Sight_2016_05_12_115649_622 (3)

He took the misshapen little hand-rolled cigarette his mate offered him and eyed it doubtfully. He had smoked before and quite enjoyed it- all his mates did – but this was something new. He’d nicked cigarettes out of his mother’s packet and lied about it and when he stayed at his grandmother’s she was stupid enough to give him money to buy his own, but this was something new.

Go on, yer pussy! Just take a drag!”

His mate jeered at him through a haze of smoke.

Well, because his mate was doing it too – he put the soggy tip to his mouth and inhaled…

The cares he thought he had and that had threatened to swamp him floated away on a cloud of fragrant smoke that stung the inside of his nose and invaded his lungs. Life suddenly seemed so much easier – pleasant, almost.

And that was just the first.

What a crutch, what a pleasure, what a blessing! It dulled the girlfriend’s nagging voice, muted the grandmother’s sycophantic pleas and wiped his mother off the face of his earth.

You don’t know what I’m like when I’m with my mates!” became the call to arms.

He did, however, find he needed the special smoke a little more each time to reach the place where calls went unheeded, tears could be ignored and job abandoned.

His grandma’s house became his refuge as he found he no longer cared what his mother or his father thought. His grandma’s purse became his bank or he punished her with silence and absence. The rare family get-togethers were punctuated with cries of “What’s the matter with you?”

He chanted his battle cry in reply:

You don’t know what I’m like when I’m with my mates!”

He got nervous, stressy, thought people were following him.

Those handy smokes from his mate just took the edge off, eased things back a bit’ and if he had to pay a little more, well, it didn’t really matter, because they were mates, after all, and he was doing him a favour.

He didn’t want to see his mother, blamed her really, it was easier that way, as he didn’t have to see the disappointment in her eyes. He didn’t want that sort of help.

One day, his mate didn’t want him staying in the house while he smoked. He took his stuff and found a nice quiet place in the park, rolled up and floated… All that promise, all that hope and love, gone in a cloud of sweet, sweet smoke.

When he woke up, he was cold, he was hungry, he was afraid, lying in a pool of his own piss.



20 thoughts on “Mates?

    1. It’s like I said to Jean – there just seems to be no way of policing or regulating illegal drugs and “legal” highs..during the recent election campaigns, the legalisation of cannabis was supposedly used as a bargaining chip for votes, as was the abolition of student tuition fees… lol politicians will use anything!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, in the US we are having a giant experiment with legalizing cannabis. I suppose the states expect to get a windfall from taxing it. If only they would use that money to give students free tuition!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. We are experiencing a fentanyl crises in British Columbia. Now some jerk is also tainting the fentanyl. The draw must be pretty strong as the peeps addicted know these facts. It would be a lonely life. There but for the grace of god our lives didn’t turn this way.

    Your story is excellent as all your stories are….got me to thinking about life in the Halfway House for federal parolees.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Had to look up what fentanyl was, that’s awful. Here in the UK, it’s legal highs like Black Mamba that the government can’t seem to regulate. Ridiculous really and also very sad. Thank you very much as always, pleased you enjoyed the read 😺 xx


    1. and I hope nobody else reads my comments or they’ll risk believing you have a mad stalker whose comments are simply weird!


      1. I’ve never really been able to explain what I mean when I say ‘very Norwegian’. Dark but soothing? Seemingly distant and detached but familiar. Scary for those who are outsiders. Humble and scary by its lack of emotional attachment to things other nations seem to consider important.
        Grey and blue.
        I am not Norwegian (for the record) but my family are. But even I find some comfort in the crime books (the only novels I can read are Scandinavian, I blame my roots).
        Well, as I am a mongrel, I’ll always be an outsider, not quite ‘getting’ any culture properly, I guess.
        Anyway, it’s enough to go to any Norwegian city (yes, even Oslo) to understand that ‘dark’ is not bad. Accept it and it’ll be like the little faults we have-making life more real, maybe less perfect but so much safer. Like when someone likes our imperfections-we get more sense of safety than when someone just says we’re ‘perfect’.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha ha ha, I have missed you!
        Oh yes I totally get what you mean. It’s how I feel about the sea…the moors…being up North and still never quite being “home”’s similar anyway. Also, your last sentence reminded me of that John Legend song…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. better (more perfect?) versions are created by mutations of genes-so an ‘imperfect’ individual is nothing but a future perfecter than perfect version of today’s perfect example of its species (disclaimer: it is not really an extensive/widely accepted scientific theory. I simply like the shorter, comprehensive interpretation of the proper stuff)

        Liked by 1 person

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