A big weekend for myself. Perhaps heralding much change, perhaps just another mis-step on the path.

I was in Adelaide from Thursday night to last night. Three days all up. A required absence from gear. I am down to just ten mg of the stuff. A small amount has its positives and negatives.

Positives: You seem to bounce back very quickly after a day or two of post-using minor-withdrawal. And you only need tiny amounts to flush you out of the beginnings of sickness. A milligram, maybe two and you fall asleep in your hotel room for a few hours. Plus there is a clarity I did not have at higher dosages.

Negatives: You fall deeper. A fifty packet was once something you took in your stride. Now it means a day or two of pain if you don't use that much every day. And so are habits born.

So I flew into Adelaide Thursday night, late. I had scored a century through a proxy mid Thursday afternoon, but not from my regular source. This was enough to set me on that nervous junkie path of wanting to score again, 'just to make sure'. S and I tentatively planned to get another century on the way to the airport, and then went and grabbed some takeaway, as there would be no food on the flight. No entertainment, no food, no drinks. Flights were just that these days. Heavy on scanning and security, light on onboard service.

Friday morning I awoke with a headache and went to my meeting. As is the way with these things, about a third of my dose leaked out and ran down my leg on the tram headed south. This happens fairly regularly, indeed I try to philosophically view it as just another reduction technique.

The morning went by slowly, I made one comment publicly and it was a goof. I asked if PHX were looking at developing a certain service, which it turns out they have had this particular ability for a while. I returned to my headache and drank the last dregs of my metro at lunch. The afternoon was not as bad as the morning. More than a need for metro, my pain felt more like a slowness to start than endorphine deprivation. Age, perhaps.

I returned to the hotel and started in on Saturday's takeaway dose. I drank perhaps a quarter of it before midnight. Things were not looking great for Saturday. i convinced S to catch a tram out to the end of the line with me, as I had been excited to read that Regina Spektor was playing in Adelaide. I had thought no big acts came here. I queued up at the box office and discovered tickets were $88 each. Buying two would leave us with $20 to spend on the rest of our trip, if we were to get the car out of parking for $95 plus petrol plus Adelaide airport taxi...

I milled around outside the Entertainment Centre, not wanting to admit I wasn't going in. We loitered near a wall with a 10 inch gap under it until two security guards came over and stood next to it until we left. What depressed me most was the knowledge that I would spend 2 X $88 on packets in a heartbeat. It was a moment like this plus a few others that added up to my weekend realisation that I put gear above all else. Above seeing a band I love. Before going to a movie. Gear comes first. What more definition of addiction did I need?

Back to the hotel room, I tossed and turned but got a little sleep perhaps. I spent most of Saturday on the hotel bed, venturing out once or twice - once for an hour's walk with S to a local park to watch swans and pelicans cohabit. Saturday was not a good day, but I did have enough experience to know Sunday would be better. And I managed to make it through the day without tucking in to Sunday's dose. I set myself certain time s- no more metro until midday. Then I pushed it out to one pm. And somehow, the mornings are always rougher than the afternoons. Whilst I may need five or six small swigs to get me to midday, once I am a couple of days clean I can get from midday to bed without any more.

Sunday. Woke feeling human for the first time an a while. I have been using heavily to supplement the meagre shots I have. When I do have a shot I try to go 60:40 with the girl to minimise my exposure. $28 shots.

Watched Anzac Day march, checked out of the hotel and then spent seven hours wandering around. S was as exhausted as I was, we would take quite a few long sits on benches. I bought a couple of Dredd Megazines, $40. Catching up on the antics of Tank Girl, the Black Museum and Dredd his-self. No cinemas in the city I was told. Lots of skanky looking girls, but perhaps it's an innocence skankness. S bought a candy striped mini. I tried to tell her she would not wear a mini, she didn't do that anymore. She cited a dress she wore to work regularly that always elicited comments such as 'Is that a T-Shirt you're wearing as a dress?' I cannot recall such a dress but still believe her.

Saturday night I said hateful things to her, stretched from sickness and what seemed like her constant complaining. The hotel room was no good.The alarm clock radio buzzed too loudly. I said I had not wanted her to come down, which was more of an idle thought than a definite desire. But who can discern a from b.

We organised scoring before we left the hotel lobby. Not through a chemical need for gear, but through a desire to repeat deeply ingrained behaviour patterns. So it seemed. When we were using very very heavily we always had to have shots lined up regardless of where we were, and this fear-driven behaviour survives to today.

We flew back. Zipped to score, got smashed. It was as if we never left. Woke the next day (this morn), discovered S was missing a metro dose, most likely chemist error. Just what we needed to justify using again. It does not take much these days.


So here I am. I have psychological strength, a sick sort of hatred (and now I think, this was perhaps generated by seeing Jani G on Thursday afternoon in my chemist just before leaving for the airport) that I cannot see if it is for myself or for the me that uses. I want to eat well. I want to save money. i want a clean flat.

I can have all these things if I just don't use. How can I find out if I really have this strength? Well two days away, Wednesday , S will be paid, I want not to use that day. S is with her mum that day.

I doubt if I will write again before then. I only hope I sustain strength in the face of statistical unlikeliness.

In the hotel I watched an Arabic TV show on the resurgence of the falcon industry in Dubai.

'The falcon cannot hear the falconer' I thought as I watched.