Saturday, May 05, 2012

the heebeegeebee range

The night lifted away suddenly, cleanly, without anyone noticing, and now the sky rides above us silver and blue. Outside the station the Born Again Christians have almost finished packing away the trestle tables of their soup and sandwich kitchen; a lorry makes a delivery to the All-Night supermarket, its cages booming off the ramp; a Scarab truck with its slow-flashing orange lamp scavenges litter, and the last of the clubbers stagger home as seagulls shriek and wheel above the road.

An ambulance car is parked by an old railway tenement block. Richard, the paramedic, comes out to tell us what he found.

‘Hi guys. Thanks for stopping by. We got a call from a member of the public who’d found Aimee slumped in the doorway looking distressed. He couldn’t get much sense out of her when he asked if everything was okay, so he called us. I’d put her at GCS fourteen. No sign of trauma or anything amiss in her obs but Aimee must have taken a bath in fairy dust or something guys because her pupils are like dinner plates. She’s off orbiting some alien world, freaking out, yeargh! No idea where she is. Completely suggestible. I asked her if she lived here and she said yes, but no-one knows her of course. No ID. I’d guess she was about twenty or so. Don’t know if I heard her name right, but she seems to respond to it. I think it’s just a case of hospital for safety until she splashes down again. Sorry guys. How’s your night been? Pretty crazy, if it’s anything like mine. I’ll bring her out.’

He goes inside and a moment later re-emerges with Aimee following. With her head down, her long hair hanging over her face, the hospital blanket draped over her shoulders, she could be a hermit being led out of a cave after a twenty-year retreat. Her nose pokes out of the fall of her hair; as she emerges from the gloom of the hallway, she gently hooks the hair away and slowly looks around with an expression of existential terror on her face, a hollow-eyed sadness that things should be as they are. She hesitates, appalled that anyone could expect her to go any further into something so ruined, so terrible.
‘Come on Aimee. Let’s get you in the warm.’
I take her gently by the arm and she drifts along beside me, so lightly I may as well have tied a helium balloon to my elbow, a character shape from the new, grimly-realistic Urban Collection: Bad Tripper, from the Heebeegeebee range.

5 comments:

jacksofbuxton said...

Cleaning up again Spence.Should buy you and Frank a cleaners outfit.

tpals said...

The things people do to themselves.

Beautifully descriptive, Spence.

Spence said...

jacks - Yep, our specialty. In fact, Frank is like the Mr Wolf character in Pulp Fiction. Very direct. Very reliable.

tpals - There's such cultural weight behind psychotropic drugs like LSD they're difficult to resist. A revelatory vision of the way things are is quite an attractive prospect. Almost religious. But of course the risk is that it won't go quite so smoothly, because there are so many unknowns - how you'll react, what the strength of the substance is &c. So I completely understand why someone would do it, but I've always hesitated myself as I'm freaked out enough by vivid dreams, let alone strong drugs. :)

Bobbi said...

I know it's bad, but I always find drugged-up casualties a bit...strange. It's like they don't quite belong, like they've been dropped in to observe, and the mother ship will pick them up later, only the consequences of not doing their 'Humans' homework is yellow and shiny with a blue light... I don't think I'd ever do drugs - the idea of not being in control of my mind is terrifying, and if you add what they could be cut with - *shudder*

Spence said...

Hi Bobbi
It's true, there's def something 'other' about them. Of course there's a long tradition of taking mind-altering drugs, across all cultures. Just ask Jim Morrison.

Funnily enough, I was reading about the Fly Agaric mushroom the other day (I found one when I was out walking the dogs). Apparently some Norse warriors used to drink a preparation of it before they went into battle - to make them into wild fighting spirits. Mind you, I don't suppose that would've been cut with talcum powder or worse. If it had, they'd have probably said no thanks and gone into battle stone cold sober. :0)