Wednesday, 8 November 2006

"Leave me...

I have just finished reading a book called Smack, by Melvin Burgess. Twenty years ago, I was at the height - or to be more accurate, the depth - of my heroin addiction. Reading this book was like listening to echoes, and what struck me the most was that there was not much difference between the British teenagers of those pages and the Bangalore teenagers of my past. Different slang, different lifestyles maybe, but the essence and the philosophy by which we lived and breathed: no difference. We thought we were unique. We thought our situation, our emotions, our attitudes .. we thought we were something special. It must have meant a lot to have that, I think now, because I don't think we had very much else. Today, finding this out: that none of what we did thought or felt was unique, brings up some kind of twinge, something akin to pity for that girl of twenty years ago. Back then, it probably wouldn't have mattered. That's what smack did. It made nothing else matter very much.

Today I look at this old poem of mine and suddenly it's not just mine any more. Dear me, what an odd feeling that is.

Leave me alone.
Let me live my life my way.
Let me die.

The choice is mine
and I reject life.
All I want is brief song
and silence.

Cry if you must
but forget me.
I don't want to be a memory.
I don't want a tombstone.

(written on Sept 28, 1985, at 11.44 p.m.)

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