More to Life

Hotel California

Bang ! Bang ! Bang!

Who’s that knocking at your door?

A million thoughts can run through your head at a time like this. It’s 3.42AM. It’s 5.35PM. The mystery guest doesn’t call ahead or make reservations. You stop what you’re doing and hesitate for a minute to wonder… Is it the Repo man in his sombre suit waiting for you to open the door and grant him access to all your worldly goods? Is it the police knocking on your door with news of a death in the family? Is it the angry boyfriend of that girl you slept with unknowingly last week…?

No. It’s your friend.

You know, the one who you met at a party a while ago. The one who has the same music and film tastes as you. The one you skipped the traditional family meal for to play football in the park. The one you trust.

The hesitation stops and you make your way over to the door to welcome in your guest. Those who believe in Vampires say you’re safe at home until you welcome one into your humble abode. Then you are theirs for good.

It’s raining outside and the draft sweeps across the threshold, swiftly followed by your friend. For an instant, you don’t recognize him. He is wet and limp, but instead of heading your settee, he walks around the living room. His pace is relentless and it tires you to watch, so you slump down on the settee. Your friend is obviously looking for something.


You recognize the smile, but the wide eyes are wanton. Fidgeting fingers struggle with a pack of cigarettes, release one and lift it to his dry lips. One long hard inhalation of toxic fumes and a calm suddenly settles this wanderer. You relax.

Between the third and fourth puff on the cigarette, your friend gives a suggestive wink and shrug. You raise your eyebrows, lean forward and smile back. You turn and open the top drawer of the dresser. A box of matches, a pack of cards, two coins, an elastic band, a biro and bits of tinfoil. You take out the tinfoil and matches.

You catch a glint in the eye of your visitor. You stand up and walk past him towards the kitchen. The bin is half empty and you fill it with the tinfoil. Then you strike a match and light the stove. There is always time for a cup of tea. Your body goes into auto pilot as you prepare the universal offering.

Two cups. One teaspoon. Sugar. Milk. One tea bag. The average teabag can infuse up to seven cups of tea.. The teabag drops into a cup. Boiled water strikes the bag and a brown smoke of flavour fills the cup. Stir. Remove and drop into the second cup. Pour more water and wait. You remember the time you beat your friend 3-Nil at Pro-Evolution Soccer. Remove the tea bag. Pour in the milk and watch thick clouds appear in each cup. One teaspoon of sugar for you. Two for your guest.

As you turn, Smack!

Hot tea sprays across the kitchen cupboards and scolds your forearm. A whirr of shining metal races towards you. Blood sprays left and right, diluting with the milky white tea puddles. It doesn’t hurt. Your eyes lock on those of your friend. All those fond memories disintegrate into the huge dark pupils of your guest. You’ve invited the devil into your humble abode.

The pain starts to stream across your body and you drop to the floor. The tiles are cold and dirty. It will take at least a couple of hours to clean this mess. You friend rips drawers open and cutlery flies across the room. The knife he’s holding is dripping in your blood. 7 inches of stainless steel painted red.

Your friend finds what he’s looking for. A grocery bag full of tin foil wraps. Each shiny package contains a small weight of crack cocaine. It took you one whole day and an eighth of skunk to prepare those. One rock. Two rocks. Five grams. Different horses for different courses. Whilst you empty yourself of bodily fluid on the kitchen floor, your friend is stealing your income.

Over the moon and practically laughing, your friend clutches his addiction and takes one more look at you. For an instant, you see the same face you saw when you both met for the first time. Then you no longer recognise him. He bends down and stabs you straight in the heart.

All around the UK a new phenomena is raging. Crystal Meth. The Misled Youth is easily impressed and enjoy the profits. A few simple ingredients have turned your kitchen into a laboratory.

That first toke takes you to a place you’ve never been before. An imaginary paradise. The people who’ve been there know this and will stop at nothing to try and find it again. Eventually it’s all they can think about, and as long as you can supply them with the ticket to ride, you will always be friends for a price. Nothing in Life is for free, so you can expect your bill soon.

They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can’t kill the beast…

Maxwell Woodger Esq.
Saturday, 13 May 2006