The Story of my Arrest (Part 1)

Usually those memories of the defining days of our lives stay fresh, lucid and objective in our minds, ready to revisit any moment “as if it was yesterday” as the cliché goes. But, your chances of solidifying the finer details in your memory as moments pass by are greatly diminished if you are a habitual/addicted (depending on your criteria) ketamine and alcohol user. In fact this is undoubtedly the worst feature of a depressant habit – when you look back on your recent ambling through space-time all you get is haze, indistinguishable images and thoughts with no real binding structure.

It was April the 4th on a Saturday seemingly no different to those prior that turned out to be the most defining day of my life thus far. Unfortunately due to the reasons given above, the lucidity of the memories I have to my clutch are as ill defined as the face of a stranger you see through the bottom of your glass as you neck it. My memories do however pick up when I am standing on platform 9 of waterloo station, train side of the ticket barriers, my freedom of movement somewhat restricted by the handcuffs that secure my wrists behind my back. Then furthermore by the tight grip of a policeman adorned with a glowing sense of pride plastered all over his face like a spoilt obese pre-pubescent kid blowing out the candles on his first double figures, triple chocolate birthday cake. This is the point unsurprisingly when the haze somewhat fades. There I stood, surrounded by about 10 British transport policemen/women. There I stood a mere spectacle, a typical but no less gaze worthy feature of waterloo hustle and bustle, a brief hiccough in the commuters’ trajectories home, a subtle but unquestionable reminder to those more law abiding citizens not step out of line. There I stood, at the watershed of my crooked path through life and society, the mist ahead cleared – subject to the uncomfortable reality of the British justice system, a fate I had foolishly laid out for me in the 6 months prior.

I had always been a reckless person, no stranger to the sudden re-percussions of my actions – well practiced in pulling a brave face. It didn’t take me long to acknowledge and accept the consequences of this scenario I had stumbled into, despite the unprecedented profundity to me. Kind of like when you tread in dog shit, you know it straight away – and you know your going to have to spend the next few minutes picking it out of the tread of your shoes with a stick. Except this faecal matter I had trodden in had gone a bit deeper then the treads of my shoes, and it would take a lot longer then a few minutes to clean this shit off me – in fact I am yet to get this shit off me and probably never will – I had unwillingly occupied not the next few minutes but the next few years of my life, by earning myself a spot in Her Majesties Prisons. The police were yet to realize this, and I’m not one to piss on people’s fires – so I didn’t let the feeling of OH FUCK permeate my body language or speech, the years of acting cool in the face of my own mess came in handy.

They held out a folded lottery ticket with a thumb nail sized pile of white rocky powder in it and said “What’s this?”, “Ketamine” I replied “That will be what’s all over your face I take it” – my subconscious shot me the biggest sense of ‘you idiot’ it could summon, as I realized the reason why I had been pulled over.

“That’s for ‘orses innit? Why’d you wanna do that?” He said.

I subtract the many words I have on cue for my passionate response to those 2 questions I’ve encountered so many times before. Knowing my logic will fall on deaf ears, I simply respond with “Its good, you should try it at some point”

“No phanx, I’m not an ‘orse” he says and looks to his fellow police buddies to polish his pride in his builder-esque sense of humor, they chuckle…

“Have you got anything else we should know about?”

“In the bag” resistance really was futile

“Anything that might hurt me”

“Not unless your vulnerable to paper cuts”

He looks at me funny, and unzips my bag. Another officer joins in at this point, as the proceed to unloads the contents of my bag onto the concrete: laptop, cables, headphones and like all the most valuable gems in a mine, right at the bottom – a bag containing 6  rolls of banknotes adding up to £6,000. It was at this point the police had some idea of the magnitude of situation that had walked blindly into their eager mitts.

Many times I have re-called this story to the various prisoners that have questioned the presence of my unconventional demeanor in HMPHMP. Regardless of the varied parameters of the situations – my story has always provoked the same two responses: how unlucky, and/or, how stupid. To the latter, it was stupid yes, astronomically stupid– but I can honestly say that in over the last quarter of my life I have combined train journeys and ketamine literally hundreds of times, and It has never once bought me unwanted attention. I have also happily talked to policemen whilst intoxicated plenty of times and it has never resulted in a stop and search.

So, by most people’s definition, it was a case of shire bad luck. Now this is one thing I disagree with most people on – not so much their analysis of my situation, more so their conventional pre-disposition to put good or bad in front of  an unlikely scenario (which we label luck), as though it’s a black and white world we live in. I would have hoped that anyone with a tendency to wonder with their mind, might have acknowledged this incomprehensibly complex web of cause and effect that constitutes everything that happens in this universe we inhabit. Most popularly illustrated by the flapping of a metaphorical butterfly’s wings causing a hurricane on the other side of the planet. Now if you realize that the nature of cause and effect is chaotic beyond comprehension, then surely that with out minds to feeble to really make sense of this chaos, we are hardly worthy of giving jurisdiction as to the good or bad that shall arise as a consequence of scenario x? Yes we can always look at something as an isolated incident, but this bares no relation to the real world, and there is no such thing as an isolated incident.

I am now, with 8 months past since that day – able to say that thus far it seems like it was a ‘good’ luck that happened to me, as I am alive and well and there were always an infinite amount of other possibilities that could have resulted in some thing worse i.e. my death. But this label of good luck defies my rationale, for all I know I could be subjected to some random prison violence tomorrow and we would all be quick to change my luck from good to bad…

Anyway, I never explained why I was at waterloo that Saturday evening. Well, if you were as quick as the police you might have concluded that there were/are very few likely agendas of a blatant drug user with £6,000 in their bag. I was going to buy 3 kilograms of mephedrone, an amount that would take a user with a 2 gram a day habit 5 years to consume – which is something I certainly wasn’t going to do. I was intending on selling it for money, and the pay was good – at the time, mephedrone sold on the streets for £15 per gram, times that by 3,000 (grams in 3 kilos) and you have £45,000. That’s almost a 700% potential profit margin, not bad by anyone’s standards – let alone a 20 year old with no experience in business. For the record, I wasn’t going to sell it gram by gram, so I wouldn’t have maximized that potential profit – I probably would have sold the lot for around £10,000 except in 10 transactions as opposed to 3,000.

This was my source of income at the time, I wasn’t enthusiastic about doing what most kids do for money, in minimum wage jobs – I had tried that in the past and hated it, which of course is to be expected – but due to a recent diagnosis (which I shall touch on later) I have come to understand that maybe according to medical professionals, I have some sort of an excuse. Essentially though, there is no avoiding the point that humans respond to incentives, and by far the most refined universal incentive that we respond to comes in the form of money – the allure of which I helpless victim of.

So it was a Saturday, I had in fact given myself a day off drug dealing – it had become a pretty stressful job, from which I had not taken a break from in months. I was planning on relieving some of my pent up stress at an illegal rave that night, by partaking in some very un-choreographed, spontaneous, probably spasmodic muscle jerking in synchronization with hypnotically repetitive synthetic sounds at volumes that make buildings in the nearby vicinity visibly resonate to an extent they seem to dismantle themselves. Rave culture can seem so bizarre from the outside, for me it never stopped seeming bizarre after years on the inside – but there was something liberating about it, something that felt like it satisfied a very primitive instinct neglected, suppressed or bastardized in our society.

I had, just like everyday at that point in my life, found a reason I had deemed worthy to celebrate with alcohol – usually just being young, and really enjoying my shamelessly aesthetic existence, one which a Buddha would pity, but seemed to work for me brilliantly at a time when I wasn’t really prioritizing longevity. Funnily enough, the younger generations of surrounding areas had found their own reasons to celebrate, which many did the most popular drug at the time, mephedrone or “meow meow” as it fast became known thanks to its number one fan, the British press. There was a slight dilemma though, there were no supplies, or, it was as dry as the reproductive organs of a nun – as some drug users would say (albeit in a more brash way). So people were calling people, who were calling other people, who were calling other people, who were calling me, I had chosen a bad day to take a break. Reluctant as I was to break my little promise to myself, I knew that it was my loyalty to demand that had ensured a reciprocated loyalty from customers – and if I was to deviate from my service, it could cost me custom in the future – in other words it could end up being a bloody expensive night off. I reconsidered…

I made the call, grabbed enough money to re-stock, a friend, some more alcohol and a few grams of ketamine, the latter of which I normally left behind, but with a portion of myself still determined to act like it was a night off, it manifested in the loosening of my rules – the ketamine came with me… and so, a small decision dramatically effected my course through life.

Written by Fail Burgers