High n’ dry

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As far as anyone could tell I was back to normal. Working now as a Live Services Marshal for my old Indian buddies and with more money than sense, no-one could have guessed that I was continuing down the wrong path . A few friends who knew what I was using did try to talk me out of it but I was happy with my choice and only noticeably troubled when my supply ran dry. With a voluntary trip to Poland just around the corner to look forward to, as long as I could afford my habit the cracks would never show.

. . .

Arriving just in time I take my place centre stage in The Grand Hall to promote The Princes Trust programme as a model representative and Young Ambassador.

Three months have passed since I took part in this project designed to help troubled youths find their way in life and now here I stand, sweat dripping from my pasty skin, ready to take on two hundred plain clothes police officers in a speech aimed to convince the law that this organisation is different. This one can make a difference.

I had it all planned. With my blank sheets of paper as something to hold I was going to take them by storm, show them how it’s done and make it up as I go. Unfortunately my morning fix of heroin wore off about half an hour ago and now I just want to die.

Raising my arms towards my podium almost knocking it over I lean over the microphone and greet my audience. “Alright, how’s it goin’”? I wait for a reply. Silence.

Continuing my speech I seem to lose track of why I’m there and nervously tell them every detail of my life before coming to an abrupt stop. “What was I talking about? Where am I going with this? In fact, where the fuck am I?” Often finding myself in strange places while living life as a hazy day-dream I have to say that this is one of the worst places to wake up.

Television cameras zoom in from every angle covering my fine example of how not to prepare and deliver a speech. Flicking and fumbling through empty sheets of paper hoping the world will disappear I slip into my own little world for about three minutes while drug enforcers from The Strathclyde Police Department try to figure me out.

Eventually I’m brought out of my trance by my mentor whispering from the front row “Andy, it’s OK. You’ve said enough.” Shrugging my shoulders I look up and say to my audience “Well…That’s about it.” An eruption of laughter follows me off-stage and I hang my head in shame. I wanted to do well. I really believed I could, but no way in hell was I bringing my kit with me to basically a police convention.

I still do speeches from time to time. A speech at a police college, kind off  stand-up routines while training for the army (telling my life story) and an interesting speech on bagpipes –considering I know nothing about them- to name just a few.

No longer feeling the need to fill my body with shit I can actually enjoy public speaking to crowds of people about anything although it can still go badly wrong with flashbacks. With no real fear at what the future brings, no shame what so ever coupled with a relaxed pace in life I can only look back and gasp “I did that”!

My drug habits really fucked me up for a long time so I do not recommend it.

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