy little eyes shifting left and right as they scanned the apartment, for anything and everything they could find to incriminate me.
“Have a look at this!” the skinny one called to his fat mate, holding up another large canister full of mephedrone which he had procured from the safe cupboard. Fuck! I reckoned there was almost a kilogram in there alone. Wearily I sat down on the sofa to wait, hands shaking, heart pounding, the game was up and I was in the shit! They were going to lock me up and throw away the key. The fat one was now on the phone, calling for backup, and complaining because there wasn’t a dog squad available to sniff the place out. Idly it dawned on me with not a small amount of humour, that he was disappointed at the revelation because it would have meant he would actually have to do some work himself, something that given his size, he was clearly not used to doing regularly!
“How long have you been dealing drugs for?” the fat one asked.
Suddenly in a flash of inspiration I had an idea.
“Don’t be ridiculous!” I rounded on him “those are not mine! You let the dealer go when you told them all to leave before!” I answered, as a look of insecurity and doubt settled on his plump chops. By now the guys would be long gone, and I didn’t even have Daniel’s last name, but I knew from conversations with him in the past, that he had a history with the police involving drugs, both here and in Germany where he also lived part time, so he was well used to hiding from the law. These two bumpkins had no chance of finding him by now even if they wanted to, and if it came down to saving either me or him, I would quite easily throw him under the bus, in much the same way as he had just done to me, firstly by causing the noise, and then by not removing the evidence when I was at the door. He must have known exactly what was happening and deliberately sat there and done nothing. Or maybe I was giving him too much credit again, and he was just incredibly stupid!
Meanwhile, within minutes what felt like the entire Kentish Town Police Department had arrived! Looking out the window I was alarmed to see four squad cars and a van. Jesus, they never reacted this quickly when you reported a break-in or a theft! Usually in that situation you’d be fobbed off with
“We’ll get someone out to you as soon as they’re available”, which normally translated to “Fuck off, we don’t give a fuck about what you rich bastards have lost, you’re wasting our time!” They must have thought they’d hit the jackpot here through, as pretty soon there were some nine PC plods gracing my sitting room, all trying to get in on the action, all wanting to be credited in some way with this remarkable coup they thought they’d pulled off, although in reality it had been entirely accidental. Budget cuts, indeed! I thought as I surveyed them all sitting around trying to look important, but in reality, doing sweet fuck all!
The fat one had grown in stature by now though, like an overweight Robin with his chest puffed out, proudly strutting around laying claim to have been the first one on the scene.
“What’s this then?” he enquired with a smug look on his dial
“It’s a soldering iron!” I answered, telling the truth. It was about a foot long, with a large glass chamber which stored the gas to fuel it, and was capable of reaching incredibly high temperatures, hot enough even to weld glass and melt or repair any soft metal. It was used mainly in the design and manufacture of jewellery, but we’d thought it ideal for heating crystal methamphetamine in a pipe or water pipe, but he didn’t need to know that!
“Likely story! And what would you want with a soldering iron?” he replied. Who did he think he was? I’d had enough of his clever smartarse comments
“None of your fucking business!” I answered, figuring I couldn’t really get into any more hot water than I already was.
“Or could it be a device for storing and concealing GBL?” he quipped, looking extremely pleased with himself.
“Oh you fucking idiot” I levelled, “You really think I would go to that length, and that expense to buy something that size, to store what? - 50ml of GBL?” Even the other plods on the sofa were now tittering amongst themselves at his stupidity, but as I’d been saying this, I’d had my eye on the 5 litre drum of the stuff sitting on the floor in the kitchen, which they’d been tripping over in their endless journeys back and forth to the fridge, where they had examined the entire contents, taking samples of liquids in the juice cartons. I came to the realisation that they didn’t know what it was, and I was pretty sure that in their haste to ‘leave no stone unturned’ they were overlooking what was literally right under their noses!
Attention was then turned to my messenger bag which had been sitting on the sofa where Jacob had been sleeping. They opened it up and examined the contents. The bag itself had been a gift from Umut earlier in the day, a fake Armani which he had picked up in the market on Edgware road. It was a sweet gesture, although I never bought fakes myself, however my big leather satchel had got incredibly wet in a downpour the night before and it was now drying in the airing cupboard, so I had decided to use this one today, and had not long before stocked it with my essentials; My Louis Vuitton cigarette case, Du Pont lighter, sunglasses, Louis Vuitton credit card holder, An envelope with 15g of meph. which I’d been about to take out on a delivery, and my Dior wallet, and a wad of £50 notes in an envelope. They examined each item with avid interest.
“What are you doing with so much cash?” The fat one asked, rifling through my wallet and running his grubby little thumbs through the notes.
“I always carry £500 in cash.”
“What about this other money – what, there must be about a thousand pounds here!” he cried.
“£1400, I corrected - spending money for my holiday next week” I replied, suddenly realising that the chances of that happening were now pretty slim!
“Who takes almost £2000 cash on holiday?” he cried incredulously, as his cronies gathered around to get a better look at the bundle of notes. Jesus who were these people?
“Well obviously not you!” I answered “but then you probably don’t need it for all-you-can-eat-buffet at your budget-Barbie, full-board package holidays in Magaluf!”
“I take my credit card” he muttered
“oh yes, of course, but I don't suppose you're the sort of person who thinks of tipping staff, and mostly they don't accept credit cards” I answered as he lifted out my Credit card holder, flicking the cards onto the table, and bending to examine them.
“Well it doesn’t matter now though, does it?” he answered smugly “We’re seizing all this – proceeds of crime! You won’t be seeing this ever again!”
What on earth was he on about? Proceeds of crime indeed!
Now I was starting to worry. Buoyed by the copious amounts of cocaine which had been coursing through my veins, it had occurred to me that I had been perhaps a little too keen to belittle this idiot, no matter what his obvious shortcomings might have been. Coming back to reality, I realised that I was in fact out of my depth completely, and had no idea where I stood legally, or even what the next moves would be. I should probably shut my trap, and wait to see what their next move would be. From then on, I maintained a stony silence, my only concession to glare at the fat prick of a policeman whenever he made any further discoveries.
Eventually, the smug, weedy, little arsehole - Chris Pink was his name I was to find out later, who had originally attended with the fat one, decided there was no reason for me to stay here, and that he could “wrap it up” on his own, so after clamping a set of cuffs on me, I was frog marched out to the van. The fat one opened the back door, slamming my face into the steel edge in the process.
“Whoops, sorry! No CCTV cameras around here sonny!” he quipped as he threw me into the van, with a smarmy grin on his double chinned dial, and slammed the door closed. I guess I was under arrest!
The Holborn Hilton
We arrived at Holborn Police station a short while later, and I was escorted from the drive-in undercover car parking area, along a narrow corridor and into the reception, where the contents of my bag, minus the mephedrone, along with my phones and devices, were recorded, and I was allowed to retrieve two phone numbers before everything was placed into evidence bags and whisked away out of sight. Meanwhile the other investigating officers had arrived with the rest of the evidence they had retrieved from my flat, and they now spread it out in bags across the floor of the reception for all in sundry to see. At least it gave me an idea of what they had taken, however it didn’t look good! There were literally armfuls of stuff, but I was fascinated to see what they thought was incriminating, and I managed to get a good look at everything before they ushered me back to the desk, where the endless, pointless list of questions started – The same for everyone, rote learnt, monkey-see-monkey-do! It’s amazing how these people are absolute sticklers for routine and following the procedure when it suits them, but oh, so willing to skip it when it’s not something they can be caught or reprimanded for – Law or no law!
“Date of Birth?”
“Address?” All of which they knew or had already taken down at the time of arrest, and still managed to spell incorrectly. How difficult is it to spell Yorke, for Christ sake! It's one of the oldest, most English names in the book! I pitied the poor Romanians or Hungarians when dealing with these imbeciles! And then onto the more difficult questions…
“Well, since you’re staring at my NEW ZEALAND Passport, which incidentally, also shows you the spelling of my name, I guess it’s pretty simple to deduce that my Nationality is NEW ZEALAND!”
“Well, you might have more than one passport” So why not ask that then?
“Do you now, or have you ever in the past had any thoughts of suicide or self harm?” Really? What are your thoughts? You’ve just caught me doing some seriously illegal shit, so according to the way you’re behaving; my life is pretty much over. On top of that, I’ve just spent the past three hours with the mind numbing task of having to deal with people who are only marginally of a high enough IQ not to be classed as special needs, but who think they are incredibly clever and intelligent! You’re clearly on some massive power trip, and you wonder whether I’m having thoughts of suicide? Seriously? Damn right I do! I want to kill myself from depression at the utter stupidity of the people in this country who are supposedly charged with keeping its occupants safe! God save us, because the fucking Police force won’t! And if I was seriously thinking of topping myself, do you really think I would tell you! Just because someone says they are going to do something, doesn’t mean they will! I answered
And the list went on, and on, and on in the same mind-numbingly boring routine – Interrogation for dummies, following the succession of ridiculously obvious questions, laughable in their content, but even more hilarious for the fact that those asking them could hardly read what they needed to say, having to skip the words they couldn’t pronounce! Jesus! Kill me now!
My regulation phone call had resulted in no answer to both numbers. Now that was out of the way, they could tick the box to say I’d been offered a phone call, even though I hadn’t connected with anyone. Job done, numbers discarded, obligation over! Jacob should have been waiting to