Out and About

sayarsan's picture

The first rainy day for some months, really a drizzle more than serious rain, and ideal conditions to poke around at odd jobs at home and to enjoy a nice cozy bed and some short stories by Maugham. Saturdays are the most suitable days to go through what it takes to get market value on a 'q' i.e. a 1/4 ounce or 7gms of standard issue hydro from a contact that has stood the test of time, must be 20 years by now. The same missus since we first met, children, grandchildren and grand-parents it's a relief to deal with someone who isn't a bit dodgy at best and a shyster playing at plastic gangster often as well.

I make the call to get the 'all clear' and at 2:30pm get the 1/2hr bus to the train which takes 50 minutes to get to the city where I change to another line. Fighting the torpor of a hefty dose of Biodone I manage to get off at the right station to change but made the mistake of getting on an express which takes me miles out of my way until I am able to disembark and make my way back to where I made my mistake only to get on the wrong train again and disembark at the next stop where I have to walk from Logan Rd. to Ipswich Rd. and catch a bus.

By now my bag of fruit has been lost in the confusion and I am feeling the malaise that tobacco smoking creates, especially on an empty stomach. I get the bus and once again overshoot my stop so I have to disembark, cross the road and go back a few stops so I eventually reach my destination a good 90min later than I expected. A brief chat with matey and the transaction complete I make my way back by train and elect to postpone having a smoke until I get home, two more trains, a 1/2hr wait for a bus that takes as long again to get me to my stop.

Once home I have a few pieces of fruit and a cup of cocoa while I roll a joint and drop 10mg diazepam feeling somewhat satisfied considering how frail I had felt a few days prior. I give my old friend Mark a call but after an hour or so begin to succumb and drift off to sleep, by way of apology I compliment him on his engrossing story, complete with lullaby. He gets the joke and we ring off, he for his vodka and me for a delicious sleep lasted through to 4:30am. In fact I was beginning to feel annoyed by Mark's incessant interruptions which break my train of thought and give the impression he isn't really listening and I wonder if he isn't following in his mother's footsteps and showing signs of a nascent senility.

I remember when I was still at high school although I had left the parental confines about 10 months previously. My naivete and precociousness as a 17 year old coupled with more than a bit of perseverance had conferred upon me the ability to get pot from a couple of the vendors out Brookfield/Moggill way when these were outer suburbs beyond the system of traffic lights or street light. Marko was a few years younger than me so when he wanted to get a smoke I would gladly oblige since we shared everything in the end. From our house on Latrobe Tce. Paddington I walked about a mile to Coronation Dve where hitch-hikers were confident of getting a lift back then and thumbed a ride to Indooroopilly then another ride which took me to within a discreet distance from my destination. I walked up the drive to the owner of a pair of exquisite Italian racing bikes only to learn that he was dry. My look of disappointment must have moved him to make a call to one of his associates who lived nearby and was able to arrange for me to visit. All I had to do was get back to the part of Moggill Rd where Brookfield Rd veered off and then go a couple of miles into Brookfield. Arriving at this destination I met my contact who had never laid eyes on me. The year is 1973 in a police state, people in other states chided us on our paranoia when we visited Sydney or Melbourne. A person of my age and appearance took it for granted that if a police car drove past while I was walking about after 10 o'clock I would be stopped, searched and subject to a records check. I had recently completely two years probation for possession of hash and felt like a sitting duck and used these opportunities to anneal myself against paranoia.

At Brookfield I was given a cordial if bemused reception and invited in for a cup of tea and a chat during which questions were asked, eyebrows were raised and smiles were common until the time came to do some business. I was told that he only had 'fines' or the 'shake' from the bottom of a bag which in this case would have originally contained a pound. If the pound had been predominantly composed of flower heads so would the shake but it had no stalk or seed so that 30gms of this was much better value than the average ounce of kiff, heads, stalk and seeds. I thanked him quite sincerely and left with a 'goodbye, and if you need any more...'

I got down to Brookfield Rd and put out my thumb in total darkness until a car drove past and stopped to take me all the way to the corner I wanted on Coronation Drive within a 30 minute walk from home. When I finally returned I showed Mark and the others as we got a smoke together and I didn't feel at all unreasonable when I told Mark we would go halves in the bag. I paid my share on payday and between the two of us we seemed to smoke for ages from the bag of fines. That was just over forty years ago now, one of the few constants in my life.