This is the 3rd of a Trilogy of Leon’s Journey through the madness of his addiction. From Primrose Tower, to Erdington… To his Last Stop. Click on the titles to read them or the links will feature at the end of this story along with a link to Leon’s Art Gallery.
Trigger Warning: Contains coarse language, sex, drug use, crime, homelessness and overdose.
They get me back into bed telling me they have to do more check-ups on me. I say give me some valium and I’ll let you do as many tests as you like. Ten mins later the lovely nurse brings me two Librum for the shakes and drink rattle, one blue (Diazepam) and a 10ml Temazepam… Bingo. I say to the nurse, ‘Any chance of a few more blues? I’ll be a good little boy?’ She tells me fuck off, in a beautiful West Indian accent. So I’m staying for now, only because they saved my sorry ass.
Let’s us remember, I’m a very ungrateful addict. So the blues and Libriam is doing ok. I look around and opposite me is this old boy with a very happy face. I see he’s going home. They gave him a carrier bag of meds to take home with. I shout over, ‘Hello…Got any spare Zopi’s in your bag?’. He tells me to get myself outside to have a fag and I’ll throw in a blue… Lovely jubbly.
My legs work so I’m up and a bit unsteady but I could walk ok. So I asked the nurse if I could go for a fag, I feel fine and I can walk so I go and nick a wheelchair for my new mate Mr Meds. Got the wheelchair, I’m off to go get Mr Meds and off we go. Wonderful thoughts of some tobacco, burn, nubs of anything I can smoke. I haven’t got a clue where the fuck me and Mr Meds are going but we somehow made it to the smokers at the doorway where I’m smoking Mr Meds’ fags and talking about a deal.
I think he’s trying to stall me on his meds that he’s promised me in return for kidnapping him so he could have a fag. So he gets his hot chocolate and I push him that hard his boiling hot chocolate all over his Donny gals, he’s shouting my balls, my balls!.
There was a woman and a gentleman with a tiger tattoo on his neck. We start talking to the bloke and he’s telling us about his missus that is stood next to him in a pink dressing gown smoking a fag. She’s shaking her head saying ‘I’m not a big drinker, it’s just a fit’. But the boyfriend’s face said a different story altogether. After about 10 mins of smoke and talking shit, his missus starts shaking bad. She’s having a fit, right there outside the hospital and me and her boyfriend can’t stop her from falling on the floor, where she went into a full blast alcoholic fit.
I did shit myself, thinking I must have been doing that as well. It took 6 nurses to get her on the bed and get her inside. The funny thing was, about a day after I got out of the hospital, I’m standing at 6 ways Island and on the main road and I see this pink dressing gown running down the middle of the road. The fitting woman on the run from the hospital, she said she needed a drink and she had to get to the post office. Last I ever saw of the pink dressing gown.
Right, so I’m back up to the room of death but I am being responsible because I’m helping Mr Meds back to his room! So, as we are setting off into the hospital to look for the floor or wing we are on, I haven’t a clue where to start. Mr Meds must have seen we have a mission on our hands to find out how to get back to our beds. He says I want a hot chocolate from the machine so I push him over to it. I think he’s trying to stall me on his meds that he’s promised me in return for kidnapping him so he could have a fag.
The Dr gestures putting an injection into his arm, then does another hand gesture indicating I’m an alcoholic as well as an IV using addict. The look or horror and terror in his club 18 student nurses and doctors. So I do one of the biggest belches I’ve ever done.
So he gets his hot chocolate and I push him that hard his boiling hot chocolate all over his Donny gals, he’s shouting my balls, my balls!. Lucky the nurses whisked him off to get his hot balls cooled down. So I get back with the help of a lovely nurse, but Mr Meds is not in his bed, must be sorting his balls out. Lucky bastard having two nurses playing with his balls.
I’m thinking, if he don’t come back tonight I’ll nick his meds bag when the lights are out, but hot bollocks comes back, shouting it’s all my fault. ‘Me?’ I said, ‘You don’t need your sweaty old bollocks anyway!’. So he starts telling me how many grandkids he has and how his balls were a big part in their development. I say your life won’t develop any longer if you don’t give me my meds. Good to his word, he gave me them tablets that settled my mind for the evening. I didn’t have to use the CoCod’s off the man in the next bed.
I wake up and think I’m still dreaming. Two lovely women, support workers that help people when the chips are down, are standing over me. Am I in heaven? They tell me their names and I can’t remember them now but they were lovely. Beauty to my eyeballs. They asked me if I was cold, I said, ‘Jump in and warm me up you pair. It’s just what the doctor ordered’. They laugh and this is another turning point on the road of life…they say they will see me soon.
I’m getting bored now, Mr Meds is gone, the doctors hate me because I’m just a junkie ass alcoholic. One doctor, in particular, doing his daily Adolf Hitler march through the ward pointing at charts and talking bollocks to his little ‘Club 18’, following him like some great dictator of the hospital. He gets to my bed and he don’t even stop.
We walk across the car park to the pharmacy and I have on some mouldy Adidas tracksuit bottoms and a dirty t-shirt. My trainers had holes in and my feet were wet and back to the feeling the decay and death of my OD.
The Dr gestures putting an injection into his arm, then does another hand gesture indicating I’m an alcoholic as well as an IV using addict. The look or horror and terror in his club 18 student nurses and doctors. So I do one of the biggest belches, the one thing I learnt at school, belching. Girls can fanny fart? My schooling that was… wagging it.
So the doctor looks around with his best scowl at me. I say any news on my results, Doc? He says, ‘Oh believe me, I will bring them personally myself. Move on!’ He shouts at his disciples, like Hitler telling his people, I am God. I say to the next nurse ‘I’m going. I can walk fine and I feel ok’. She says, ‘No Leon, stay here until we have all your tests back’.
I have had DVTs from injecting smack into my groin for years, so they think with the fits, OD, DTs and not doing a good job of looking after my mind, body and soul, the doctor says to fuck me off but the nurse is trying to keep me in lockdown. Hospital stylee. So she says, ‘You need your meds. I’ll take you over to our pharmacy… Have you seen the weather outside?’.
My saviour, the nurse, that probably works more hours than God can send, saving lives on a day to day basis has sorted me out. She says ‘I’m getting you a taxi home when your meds come’. I’m asking if she had sorted out the 100 valiums I had asked the doctor for?
I’m thinking I’ve been 4 floors up in a ward, rattling my back end out, what the fuck has the weather go to do with anything? As she opens this fire door it’s like a hurricane. I nearly flew back in my nurses face. We walk across the car park to the pharmacy and I have on some mouldy Adidas tracksuit bottoms and a dirty t-shirt. My trainers had holes in and my feet were wet and back to the feeling the decay and death of my OD. My poor feet have taken me on many mystery tours.
She says ‘I’m getting you a taxi home when your meds come’. I’m asking if she had sorted out the 100 valiums I had asked the doctor for? She laughs and we wait and wait. The meds come and I’ve got £2.50 in my grubby pocket. I’m already spending it in 6 ways island outdoor, in my head. The taxi comes, he has a brolly that blows inside out. It’s pissing it down, my dodgy daysaver ticket wouldn’t have made it today.
My saviour, the nurse, that probably works more hours than God can send, saving lives on a day to day basis has sorted me out. So I’m in the taxi and we stop off at 6 ways I get a big can of gas and a Tennants Super, just to get rid of the shakes. I’m freezing wet and cold as well, so I get out of the taxi, put my hand in my pocket… no keys.
Bang bang on the door, no one home. Layla and her new boyfriend pull up. I think someone put a wreath outside her door about a week or two ago, with ‘RIP Grass’. Cid interviewed me, saying he knows it was me. I’m thinking she has wanted out of this crazy house from day one, she doesn’t really drink. She lets me in and she’s saying Cid is fitting a new wooden floor in my old bedroom. I can’t find where the fuck my jacket and keys are so I sit down and think, where was I picked up by the ambulance?
Thank you Monty, you saved my life. The rest of them would have finished the crack off. But Monty made the call and I was to live another day… in misery. A slow death for me, I used to think.
I remember the doctor saying something about a road and cornflakes box when they found me… Eddy’s! Off I go to Eddy’s where I was twisted and asked for the pin while I was there. I had only been out of a rehab in Weston for 18 months while all this was going on. I’d detoxed off heroin, crack (injecting in my groin) Methadone, 80mls Tamazipan, alcohol, weed and Amytriptalin. So I was doing a seven fingered rattle. I was given 5 months of funding too.
But back to Eddy’s flat. I’m walking to Eddy’s like a drowned rat, rattling and praying I hope the fucker is in. Now he’s telling me what happened when I OD’d in his flat, days ago. He thought I was dead. He tells me they dragged my sorry ass down two flights of stairs and that’s why my back feels like someone sandpapered it. ‘I was blue and yellow in colour’ he said and it was Monty’s idea to put me outside with the cornflakes box on my lap, saying ‘OD’d and drunk’ for the ambulance.
Thank you Monty, you saved my life. The rest of them would have finished the crack off. But Monty made the call and I was to live another day… in misery. A slow death for me, I used to think. I’m getting off from Eddy’s flat, I’m not feeling too well, wet, cold, and rattling. I’m thinking I wish I had stayed in that nice warm bed back at the hospital.
Back at the house, soaked through, cold and angry. I walked into the front room where Jimbob the bullshitting, 21 year old ‘para’ was and I got him to scrub the carpet. I made out that Cid had said that he had been at the parties as well so he can help clean up the shit that we had caused. Well… All the wooden flooring got snapped in half, I kicked holes in his foam underlay and I’m not proud to say this but I pissed in both his toolboxes.
Cid says ‘Oww, assault on a police officer is a naughty charge’. I said ‘Fuck off I’m out of here in 5 mins ya wankers’. So I throw all my worldly possessions into my devoted suitcase and off we go, I said ‘Thanks for all your hospitality, ya cunt’.
Then went to bed only to be very rudely awakened by Cid and his two mates, shouting ‘You got ten mins to pack your shit, you dirty little bastard‘ They were saying he could DNA test to say it’s my piss. I tell him as a tenant you have to give me 28 days notice to leave his property. Cid gets mad now that I’m pulling the rule book on him.
The three of them surround me and one of them says ‘I seem him hit you, Cid’. Cid says ‘Oww, assault on a police officer is a naughty charge’. I said ‘Fuck off I’m out of here in 5 mins ya wankers’. So I throw all my worldly possessions into my devoted suitcase and off we go, I said ‘Thanks for all your hospitality, ya cunt’.
I go to see Kay my support worker, and a little lifesaver at that. Back over the graveyard and getting high and pissed with my suitcase, so I’m an upper-class homeless person, I think. The next morning and I wake up, in a bush in the graveyard. I haven’t got my charger for my phone and it’s dead and I’ve got nowhere to plug it in in the graveyard. I must think I’m important, as if someone wants to phone me.
So I march off to Cid’s house to get my charger for my £4 phone. The door opens and it’s the chippy, Cid man’s partner in grime. He’s putting the floor down, sorting out his piss stained tools and he’s as mad as a grizzly bear. He’s got to be 6ft 3. There were two steps up to the doorway too so from where I was stood, he looked like Godzilla of Erdington.
Kay got me on to the Art Group which was run by another lovely woman. We painted and we would all have a great time chatting and joking, drinking coffee. This was my first real engagement with art.
He is saying he should just KO me right here and no, so I look up to him and say, ‘Go on then, right there on my chin, copper boy’. Now he’s bubbling… getting mad as fuck. I say ‘I want my property out of your property that you kicked me out off. Charger please’. He marches off into the house and throws a charger at me, then tells me about what he would like to do to me down a dark alley. I tell him bollocks as I’m walking away with my charger.
I get back to the graveyard and it’s only the wrong charger. So I’m well pissed off now. I stomp back to the house and I’m banging and banging on the door. No one answering, but the neighbour comes out giving it Johnny big balls. Now I’m having an argument with the neighbour that hated that house, music, police, bail jumpers, homeless, drunks etc… etc…
He did have a lovely house as well but he could fuck off I’m trying to get beat up by the mad bear behind this door. No one comes though so I give up and as I’m walking down the path, I hear a smash. Someone’s put a brick through Cid’s window. Mustn’t have been the only person he pissed off hey?
It’s 9:30 in the morning and I have an appointment with Kay at 10am at the leisure centre and when I get there late, she sees that I’m very stressed and anxious, she says, ‘Don’t worry, you been here since 9:30 haven’t you?’. I knew then, she was my saviour, Kat, the support worker that works for the people, to keep the people alive!
I’ve mentioned before, Kay got me on to the Art Group which was run by another lovely woman. We painted and we would all have a great time chatting and joking, drinking coffee. This was my first real engagement with art. Every week I was allowed to do what I wanted, with art that is. They used to give me a drink diary which was funny as fuck. I said I forgot after 10 mins of waking up. Kay used to do a drop in on Erdo high street next to the pub.
One morning it was snowing and I was in the church way at the front, singing to my mate, my version of three little crackheads sitting in my front room, by Bob Marley. It would be 8:30 in the morning with Kay and lettuce licker, laughing their head off behind me. So I go in, get a hot drink and biscuits and on Kay’s desk, there’s a box. I look in the box and pull out a dildo.
‘You not been getting much action at home!?’ They both look at me like, ‘what the fuck you on about?’ See the dildo, and both burst out laughing again. The box is for a sex education workshop, at some place or another. Kay and Adam asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I said a pair of socks, my feet are fucking freezing and they did deliver on that beautiful Christmas present.
A humble pair of socks. It made my day… And so off I went back to the fairy godmother in Digbeth, to find me somewhere to sleep and said goodbye to Erdington.
You can follow Leon’s journey of the madness of his addiction in his other stories:
You can also see Leon’s Art Gallery by clicking here.