Friday, 16 October 2009


Extract from Daniel Lux, Camden Parasites:

By this year of 1980, smack usage permeated into the upper echelons including politicians' brats, even parts of the neo-aristocracy. Smack also spread up to the murky North, appearing on council estates. It didn't take long before I figured out Clarissa and the art school crowd were into gear, wanted it but found it difficult to obtain. They wanted smack as a status-enhancing symbol, something they could boast about at dinner parties in the year 2000. They didn't have a clue where to score as dealers wouldn't touch them. If these rich kids got nicked, they'd always squeal to the law, who'd get their address books into the bargain. Slinging them into a cell for an hour guaranteed to spill their guts. I decided to take a calculated chance, fill a market gap. So I finalised the business, collecting their dough, shooting off to the dealers, skim for personal use, overcharge, get fares for taxis, pocket the money, bunk fares on the tube. This represented a regular source of income. Although they guzzled champagne as a main tipple, smack soon took a hold. Clarissa participated, keeping it to a weekend basis. But for many of them these weekends became longer, Thursday to Monday, some at the stage where they wanted gear Wednesday after sweating it out all Tuesday. They'd beg me to score, waving cab fares and banknotes under my nose.
The art school provided another source of income for my enterprising spirit. They all needed materials like sable brushes, me writing down thickness to order. Also watercolours, cobalt grey flavour of the term. Art shops proliferate in the West End, with display cabinets usually unlocked. I even lifted an easel complete with stand, a helpful customer opening the door for me. I flogged the stuff to the would-be Rembrandts and Van Goghs. High-grade morons, they didn't know this to be all stolen, me spinning an implausible yarn about my father owning shares at Winsor and Newton. Believable, as most of their parents owned companies and sat on mountains of cash. These were by far the most idiotic bunch I'd come across, only their monied background cushioning them, protecting against the real world. If they weren't studying here, the boys would have been clicking heels at Sandhurst, girls doing photography or running non-economic dress shops. These people's parents owned mines in Southern Africa, a famous chocolate brand dating back to imperial days, were film directors, even the odd political connection surfaced. In other words, the stinking rich. I wanted some of this but it was all a narcotic-induced dream.

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