It seems, however, I really am the luckiest guy in the world. Several years of addiction right in the middle of an epidemic, surrounded by the living dead. But not me. I’m negative. It’s official. And once the pain goes away, that’s when the real battle starts. Depression, boredom… You feel so f***ing low, you want to f***ing top yourself.
This was to be my final hit. But let’s be clear about this. There’s final hits and final hits. What kind was this to be?
It’s not getting it out of your body that’s the problem. It’s getting it out of your mind. You are an addict.[to Spud]
I did steal the money, but they shouldn’t have been surprised. I mean, we stole from all sorts of people. Shops, businesses, neighbours, family. Friends was just one more class of victim.
Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a f***ing big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of f***ing fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f*** you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f***ing junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f***ed-up brats you have spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life. But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?
“Choose life” was a well-meaning slogan from a 1980s antidrug campaign. And we used to add things to it. So I might say, for example, choose… Designer lingerie in the vain hope of kicking some life back into a dead relationship. Choose handbags. Choose high-heeled shoes. Cashmere and silk to make yourself feel what passes for happy. Choose an iPhone made in China by a woman who jumped out of a window, and stick it in the pocket of your jacket fresh from a South Asian firetrap. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and a thousand other ways to spew your bile across people you’ve never met. Choose updating your profile. Tell the world what you had for breakfast and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, desperate to believe that you don’t look as bad as they do. Choose live-blogging from your first wank to your last breath. Human interaction reduced to nothing more than data. Choose ten things you never knew about celebrities who’d had surgery. Choose screaming about abortion. Choose rape jokes, slut shaming, revenge porn, and an endless tide of depressing misogyny. Choose 9/11 never happened, and if it did, it was the Jews. Choose a zero-hour contract and a two-hour journey to work, and choose the same for your kids, only worse. And maybe tell yourself it’s better that they never happened. And then sit back and smother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebody’s f***ing kitchen. Choose unfulfilled promise and wishing you’d done it all differently. Choose never learning from your own mistakes. Choose watching history repeat itself. Choose the slow reconciliation towards what you can get rather than what you always hoped for. Settle for less and keep a brave face on it. Choose disappointment. And choose losing the ones you loved. And as they fall from view, a piece of you dies with them. Until you can see that one day in the future, piece by piece, they will all be gone. And there’ll be nothing left of you to call alive or dead. Choose your future, Veronika. Choose life.
People think it’s all about misery and desperation and death and all that s***e, which is not to be ignored. But what they forget is the pleasure of it. Otherwise we wouldn’t do it. After all, we’re not f***ing stupid. Well, at least, we’re not that f***ing stupid. Take the best orgasm you ever had, multiply it by a thousand and you’re still nowhere near it. When you’re on junk, you have only one worry: scoring. When you’re off it, you are suddenly obliged to worry about all sorts of other s***e. Got no money: can’t get pi**ed. Got money: drinking too much. Can’t get a bird: no chance of a ride. Got a bird: too much hassle. You have to worry about bills, about food, about some football team that never f***ing wins, about human relationships and all of the things that really don’t matter when you’ve got a sincere and truthful junk habit.
Now, I’ve justified this to myself in all sorts of ways. It wasn’t a big deal, just a minor betrayal. Or we’d outgrown each other. You know, that sort of thing. But let’s face it, I ripped them off. My so-called mates. But Begbie, I couldn’t give a s*** about him. And Sick Boy, he’d have done the same to me if he’d only thought of it first. And Spud, well okay, I felt sorry for Spud. He never hurt anybody. So why did I do it? I could offer a million answers, all false. The truth is that I’m a bad person, but that’s gonna change. I’m going to change. This is the last of that sort of thing. I’m cleaning up and I’m moving on. Going straight and choosing life. I’m looking forward to it already. I’m gonna be just like you. The job, the family, the f***ing big television, the washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electrical tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisurewear, luggage, three piece suite, DIY, game shows, junk food, children, walks in the park, nine to five, good at golf, washing the car, choice of sweaters, family Christmas, indexed pension, tax exemption, clearing gutters, getting by, looking ahead, the day you die.