Peter’s Complaint

Doggerel Dave

( • strong language warning • Material unsuited for those of delicate disposition who lead sheltered lives. )

It’s not as if I asked for the earth – just a little help from a friend – well friend of necessity anyway. That guy Dave, so straight –  “Have you tried ginseng, Pete?” he asked me once. She-it! What’s he doing squatting, anyway? He’s got a job in the Post Office or something – silly sod. Just a bad day probably, but he finished it off; it’s not as if I was asking for the earth. No, more than just a bad day; as that rat bag flogging his religious tracts down the highroad used to say, “the end is nigh” – I feel it in my bones – they’re numb, just a dull ache – with cold – internal cold , everywhere.

All the days are bad now, none of them easy. First get the bread. Harder all the time. The punters can sus me from the other end of the street: the weight loss, the teeth, the sniff when hanging out. No energy to take care of myself. I look like shit. They don’t want to touch me and they don’t want me touching them. Probably just as well -  I always hated it – and them, anyway.

And the scams don’t work anymore – the time we relieved a young tourist of an expensive camera by pretending to be plain clothes fuzz involved in an ongoing crime scene for which the film was now primary evidence. Even managed  a quick contrived receipt.

 Never tried the old break and enter – ‘bit claustrophobic - preferred outdoor work –more exits if things screw up.  The greatest of times – I felt in control then. Now, I really have to drag up the energy to corner some straight elderly guy and terrify him a bit.  Resorted to the old “need the fare, man, otherwise I’m going to get fined, man, got to get to the dole office” routine - among others! Hard work but steady pickings. Made up the shortfall in the end….. Got it together but late. Not that it mattered too much. Time was, regular supply was there. I knew the guy, knew when it was available, trusted him, (well trusted that the stuff was regular, of steady quality anyway). Now it might  be any one of half a dozen names, all different, variable locations, with shit which could be good, bad, heavily cut, or occasionally --- almost pure. Word of mouth on the street says where it’s at today.

Time was, I was in control. If new, different supply – get home, try a little first, gauge its strength and go from there. Not anymore. It’s “Find the spot” time folks. Arms, legs long gone, ears, lips, my dick. All useless. All Kaput – that last in more ways than one.

I wasn’t asking for the earth and Dave, that prick, wouldn’t help.

Showed him a letter from Mum last week; said it was just like a letter from his mum, except his mum was on about him coming home settling down, getting a family, a mortgage – fare available.    While mine was on about a new cure a pop star had taken – she’d read about it in her Sunday paper, and helping me out if I needed the money!

Cook up, fill the fit and if I can find a spot shoot the lot.  Three or four visits by the ambulance in the last few months wasted all my efforts. Some sharing caring cunt has called them – should have left me.

And now: Had a bit of success recently with the second toe on the left foot, but oh gees, not much luck tonight. Shaking hands and blunt fit. Hunt around the house. They’re all out. So much for support. Kitchen’s empty except for that Dave. He could do it for me. Only got to stick it where I show him, and press slowly. I put it to him. He turns white, tells me to get fucked and heads for the rubbedy to get pissed.            



  • Author: Doggerel Dave (Pseudonym) (Offline Offline)
  • Published: February 11th, 2021 18:53
  • Comment from author about the poem: 1975, communal squat Inner London. Area includes pockets of almost total urban decay – ready for revitalization, and perhaps gentrification which definitely hasn’t started yet. Further notes below.
  • Category: Unclassified
  • Views: 30


  • Doggerel Dave

    Rubbedy - Rhyming slang: Rub a dub dub = pub.
    I deny I suggested ginseng. We spoke of the ‘done – methadone, maintenance medication taken orally.. Pete wouldn’t consider it. Stated it was an artificial chemical. What he thought his last hit was cut with I have no idea – organically grown green tea leaves perhaps?
    Didn’t work for the Post Office – A clerk for British Telecom actually (but let’s not quibble.)
    Ambulance administered Narcan which counters the effects of the smack.
    I understand, on good authority, it was quite possible to maintain a habit and lead a functional life – some however couldn’t…

    Didn’t do it; did head to the rubbedy. How did I tell him? You be the judge.

  • FredPeyer

    Great short story, Dave! I am not familiar with the drug scene, but your writing kept me on my toes. Can't wait to read more shorties from you!

    • Doggerel Dave

      Thanks for that Fred. I’ll see if I can’t ferret something else out, a bit further down the track.
      And you don’t have to apologize for not knowing about such matters – mine is hardly a life enhancing, saintly gift…

    • orchidee

      If it was not such a serious subject - he would just be having bad-hair day!

      • Doggerel Dave

        Yes - serious. Thanks orch.

      • Syd

        Hi Dave,

        I really enjoyed this piece. Especially this part "Three or four visits by the ambulance in the last few months wasted all my efforts. Some sharing caring cunt has called them – should have left me." - Great stuff.

        I love the gnarly details to this story which makes it so real.

        - Syd

        • Doggerel Dave

          Thanks Syd

          I was pretty confident about it myself as I remember those times vividly - but it's nice to get confirmation sometimes.

          Regards Dave

        • 🐤s.zaynab.kamoonpuri🌷🐦😽

          A sensational extraordinary story you relate, very interesting, jawdropping the part of the expensive camera and pretend crime scene gahh. Kudos for your narrative powers.

          Plz do read and comment my newest poem too.

          • Doggerel Dave

            Thanks for your surprise visit to my story. I hope you got something (though I hesitate to speculate as to exactly what) out of it.
            Good place to clarify one or two things:
            The lead up to, and the kitchen scene is absolutely true. ‘Pete’ did exist, it did happen.
            His endeavors re the accumulation of the ‘bread’ is largely speculation based on much knowledge gained professionally over the years (Yes - no life experience is wasted and I have put knowledge gained early to good use later).
            Specifically, since you mention it, the camera scene comes from an account a young woman (19 years approx and naïve) told to me. Happened on tour overseas.

            I accepted your invitation to view your latest. Full of interesting imagery which made me feel quite hungry. However, I’m not religious. For a fuller statement of my position , please read my poem ‘Finale’.
            May I draw your attention in particular to the penultimate stanza, which depicts my position with respect to other people’s religions. In other words, you are welcome to your religion so long as it doesn’t impinge on me in any way either by attempted conversion or loss of my freedom.
            Apologies for lack of commentary on that page, but I, like orchidee, only from a different position have no wish to get involved. Been there – done that.

            • 🐤s.zaynab.kamoonpuri🌷🐦😽

              Well my poem was also meant to be a mouthwatering appetiser and most other international poetry sites i posted the same on took it for that and enjoyed it for its blessings reminders as it didn't make them focus on religion actually.
              My poems defend my religious view and promote it yeah but so do the other religions poems here and everywhere so a poem can not impose anything trust me, it may waken the conscience but there's no force, we all have free will.
              Even if i indirectly implied that forbidden things such as bats and snakes shouldn't be eaten, because i think that's how the virus mutated and multiplied from what i read, yet everyone is still free to eat it if they want, my poem isn't a moral police or vigilante. Its just reasoning based on religion and facts. Cheers and peace.

            • Neville

              a darn good tale sir ... and you took me back to 1977/8 to the time I first started prescribing methadone as an opiate replacement ....

              • Doggerel Dave

                Thanks Neville - A comment I really value for obvious reasons.

              • AwHec8

                Good God in His Kingdom, I just had a flashback to 2 different stories of People that sadly are gone now. Both lost to the needle. 1 when I was in the emergency room as I was getting breathing treatment myself and the guy was in the bed next to mine he died that night (doctor came in and asked him how did he want to die as sepsis from a broken needle had turned half his body dark black & blue). 1 was my little brother who tried on his last night in hospital to call me but didn't get through. Both men big strapping muscular fellows at 1 time yet shrunken shells of men at the time of death. Both taken way too soon. And I am crying. Don
                This story was as Graphic as real life. Period.

                • AwHec8

                  Let me say that what the doctor said was this,
                  "The infection in you from the broken needle is way too far gone (had been left to fester way too long) to save you from dying. You can die the way you are as you will not last the night or even if we try to operate you will die as your body is too weak. So you will die on the table."
                  This Guy you could tell at 1 time was a well built man, like a Chris Hemsworth (6'4") and muscles on muscles. Yet was a total shell of himself.
                  Oh and the reason I heard and seen all this was the drapes that divided the beds were open. As the doctor looked over and seen I was witnessing all this with my mouth hung open and the look of fright, he calmly closed the drapes to give the guy a little privacy.

                  • Doggerel Dave

                    Thanks for your detailed response, Don

                  • sorenbarrett

                    A gritty piece of work that took me to the scene. Nicely written with the "I don't give a damn" attitude of those that live it.

                    • Doggerel Dave

                      Thanks a lot Soren for hauling that one out of my dusty archive. My feeling about life is that I do give a damn....but not too much...

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