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18 April, 2009

by The Wandering Wastrel

So there I was, a young man … Far away from parents, teachers, well-meaning friends with good advice or any other civilizing influences.

I had gone wild, living with a friend in a burnt out caravan in the back of the orchard where we worked picking apples… when we could be bothered… which wasn’t often.

Life was a haze of dope smoke and huge mouthfuls of “Mississippi blue” a general purpose alcoholic beverage which was a thick and syrupy dark yellow mixture that tasted like it was from a cough medicine bottle that someone had filled with metholated spirits and put high on a shelf in a shed somewhere hoping that the kids wouldn’t touch it. At 40 %, and 15 dollars a liter it was only the numbers that mattered to us … and then after we had drained the filthy brew, (often wincing and letting out a rebel yell followed by the words “Nature, she’s a savage beast!”) nothing mattered.

Most of our evenings were spent driving at 10 kilometers an hour through huge fields of long green grass, which reached the door handles of our beat up blue Mazda. I would trail my hand out the window and gently touch the grass in a blissful dream world while one of Iron Maidens albums squawked at us from out the cars tinny burnt out stereo. We would drive like this until the driver would fall asleep and the car would gently roll to a stop. I would reach over and turn the key off and we would sleep the sleep of the heavily medicated to wake later with hazy recollections of … well, nothing.

Some evenings by some miracle the combination of liquor and dope would drive us into a claustrophobic frenzy and the only solution to the feeling was to “Hit the town!”

So we would meander in, sure that we were going far to fast and pull up by the park in the center of town where we would creep like ninjas up our “hidey tree”.

We were obsessed with hiding from the world and looking down on it from above. We didn’t feel right unless we were perched far up and looking way down on the world below. Having such a remote viewpoint was the only thing that stopped the fear.
Well it didn’t really stop it. It was just that when we were hiding like that, the feeling that the whole world was after us and that everyone was judging us and snickering was put on hold, because we had found a place to hide for a while.

We would go through periods of severe paranoia where we would have to “go to ground” and hide on the orchid for a few weeks, too moments where we would brazenly walk along the main street smiling at everyone and boldly involving our selves in loopy conversations with worried looking strangers.

Yet anyway we were involving ourselves in the practice of what we called “stoned out of our tree”. The fact that we were as far up and as well hidden within the huge tree in the park as was possible was a source of much mirth.

We would climb the tree and when perched on our elevated hideaway would soar to white knuckled heights of branch gripping stonedness.
At which point we would realize that there was absolutely no way we would be able to get down in our current state so for the next hour (or hour and a half depending on the quality of the product)
We would try to “kill the buzz” with a combination of deep breaths and hard focusing.
When we were sufficiently repaired we would climb down and “Bring back the buzz” in a near by bush.

This particular night we had decided to go to a party.
This involved driving around the suburbs until we heard one going on, then parking the car out side and drinking and smoking enough dope to get into the state where we decided that we were welcome.

We crept in just as it was starting and walked into the house. We were greeted by a barking Alsatian and two smiling grown ups who were sitting on the couch in the lounge having a glass of wine and listening to something from the mid eighties. The kindly looking father smiled and said “up stairs boys”.
So upstairs we clambered, sighing with intoxicated relief that he didn’t ask us a question. We barreled into the upstairs bedroom.
A group of about ten 15 or 16 year old girls turned to look at us.
We were stunned … I looked about the room … wine bottles, casks of wine and bags of wine, yes it all seemed to be in order, my paranoid and shy friend could do nothing but shake yet I remained calm and said in a conspiritory whisper “wanna smoke some dope?”
Some of them smiled and some looked very worried, so I sat down in the middle of them and started rolling big joints as one of the girls opened a window. No reason was for our presence was given until majority of them were touching the ceiling. By then the story of two wandering drifters who live in a caravan and cruise the streets at night looking for cool people to hang out with and feed drugs to seemed like a perfectly rational explanation.

The party slowly started to fill up with young men and woman carrying bottles and bags, they didn’t seem to keen on us and a few of the girls left the bedroom and went down stairs to entertain.

My friend and I continued to party and had finished off a bottle and a half of “Nature she’s a savage beast” and were leaping and prancing about the room to the music much to the disgust of the few young rednecks who had been pushed up into the room by the growing party downstairs.

A young man came up to us and kindly asked if we would join him and his friends downstairs for a large dope smoking session funded by them. So down the stairs we pranced…
The whole party seemed to follow us out and within seconds we were standing on the lawn being called faggots by a large crowd of rednecks and gang prospects, some poor kid was pushed into my friend from behind which was very unfortunate as my friend was 6 foot four and not only very solid but an incredible fan of superstars of wrestling. So the guy was pushed back, through two rows of surprised and sprawling people and upside down into the garden.
Another stupid guy tried to punch my friend in the back of his head but wound up only delivering a glancing blow and making my friend spin around and grab him by the neck, flinging him to the ground with a splat, where the guy lay gasping.
An intoxicated young lady yelled at us “You better go your going to get beaten up!” to which my friend said “Bullshit!” and punched a random guy (who’s crime was trying to look tough and menacing) in the forehead so hard I didn’t see where he went.

This was strange … there seemed to be a lot of yelling yet no one actually seemed to have the stones to do anything to us any more.

Then I saw him, a big Maori gang prospect kid who was far more then a match for little ole coughing drug addict me. I couldn’t run 50 meters with out stopping for a smoke and a lie down let alone fight someone. Yet my utter paranoia had prepared me for situations like this so I from my trench coat I drew the equalizer.
A 9-inch blade of tempered combat knife, just the thing for such a situation.
I stood in what I hoped was a professional knife fighters stance and declared in a loud and authoritative voice “We are now going to leave and if anyone tries to stop us I will kill them.”
My adversity looked uncertain of his future and the crowd went kind of white and cleared a path for us to escape to the car.

My friend led the way and we made it to the car but not with out a bit of trouble, the Maori kid was trying to get me to put the knife away but his tirade of insults and threats was being diffused by the long blade I had firmly in my grasp, as my friend opened the door of the car to get in a skinny guy attempted to push him in an aggressive manner and my friend had to turn and lift the guy up over his head and throw him down hard onto the road where despite all laws of physics he bounced once and then quietly thrashed around on his back making funny noises.

We had got into the car now and I was yelling “GO GO GO!”
As the revelers banged on the car and made a huge racket.
The car flared into life!… And stalled.
A triumphant cheer went up from those surrounding us but now we were on our way at a steady 40 Ks an hour as bottles smashed against the back of the car.

We stopped at the lights fifty meters up the road and there came a terrible whacking on my window! It was my gang prospect assailant! He was trying to break the window so I wound it down hoping to stab him with the knife which I was firmly gripping (and would continue to firmly grip for some time to come). Once the window was down a little bit his pudgy hand shot through and grabbed my shirt, the car was starting to take off and I had only a small amount of time to inflict as much damage as possible.
So in one fluid motion (like the matrix only cooler) I wound the window up on his arm, grabbed his little finger and bent it across as far as it would go, (which was far enough to break the bone making him scream like a woman) and savagely bit into his hand with all my strength, trying as hard as I could to make my teeth connect with bone. This caused him to cut short his womanly wail and rip his hand back so fast that it wrenched my head up against the door.
We sped away and I was left with a mouthful of foul tasting hot blood and a large chunks of ragged flesh which I spat out the window.

Two cars were now chasing us and so we blasted through the streets of this town at 150 Kilometers an hour. We evaded them after a few minutes with the old indicate right, turn left at high speed trick and roared back to our caravan where we sat shaking and smoking cone after cone of mind numbing fright-healing dope.

I then decided to call the police and tell them what happened.
The sergeant who I talked to politely listened to the story and then told me that we should immediately come into the police station to “sort all this out” as people from the party had called them saying that some guy had pulled a knife and threatened to kill everyone.
I assured him that that was not the case and promised to come to the station immediately to “sort it all out”.

10 minutes later we were in the car roaring south toward Wellington at an even 70, Iron Maiden blasting at us through a haze of dope smoke from our tinny stereo, heading onward and toward new realms of adventure and confusion.