Westcroft Square, Mr Jones!


Returning from our walk through a magical park in Ravenscourt at dead of night, why the delay before we were let in? No matter. Entering the dim room we watched in mild amused surprise as masking-tape resealed the now closed door... perhaps, I thought, glancing round, the same as had been used to line the window-frames. The smell was not the same as when we'd left some hours before - no, definitely not... We found ourselves somewhere to sit amongst the piles of shabby shadows; and as we settled down and let the room return to silence, a hissing sound gained in volume, coming from the corner where the old black cooker quietly moulded.

Jim, who claimed he never slept, realising we were tripping and therefore alert to the slightest nuance of the universal vibe, knew he couldn't keep it from us indefinitely. "We're committing suicide", he said nonchalantly (indicating Tim and himself), obviously feeling that as the current host, it was only polite he offer some sort of explanation.

Hilton and I looked at each other, and failing to keep ourselves under control simultaneously exploded into fits of giggles. We were both aware that etiquette called for a more sober response - Tim especially was looking quite tense - but being cosmic adventurers, intrepid explorers of the wilder dreams and nightmares, psychedelic heroes from the rough and ready Northern provinces... we guffawed, rolling about in hysterics.

"F' fucks sake, can't you lot make less racket?" grumbled Ernie, who was lying in the centre of the floor in a sleeping bag with only the top of his bald head protruding - about which Hilton was becoming increasingly intrigued. He was having fantasies of it being a giant boiled egg and was winding Ernie up, menacingly waving a spare shoe just above the shining pate. "C'mon man, be reasonable... it's not personal", he insisted, excitedly describing the potential sight of liberated yellow brains flowing out across the lard-embossed carpet.

"Shut up" repeated Ernie a little more agitatedly, "or else you'll have Howard awake".

Howard, who was lying next to him, stirred, propped himself up on one elbow, and looked around, blinking... "Gassing yourself is quite a good way to commit suicide", he said to nobody in particular, "I've tried it myself", and he disappeared back under his blanket.

It must have been getting close to danger level. Jim was looking weirder than usual and was swaying slightly, though this could have been the effects of long-term sleep deprivation. Anyway, the strain was beginning to show. Hilton and I shrugged - what was one to do?... Well, roll a joint obviously.... (but you can't smoke a joint without lighting it... and one huge flash, a big whoosh, and some minor singeing later, all immediate danger was over).


- weed (June 1996)


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