The Clown Punk

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You always said I'd end up like this and in a way it's what I've always wanted, the warped glamour of it all. You were right when you said I wanted to be the embodiment of tragic youth, with a roll of your jade green eyes (not that I am young anymore,) and this is nothing if not fitting. This dank alleyway, behind a smutty Camden club, with the distant beats of music I don't understand and can't identify with vibrating through my tattered skull, the cold of the concrete seeping through frayed denim and the tang of abandonment in the air is the perfect scene. The stereotype is a comfortable one, like my favourite skinny jeans, wrinkled and faded and oh-so-familiar. God, I'm still shallow aren't I? I never had your depth.


You know, I doubt I will even make the local news. This is not unusual, not in these streets, not in this day and age. Only the lack of wilting flowers will set me apart from the teens and students who get over their heads and drown in drugs and heady beats, that and there won't be people bleating to the papers about how sweet I was and how funny and how much I will be missed. The only significance will be the lack of a FaceBook page in tribute for wretched teens to flock to, to express their grief in smiley faces, until the next tragic demise demands their horrified concern and my poor lost soul is left to freeze in the cold technology of the internet. They want everything to be faster, don't they? Broadband faster, messaging faster, gaming faster, grieving faster. Forgetting faster. Didn't you despise it? You and your love of second hand Penguin classics unearthed in dusty charity shops, battered and broken and needing to be loved. I remember buying you an old copy of “The Picture of Dorian Gray” for your birthday, with a crinkled spine, a battered cover and the air of being the troublesome child that no-one wants to get stuck with. You said it was better than the bike from your parents (the bike I wrecked while drunk 6 months later.) I'd so much rather be a faded newspaper clipping, yellow and crinkled and beautiful, than a web address that gets less hits everyday.


It was embarrassing really, getting the skag. Ridiculous isn't it? Regret? No. Guilt? No. But oh, it was embarrassing. Vanity thy name is. The club was claustrophobia itself, with music and lights pummeling my head. The people within were one creature, a creature consisting of flailing limbs that wished to ensnare me and throw me into it's gaping maw, but I persevered. I felt almost a cheat, as if I should at least pretend to appreciate these modern sounds that the kids here pump their skinny pale wrists to as their eyes roll back in there heads and their breath shortens. But I am punk, and I intend to stay that way. So I delved deep into the crowd, battling through sequins and sweat, looking for the sleaziest and most unsavoury of individual, and yes, there at the back, glowering and smirking and quirking his eyebrow at this guy 10 years his senior with the the heavily inked sunken skin and wide stricken eyes. £40. Gone. The last of my money. One last hit. I'm feeling sentimental already.


So now here I am with the tourniquet a noose around my arm and triple my usual dose in the needle that glints knowingly up at me. 1, 2, 3. Pull knot, tap vein, insert. Are you terribly angry with me? You never were all the other times I messed up. I wished you had been, you should have yelled and broken things (me) and left forever before I could drag you down with me, but you were only ever disappointed. And then you stopped being disappointed and everything I did was only what you expected of me. I could never articulate how much that hurt, high or not. It must have been tiring, having to expect the worse all the time, it must have worn you down. Sorry. Although at least at rock bottom, I couldn't sink any lower (I gave it a good try though.)


I can feel the familiar drugs taking effect, that indescribable euphoria unlike anything else in this world come to take away any pain, any responsibility, rushing through my blood stream and the speed of light. I'm filled with light, I'm glowing, I'm laugh-out-loud brilliance, I'm iridescent and incandescent. It really is bliss, you know, and while it's ever so easy to theatrically mourn ever beginning the slippery slope of drug addiction in the cold harsh light of sober withdrawal, in this moment I can't say I regret being a junkie. Nothing beats this. A fragment of song drifts lazily across my consciousness and I can't tell if it's from someone nearby or simply a memory but for a second I am consumed by a nostalgia so strong it hurts, it's all there is, it's all I am.

I am an antichrist/ I am an anarchist...


I'm back in that charity shop where you worked (that always smelled of cats) and I hung around because you were always the only person who I didn't find consistently annoying. Seeing that flash of neon yellow, with the neon pink writing. The Sex Pistols debut. The first time I listened to it, it was like everything made sense. All the anger and the resentment of living in this dead end town full of desperate people pretending they were happy, all the frustration of never finding anything worthwhile to do, the boredom, oh God the mind numbing, soul crushing boredom. In those 3 minutes I chose my life's path. The next day I convinced you to pierce my ear with a safety pin even though the blood made you feel sick and dripped onto your white The Who tee and you called me incorrigible (I looked it up when I got home) and three months later I had my first tattoo done, starting small, a jade green star on my shoulder, my first exposure to needles – I nearly fainted while you stood there laughing. Oh, the irony.


Falling backwards into these warm blankets of memories that smother the sirens and screeching around me and protect me from the rough brick work that scratches through my battered Ramones t-shirt is so easy to do. For a while I indulge, and do you know if it wasn't for the heavy metallic tang that's weighing down my tongue I'd think I could taste the hot chocolate we would drink when we sat up all night watching Stephen King films, both pretending we weren't scared. If it wasn't for the painfully repetitive noise emanating from the club, I would be able to hear you laughing uproariously at Monty Python sketches (and I would laugh too, but I never really got it.) But there is danger here to. The embrace of memory easily landslides into suffocation where I'm back in your house at that most pivotal of moments where I as good as murdered you. You rang me up and your voice was... like a recording. Like it wasn't really you. Your normal tones were always so full of infliction and drawling vowels it would have been comical on anyone else but you. I knew in that second that something was wrong, really wrong and for a moment I even considered not going to you, saying I was busy, I was working, but I could never not do something you asked of me. So I just took loads of skag before I left instead.





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