I want to write the stuff I read – I want to tell tales of waking up still drunk in a gutter, knife lodged in my side and with my money stolen by the hooker I befriended in a boozed-up stupor. I want to write songs about how I’ve lost everything and a bit more, how my life is absolute rock bottom and I’ve taken up skag just to make it a bit worse.

But I can’t, no matter how much I might try to fake it.

I didn’t exactly grow up with what one might refer to as a ‘thug life’. A comfortable upbringing, broken home and emotional underdevelopment aside, means I wasn’t exactly at constant risk in my childhood on Skid Row.

I mean sure, I wasn’t allowed a bike because I was clumsy and probably would have died if I’d had one. But it’s not like my parents came home hammered every night and beat the living snot out of me. Though they did sometimes come home hammered. As did I from the age of about 13. But we don’t talk about that.

It’s not even like I can claim the oh-so-cool experience of abusing whatever substances were put my way. We were educated at school about the dangers of drug and solvent abuse, and my opinion on it then was the same as it is now – why the fuck would I bother? Also I learned a slang term for heroin was ‘shit’ in the youth club, so I didn’t really want to go near ‘shit’.

And it wasn’t even a youth club where people fought. They just played pool and ate Chewits.

Growing up was imperfect, often boring, not as worldly as it would have been in other places and generally unremarkable. That doesn’t exactly make for interesting stories.

I am glad of that, mind you.


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