The 80s

I’m sat here watching old Top Of The Pops shows from the 80s, 1985 to be precise. Maria Vidal, Midge Ure, Madonna, songs from my childhood that I still love. I could live my entire life on a diet of 80s music.

Music has always invoked very strong memories and emotions for me, some good and some bad. It’s strange though how sometimes my memories can be distorted, music will awaken feelings inside me, memories that simply aren’t true.

I was sat here thinking how much I wish it could be 1985 again, a time of good music, a time of childhood and of carefree freedom and happiness.

1985 was a perfect year, just listen to the amazing music as proof. Of course it wasn’t, my brother had been killed just two years earlier and I was still very much affected by it. Also by that time I was beginning to struggle with my sexuality, I hated what I thought I was, I didn’t want to be gay and I was thoroughly miserable about it for about four years of my life, I hated myself.

So I’m watching and listening to all this great music and I find my right hand playing with a vein on my left. You see I have this vein that starts on the back of my left hand, goes past my wrist and into my forearm, I could always hit that vein. By the time I’d got good at injecting myself I’d fucked most of the easy veins in my arms, but when I started using that one it became easy.

Every so often I find myself playing with it, feeling how plump it is, how it moves under my skin, how it invokes memories of being wasted, amazing memories of how good it was, and thoughts of how good it could be again. Of course those memories are just as false as the ones of 1985.

The addict side of my brain remembers the rush, the intense feelings of being under the influence of meth, but it forgets me trashing my body, dicing with something that could kill me, something which made me end up in hospital with acute double pneumonia, an abscess on my arm which I still have a scar from, and basically being a prick to everyone around me. My addict brain conveniently forgets my huge debts run up in pursuit of the next high, the syringes hidden around the house and in my car.

Memories can play tricks on all of us, false memories are nothing new whether they are of 1985 or the colour of an old car, but addiction can play even crueller tricks. Having the strength to ignore the lies my brain tells me is something I hope I can maintain, I know one slip will mean curtains for me and no more 80s music on a Friday night.

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