So we were at this house party and I was sitting in the kitchen sink drinking lukewarm vodka out of a Sports Direct mug and talking to a guy who had a portrait of Jack Kerouac tattooed on his right arm and he was gorgeous but a total prick (much like Kerouac himself I’ve heard) but this guy looked like a member of the fucking Riot Club, all upper-class-pretending-to-be-middle-class and floppy hair and perfect teeth and skiing holidays and bonkers opinions, and we were arguing about a popular quotation that he thought was Bukowski but I knew it was misattributed and I wanted to punch him in the face but instead he lifted me out of the sink and carried me
through to the front room where everyone was rolling spliffs and fixing CK lines (that’s a mix of cocaine and ketamine that goes up your nose and makes a thousand tiny holes in your brain but it feels like one massive hole right behind your eyes) so we had uno lino por favor and were attempting to speak Old and Middle English to each other because we were on the same course and nobody else at the party knew it and it was like our special secret and we felt so superior to the Biology lot but we only knew words like meadhall and shield and protector and riverside and bejewelled so it wasn’t much
of a conversation, and then the person whose house it was took this big, ugly urn off the mantelpiece and opened it and said, This is my nan, and he poured some of her cremated remains onto the table and got a credit card and made a line out of her and snorted her ashes saying that he wants to feel close to her, and we said well, do you? do you feel close to her now? and he said yes, yes I do, and then this crazy
girl (the kind of girl who looks like she isn’t actually alive because there is so little blood in her drugstream, she weighs about the same as a paperback and she sold her soul to a man who rapes and beats her in exchange for a gram of speed, like if she were a cartoon she’d have black crosses where her eyes should be, that kind of crazy girl) decided to snort some of the grandmother and then some other girl licked her finger and dabbed it in the pile of grandmother and rubbed her bone fragments and burnt skin onto her gums and when she smiled her teeth were greyer than they were before and then suddenly this bloke was racking up lines of his fucking grandmother and people were rolling up notes and receipts and snorting her and it was fucked up even by my standards, don’t get me wrong, I’ve done some messed up stuff but this
was too far even for me, and then I noticed that the blind guy was missing and I hadn’t seen him for a while and I knew he’d dropped a load of acid and drunk 2 bottles of red wine in the space of an hour and had been boring everyone to tears banging on about the Byzantine empire and I know he’s a fucking accident waiting to happen (because he lived in my building and once he drank a bottle of bleach and the mental health team asked me to please keep an eye on him because I’m chronically suicidal so we had something in common which was literally like the blind leading the fucking blind) but still I felt obliged as a human being to find him, plus I didn’t really want a death on my hands, and besides nobody else cared where he was so I looked for him in every room and noticed that the front door was wide open and I found him laying out in the street, a few doors down, rolling around in the snow and he said to me, This is what heaven must be like, and I told him to stop being a twat and come back inside but he wouldn’t because he whole-heartedly believed I was Mary Magdalene and he didn’t trust Christian figures so I said, fine, fucking freeze to death, and then I decided that I wanted
to fuck the Riot Club guy because fucking him would be the closest thing I’d ever get to fucking Jack Kerouac which is one of my many unachievable dreams so off we went upstairs to some mildewed box-room but I had to fuck him with my right hand over his left bicep the whole time because tattooed on his left arm was a portrait of Edgar Allen Poe who (as much as I admire his writing) I definitely did not want to fuck because he sort of scares me and not in a risky-kinky way but in a creepy-uncomfortable way because whenever I think of him I think of him as a dead man and I see him as a corpse, exactly like how I see the crazy girl who was downstairs snorting some guy’s grandmother’s ashes and screaming, I CAN TASTE YOUR NAN AT THE BACK OF MY THROAT!!!
Originally published in The Worst Best Years: A Student Life Anthology (Acid Bath Publishing). Get a copy here.