“Located in a peaceful and secluded part of Southgate, Priory Hospital North London is set within a striking Grade I listed building, overlooking beautiful parklands. It is one of the UK’s leading centres for the treatment of a wide range of mental health difficulties including addiction.”
We used to get wasted in the grounds of The Priory.
Pilfered rosé & salty MDMA gave us strength to scale
the wrought iron hospital gates. Those countless hours
spent wrecked on K cider & ketamine, looking to spy
a celebrity detoxing, high out of our minds, shrieking
about Winehouse, chanting WE WANT AMY, waving
to a very moody Kate Moss & Lily Allen sitting morose
in the window, getting chased away by burly security,
pissing ourselves laughing.
Us girls faking Amy with fat eyeliner & hairstyles
teased to within an inch of their lives, our burgeoning
teenage tits in super-padded bras, no match for Katie Price,
Queen of Page 3, who The Sun said was busy getting clean
inside the building (sleeping pills, apparently). And the boys,
how they each aspired to be a Libertine! Wannabe Pete Dohertys
in skinny jeans & skinnier ties & trilbies thieved from Camden Market.
We were just babies: drinking-dancing-spinning-gagging,
shagging in the pine trees, wearing band tees & ripped fishnets,
sporting stick ‘n’ poke tattoos & infected tongue piercings,
frantically chain-smoking filthy Mayfairs, vomiting & forging
blood pacts & beating each other up, overdosing purely for the craic,
for the shits & giggles, for the story. Imagine the fucking irony,
if one of us was to die outside The Priory!
(God, there were so many nearlys).
All those Tuesday afternoons spent downing
cans of warm Red Stripe & huffing glue
when we should’ve been at school. All of us
quickly graduated to cocaine & Grey Goose.
Little did we know that we were future addicts
in the making. Three of us are still stuck in
the addiction grip, two of us are in recovery,
not allowed to imbibe a drop or inhale a single line
at parties. Pretty sad, really, considering.
Once upon a time they wanted to send me to The Priory
to fix my schizophrene tendencies, but it cost £5k a week
& that was way back then & so, to this day, I remain
un-treated, addicted, insane. What happened to us, eh?
What became of the likely lads? Whatever happened
to the Liberteens? If we knew what we know now,
would we change a thing? Of course not.
Tonight I listen to ‘The Good Old Days’ on spotify
& smile so fucking wide & chop up another line
& text you all saying, “Reminiscing on our
reckless youf. What a bunch of wronguns
we were hahaha Skins had nothing on us.
Love you all so much.”
And nobody replies.
Originally published by Punk Noir Magazine (January 2022)