SO MY delirium went, on that black sand beach, for the first week or two.
Then I grew bored. So very, very bored. And not long after I did my first festival straight: Splore, an hour outside Auckland. It is not recorded in these pages because, and I have to be honest here, it sucked the fat one - hard.
While all my friends charged around, while John learnt how to dance to Drum and Bass and Sarah got sunburnt and the whole of Splore shuddered and jumped, I was in my tent early, wiped out. Water, good times and the contact high weren't nearly as energising as I'd hoped.
To tell the truth It felt as if I slogged through a damped-down monochrome whilst all my friends soared in glorious HD and this worked on me after. But I was a Rottweiler with his favourite toy, I growled and I held on. I feared for the meaning of my travels otherwise. For the terminus they harboured. In all I straight edged for fourteen weeks.
Looking back now I see it was inevitable I would crack and just as inevitable it would be at John's house. John was a good friend, unempathetic, sure, but a man of moderation I much admired. Wildly successful in business, a salesman extraordinaire and yet electronica enthusiast and rager also, John had seen me go through many self-improvement schemes over the years. Let me correct that. John had seen me start many self-improvement schemes over the years.
Because they always ended in a swift crash, the wheels of the wagon breaking, the bodies and aspirations flying. More often than not John sabotaged the wagon himself, waiting until my back was turned to snap a few spokes - not out of malice or spite, but because he knew my soul wasn't serious.
That night, at his house, two weeks before boarding my first plane, sitting outside, his pack of cigarettes lying provocative between us, John rolling one of his perfect double-skinner spliffs - for me, that is, unless you want to partake? - it all reached a final point of saturation, the weakness and the desire. My constant companions I could no longer dissolve.
They'd been on the swell for months, feeding off every close-fought fight, augmented, like being struck in the same knot of muscle, continually, the ache deeper with every blow. And I felt compressed, ever more oppressed by the pressure, self-applied. It lay across all my vistas like a pyroclastic cloud. And the remembrance of Splore lingered. And it occurred to me I’d become so fixated on the outcome I’d forgotten about the experience.
And I really, really, really wanted a durry.
When the harpies come to tear off the roof, why sometimes it was better to open the front door. I crumpled, a paper pillar. I strapped on a gold watch and marched straight edge Izz off into retirement. I had a few beers, had a few cigs, and later we enjoyed the spliff as John had always known we would.
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