Excerpts from the London Underground- Part 1

Writing this story after having read some of Dostoyevsky’s works. This piece of fiction is an “Excerpt From The London Underground” There are 2 parts to this story. A twisted tale, I wrote few years back but the idea to complete it finally dawned upon me after reading ‘The Notes from the Underground’ and ‘The Double’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It inspired me to write a few notes on London Underground .

1.

I am a sick and a wicked man, people! I laugh about this fact. I take great pleasure in it. I still have a good heart deep inside me. I too, question why I do what I do sometimes, people. I often act as if I am not my ‘self’. The self I want to be denies me. The self that’s easy to be, becomes me!

Let me ask you this question, people! Why is it so hard for some people to be good? Morally good, act good towards others! While it is easier for others to be more self-centered, and act out of spite against others. I fall in the latter category, people! I am addressing you as people, not because I am trying to be friendly or telling you all this. Rather I write all this, as I imagine myself to be standing in front of a jury. It does not matter to me how you judge me, but perhaps I am seeking critique of my character, who I am, what I am and who I have become over the years.

I do not work, people! People work for me, or to be specific a number of people work for me. I enjoy the money that comes in. They make a decent sum, it allows me to live somewhat lavishly, extravagantly. Yes, in the eyes of many of my haters and enemies, I am a rich man. They despise me because they haven’t been able to build what I have, people! What is it that I have built, you may ask? I will reveal that too, in due time, people!

But first you must understand to learn to look at things objectively, only then you will be able to judge fairly. As I mentioned, I don’t care how you judge me, however, some parts of me want to know this perspective of a jury. I may be a smart man, indeed I am. That’s the very reason I have managed to stay alive and free all this time. Despite having many enemies, frenemies. You see the life I live doesn’t allow me to distinguish friends from foe so easily. I am a great observer of people, yet I lead a life where friends become enemies if you’re not careful enough.

I guess I am talking all over the place, I may only be making you more curious as to who I am and what I do. I live differently from most members of the society. I take great pride in it. The big brother watches all, but I evade him, people! I find great humour in the fact on how many different occasions, I have slipped through the trappings of big brother. Just how water slips through the net when one catches a fish. I am not a fish, people! Most people are fish and get caught, but I slip away just like water.

When I said I was seeking critique of my character, I lied. I don’t think much of critiques, I know myself too well perhaps. I can say this because I am a great observer of people. To understand yourself, it is important that you understand others. Once you understand the different workings of the minds, it is easier to dissect your own mind. Please be wary though, the mind and the heart are often conflicted, people! If you were as spiteful as I were, the conflict between the heart and the mind would be blurred. This conflict holds true for those who still have command over their caprices, who do not give in to such inner desires, who are in constant battle with these inner whispers.

2.

In the 21st century, you may wonder with all the advancements and technology, why the world remains in turmoil. It is because people such as myself exist in many places. Are you free of all impurities, people? Are you free of your desires? Are you truly free? Then I have another question for you, people? Are you weak? Or are you courageous? Weak-willed and cowardly people such as myself do more harm, bring more harm, and suffer from much self-inflicted harm. The weak-willed man dare not stand up to his friends or foes. He shall never confront them but he schemes and plots to procure harm against his friends or foes. The weak-willed man smiles with you, eats with you, laughs with you and pretty much does everything as a strong-willed person would. The weak-willed man if it came down to it, would hurl curses, swears and aggression the same way towards you as a strong-willed man who loses his temper. Note people! I said lose control over one’s temper for a strong-willed person. I cannot say the same for the weak-willed person because he always reacts emotionally. He fumes up if you pinch him. I have tried to develop a strong-will but because of life circumstances and experiences I have failed at it. I acknowledge my weaknesses, people! I admit that I am weak-willed but only do so when I write here. If I were to admit this fact in front of others, then I will not be as free, or the freedom I have created for myself, the lifestyle I live will slowly push me out of the food-chain and leave me vulnerable. Yet, despite the fact, the circle around me has pushed me to extremes and condemned me to a life of minimal contact with people over the years. It is because I have many enemies, and few whom I could call friends. Even my friends seem to only tolerate my presence. I tolerate theirs too. In fact, not only tolerate, I am always able to get what I want because I buy it with money. Money is a hard commodity, people! Easy to come by if you know of ways to obtain it. Money influences many people. It inspires many people, it enslaves many people. What you do with the money is your business, people! I am only telling you from experience how money can do many things, and perhaps even buy things when a fine glass of wine and drugs of some sort accompany it!

You will know what I mean, if you were to take a walk in the heart of London after midnight. That’s when the devils’ work starts. Perhaps it starts as soon as the sun goes down but it comes out on the streets after midnight. The weak-willed people easy to get to are found on the streets. The devil seeks them and they seek him. Drugs- weed, cocaine, heroine, alcohol, crack. Indulgence for all, rich or poor is widely available. I am the devil, people! But I am not the worst of them. I am merely one of them!

3.

Abandoned by my mother at a young age of 6 after a divorce between my parents. I was sent off to be put under foster care. I hated everyone there. The food, the people and the school. I was often bullied by my senior school mates. I tried to befriend them on several occasions. The three of them lived on the same road as me. I often used to run into them during the morning walk to school, only to be kicked down or forced to do star jumps, sit in a puddle on a rainy day or given their school bags to carry them to school. I hated it, but I did it to be their friend.

Then one day I got into a fight with another boy in my year. The boy had a group of friends whom together with him, beat me up. So, the next day, I went to my senior friends and asked for help. One of them gave me a pocket knife and told me to stop being cowardly, stop crying and be a man. I took the knife and during the break I thrust it into my enemy. Other boys watched in horror. The police was called and after things calmed down, I was sent away to a different city in foster care. Apparently, the boy suffered serious life threatening wounds but the size of the knife wasn’t big enough to cut through the vital organs. If I had to be punished, I still regret not finishing the job.

I was a little devil from a young age, people! I am not writing this to confess my crimes, this is already in the knowledge of the authorities. I despised my life at school, being sent away was no different. My only friends in that town were sand and beaches. My foster family was always suspicious of me because I started sneaking out and smoking at a young age. I even started selling everything to my classmates. I was taking everyone’s lunch money. I enjoyed this, and in turn, I made friends. Friends as some may see it. But to me they were fish and I was the sea drowning them in.

4.

I am still a devil, and just like the sea I am drowning people in. Like I mentioned before, people! I am merely one of the devils. Why do I live such a lifestyle you may ask? Because it has always come easy to me. I am still that child who enjoys taking people’s lunch money. Addiction is a scary thing, it makes one want to spend money on dirty habits rather than looking after one’s self. God help you, my dear people, if you are an addict and have a family too. Despite being the devil I am, I still acknowledge that God exists. But how does God let me do my work while He is there watching? My belief in God has been shaken and strengthened many a times. More than likely, I hold distorted views that a proper believer may disagree with. You see people, there exists in this world ‘Good’ & ‘Evil’. I am sure you must know this already, but I emphasise it in this moment, so you are aware what sort of world waits out there.

Using these very tricks of the devil and often flaunting around some freebies, I have women at my disposal. Parties, drinks and drugs are my way to a woman’s heart. You see, I have never been able to be in a relationship without using these tricks. These tricks serve my purpose, people! In return, I fulfill someone’s desires. I don’t go around seeking it, it just so happens when you know to be in the right places.

5.

This is the very reason why I am also perhaps paranoid. I know many that envy my lifestyle, I know many who hate me. Furthermore, living the way I do, I constantly have to watch over my shoulder. The big brother watches on and I have to be sly, so that I can evade him. I could write a lengthy detail of my many encounters with women and customers, friends and enemies, authorities etc. However, there are plenty of movies in our 21st century, that permit me not to delve too deep into specifics. I will tell you of one incident though, although of no fault or part of my own. I was once stabbed and left to die on the road by random strangers. Teenagers looking to take out their frustration on someone and I happened to be that person. When I think back on this, I still wonder if there was some sort of planned set-up for this to happen or was it just karma telling me, ‘this is what I owe you’.

I leave the remainder to your imagination, people! Imagination is a wonderful thing, it should be cherished. Imagination is also crippling if all the thoughts that pass over and are whispered paint the narrative of doom and gloom. Perhaps, drugs and drinking is also a factor. Is it the only cause though? I don’t think so, people! There are forces such as inner desires, strong enough to tempt and incline one’s soul towards evil slowly, and bit by bit, it eats away the remaining goodness.

Still Searching

Standing in front of the mirror, in search of a different me. How is it that I can see myself, but cannot see my thoughts. The very thoughts that remain buried in the depths, it’s a struggle to scream them out! In the mirror, I see many faults. I see some good in me too.
Standing at the door, I step outside in search of a different me. How is it that I feel caged inside the four walls, but cannot escape those thoughts. The very thoughts that remain buried in the depths, it’s a struggle to scream them out! Standing at the door, I see the cage I am in, I see open scenery in front of me too.
Standing on the road, I start to walk in search of a different me. How is it that I walk with no destination in sight. I hear a call, “To Me you belong, To Me you shall return.”

Sometimes I write to release stress but also, to see what I have written as I read it back because in that moment, I am able to connect the ideas and writing with my thought patterns, my weaknesses, and see where I can influence a change. These spontaneous yet, linked thoughts help me a tiny bit to see things in myself that a mirror doesn’t show me. Writing is a form of therapy for me. Better written out than buried in my head. It doesn’t matter how it sounds so long as it helps.

Thoughts of a drug addict

The cravings kicking in again. What do I do? Do I listen to it? How do I resist it? I will try smoke a roll up instead.

Rolls some tobacco in a small rizla, sparks it. Takes the first puff, a sigh of relief. Yes…feels better. It’s 11 am only. I was up late. I can’t remember what time I fell asleep, but I definitely didn’t sleep much. My room’s a mess. There’s stuff lying around everywhere. I need to get my act together. I have an appointment with my GP and social worker later. I need me meds. The pain is getting intolerable. It’s pricking my legs and lower back. I can’t do without me meds.

Finishes the cigarette and eyes meet the glass and a bottle of whisky lying neatly on the coffee table. One morning drink would do me good. It will numb the pain a bit. I never drink to get drunk. I just drink to swish my mouth with the taste of whisky. I only drink scotch. I drink neat. On the rocks, no mixers. No Coca-Cola, no red bull, a bit of water. That’s a healthier choice. I am putting too much stuff in my body already. I still think about what I put in myself. Got to make better choices where I still have control. I am not addicted to sugar. Sugar addiction apparently, is worse than cocaine. I have read many articles on it. Some say it is, while others claim it may not be the case. Anyhow, consuming sugar in excess is definitely not healthy, and it deals with the same pleasure and reward systems in the brain like cocaine and other addictive drugs. Here’s one article, it talks about sugar’s effects on the brain and body.

Here’s another piece- this one’s rather simple in findings and explanation.

Purpose of review: To review research that tests the validity of the analogy between addictive drugs, like cocaine, and hyperpalatable foods, notably those high in added sugar (i.e., sucrose).

Recent findings: Available evidence in humans shows that sugar and sweetness can induce reward and craving that are comparable in magnitude to those induced by addictive drugs. Although this evidence is limited by the inherent difficulty of comparing different types of rewards and psychological experiences in humans, it is nevertheless supported by recent experimental research on sugar and sweet reward in laboratory rats. Overall, this research has revealed that sugar and sweet reward cannot only substitute to addictive drugs, like cocaine, but can even be more rewarding and attractive. At the neurobiological level, the neural substrates of sugar and sweet reward appear to be more robust than those of cocaine (i.e., more resistant to functional failures), possibly reflecting past selective evolutionary pressures for seeking and taking foods high in sugar and calories.

Summary: The biological robustness in the neural substrates of sugar and sweet reward may be sufficient to explain why many people can have difficulty to control the consumption of foods high in sugar when continuously exposed to them.

Ahmed SH, Guillem K, Vandaele Y. Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013 Jul;16(4):434-9. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328361c8b8. PMID: 23719144.

What the hell am I doing, exploring sugar addiction? It’s a multi billion dollar industry. From baby food to sweets, to desserts to doughnuts. Sugar is everywhere….

Sweet Lord!

Does it even matter? When I am addicted myself! Addicted to this, addicted to that, and now I am addicted to ?? What’s next? Definitely not sugar! I am sweet enough 😌.

Where’s that from? Oh yeah! Brick Top from Snatch. I thought it was Lock, Stock, Two Smoking Barrels, but this just shows how smoked my memory is.

Good memories, that movie’s a classic. Helps me forget about my addictions briefly, it does! Pours whisky, Johnnie Walker into the glass. Reaches out to the bedside fridge freezer, taking out some ice cubes and putting them into the glass of whisky.

These words bring about so many thoughts, stir so much in my head. The taste though and the smell, that’s what gives the satisfaction. Johnnie Walker, isn’t he some cat killer in Kafka on the Shore by Murakami. A strange twisted piece of work that is, indeed! This boy recommended me to read the book. I just couldn’t get into it, but Johnnie Walker hooked me in. It was a good change for a few days. I took less drugs when I was reading. I don’t usually read. I do, but not fantasy and fictional stories. I like to stick to reality you see. Hmm.., that probably doesn’t sound right coming from my mouth. After all, I have addiction problems. Do I really stick to reality? Or do I know a tune called stick and cut! Like jelly beans, freaking creams, filled to brim. Why do my thoughts keep wandering off?

Finishes the drink. Gets ready, putting on the clothes lying on the floor. Brushes teeth, puts on the cap and heads to the GP to pick up the prescription. Then off to pharmacy to pick up prescribed medication. Some methadone, some benzodiazapines. That should take care of me for a week.

I will speak to my key worker over the phone. It’s not like they have a good opinion of me. I don’t blame ’em, they only see me as an addict. They don’t see the rest of me, the person who I was. That person is still somewhere inside me. I know I need help to fix up. I need help to go back to being who I was. I am not living in the past but being where I currently am, it sure gets depressing thinking about it.

I only have a few friends and even those, I am not sure whether they are my real friends. Real friends serve you long way. You heard that tune? Here it is… you will love it. One of my favourites. Yes we surely had a blast, we’re like family, me and you! I have always been open to you. Thinking about this one friend. Not a friend but at least that’s what I think of him, when I speak to him. He’s good at listening, talking to him is helping me. I have been getting more productive, the more conversations I have with him. Despite family bereavement, I have found some purpose and meaning. I am not entirely sure, what it is yet. I do know that, finally someone who understands me, understands how I feel, has reached out to me. He is one of the very few who saw my intelligence. He didn’t look at me as an addict. I have a good day, when I speak to him.

Last time we spoke, we talked about habit formations. He talked to me about the cue, routine and reward system. The habit loop, I was telling him about how to tune in and listen to the body. He then told me, how neurobiology influences the habits, how habits are ingrained and what we do then becomes automatic. I didn’t think that 88% of our mind was subconscious. The good news though, it can be altered… it’s never too late. I want to believe that. I don’t want to keep living like the way I currently am. It won’t lead to a better place. Right now, I am swimming in quick sand. I am not struggling to get out. Once I start, initially it will feel like struggle. It won’t be easy but it’s not impossible. I am willing to give it a try.