Monday, August 17, 2009

Chasing the Chocolate Dragon at Nobbin Island - Chapter 1

Now that addiction memoirs are all the rage I am really hopping mad that I'm not addicted to anything (too lazy mainly, scoring drugs is very hard work). So I had a go at writing a sob memoir that pokes fun at the(particularly American) notion of addiction. Can you top that? I'd love to hear of your addiction be it sucking potatoes or scoffing Scotch Eggs.


Dad after a raid on the local Ann Summer's shop

What you will read here may shock you but I can assure you it is all true. You may think you are fucked up but I am more fucked up. You may think you're an addict but I am more of an addict. Addiction is so totally a gene - scientists have so totally proved it - and I have never had any control over it. I come from a long history of addicts. My grandma was addicted to sniffing shoe leather and my grandad abused cough medicine on a daily basis. My mother's addiction was knitting doilies and my dad's wearing ladies underwear in public. This is my story.

Here is Chapter 1 of my tragic tale.

I had escaped from London wearing only some soiled underwear and a PVC mackintosh. Mummy had initially bought me a flat in the King's Road and I was working two days a week at an art gallery which is bloody hard work. But inevitably my addiction reared its ugly head. At the beginning I was just addicted to cocaine but soon I got into crack. Before long I was a nymphomaniac who had to drink a bottle of tequila before she could have sex with random strangers. My mate Sophie told me I needed to get clean so I started going to AA meetings and NA meetings and Sex Addicts Anonymous. Pretty soon I was addicted to going to Anonymous meetings. I got addicted to the smog of cigarette smoke, the cheap biscuits and monotone delivery of the confessions. I'll admit that at my worst I was doing three or four Anonymous meetings a day and would drive for hours a day just to sit on a metal chair and tell my story about how my dad picked me up from school once wearing only a negligee and panstick makeup and how my mum had covered every available surface with doilies including the front lawn. At some point I had to face the fact: I was an addict who was addicted to twelve step meetings.

My flat was already full of squatters who had changed the locks and I'd spent all my money on petrol to drive me to all these meetings. I needed to get away. I needed to go somewhere not only where there would be no drugs or alcohol but somewhere where there were no twelve step meetings. I looked far and wide for such a place. In the end the only place I found was a tiny island near Jersey called Nobbin Island, inhabitants: ten. I knew this was the place I was looking for.

I arrived in Nobbin Island wearing the soiled underwear and mackintosh and took residence of an isolated cottage that had no electricity. I grew my own vegetables and slaughtered my own sheep. Those three weeks were the most peaceful I had ever known. Until one day there was a knock at the door. I answered the door with my hands drenched in blood because I had just been wringing the neck of a sheep. The fat old woman who stood there did not bad an eyelid. Maybe murder was commonplace on Nobbin Island but this old bat who smelt of a nauseating mixture of urine and talcum powder crossed her arms under her formidable bosom and told me her name which was Bessie and that she was just welcoming me to the neighbourhood and that she lived only five miles away and ran the corner shop should I ever want anything. I thanked her and slammed the door in her face, thinking that I had no need of human contact.

But that is the problem for the addict, the gene had once again been awakened and now I craved to taste the forbidden substances of that corner shop. I chewed my home grown kale no longer with relish. I craved E additives and that night the thought of mainlining gravy granuals kept me from sleep.

The next day I walked the five miles to the corner shop and said hello to Bessie. Looking back it was obvious that she had singled me out as an addict, as before I could peruse the shelves, groaning with chemically laced food she told me "I have exactly what you need." For one terrible moment I thought the old granny was going to pull a crack pipe from her netherregions but no, what she did pull from the dusty shelf was the substance that would ultimately be my downfall. It would drive me insane. In time I would crush it and snort it, I would melt it and inject it. At that point I did not know that a month's hence I would be turning tricks with the local cow farmer to secure my drug of choice.

What Bessie held up was a bag of Cadbury's Chocolate Buttons. I grabbed them and hurried home and devoured them in a single afternoon. The next day I was back. I bought two packs, figuring I was cured and that I could control my addiction. A week later I had bought every pack in the shop and now Bessie had her weapon. She started charging me five pounds for a pack of buttons. Soon I had bled my trust fund dry. Soon I was snorting button dust and licking the splintery floor of my cottage for the last traces. When I told Bessie I had no money for buttons Bessie suggested if I serviced Mr Grunion, her 66 year old son and cow farmer she would 'sort me out.' Mr Grunion was a man of bizarre sexual tastes and usually liked to include at least one root vegetable in our love making but I took it like a man.


Mr Grunion was my first trick but he would not be my last



This arrangement went on for some time. I turning tricks in exchange for Chocolate Buttons. I knew I had reached rock bottom when Mr Grunion introduced a marrow into our sex games and I didn't bat an eyelid.

...to be continued