In this second part of our interview for the project 'The Homeless Library' The crack, the interviewee describes his end-of-days as a drug dealer and the long, long time spent rebuilding life after the fall. Substances are often around the homeless life and this is a counting of the cost.
Please note, this interview contains references to sex, violence, substance abuse.
I was a junkie, a jack-the-lad drug dealer. I had everything and I blew it all for a woman. Actually, I'll be honest, I blew it for crack cocaine. That's how I got me head cut up. (Shows scars.) Mind you, the guy who did it to me was dead 6 months later, natural causes. Cancer of the testicles. Cut me to ribbons and he died of a big bollock. Couldn't have happened to a nicer man, swing low sweet chariot. He would've cut a baby in half. On this night, he had a sword in his hand. Like King Solomon, but stupid. It was blood up the wall, like a butcher shop. My blood. A slaughterhouse, is what the police said.
If something goes that badly wrong you turn to your mates and that's it. Can't turn to the law cos if you turn to the law you're a midnight.
|'What did I learn? Anon, mono print on vintage book. March 2015|
I was doing well. The police raided me and they kept missing where I kept the drugs. The most they got on me was for a bit of personal. Never had me and the drugs in the same place, I always kept those two things separate and they couldn't figure it out. But after the fourth raid I walked away from it.
The geezer who picked up my job, they rumbled him after two days. Proper hoisted him. He sat in a bus stop selling heroin for three solid hours. That's the laziest effort I ever heard of. One of the crummiest attempts at being a criminal. No pride in the job, personally I blame the parents.
When I was dealing I earned £500 a day, but I woke up each morning in debt. Crack, spend everything you've got on it. Once my boss left me with a big chunk and when he came back the next day I'd had it all. He said, "There was £3000-worth of crack there!" I said, "What can I say? It's just the way it is."
When it all fell apart I took this woman for a dirty weekend in Blackpool, bad idea. She was up for it, but she was my landlord's girlfriend. He was more angry with her than me. He said, "After all, I'm fucking her not you." On the same weekend he got arrested with my drugs on him. It was destiny.
When I left the life, what did I walk away into? I walked away into nothing. Got put into a hostel and I quit. Decided I'd had enough. Five years I was in the hostel, Project 34. I got on with the male staff, but I drove the female member of staff mad. She'll always remember me, and my little niggles. Women think they're the more intelligent sex, but they're easy to wind up, aren't they? She was most anxious I got put in a flat, before she got put in a cell. I'm in a flat now, though I nearly lost it in a minor dispute over electricity.
That's the story of how I got here.
(Interview with Phil at The Wellspring, Feb 2015)