Growing up in Sth Otago NZ, it was practically tradition for the less fortunate of my generation to pass through the teenage rite of sniffing glue under the wooden railway bridge at night, by the water hole near the primary school.
Hearing the sound of the approaching train getting louder, seeing the head light through the slats followed by the deafening roar as it passed just millimetres over our head while we huffed and puffed and screamed our lungs out was exhilarating stuff, especially when your coherent mind is somewhere else!
As fun as that was, sooner or later, a choice needed to be made, to sniff or not to sniff. When it gets to the point of not being able to taste or smell anything and you have to add 14 sugars to a cup with 5 teaspoons of coffee in it just to get a hint of bitter sweetness, you know the time has come.
For me, the choice was also reinforced by way of a life changing revelation, distilled into the maxim…
"No matter how far you drift, when it comes right down to it, you're the one left holding the bag.
You see, once you come back down to earth, from the perceived, celestial, out of body trip sniffing takes you on, the desire to go back is governed by one thing, the need to remember something truly life enhancingly important.
The lack of knowing frustrates you, as anything you try to recall that’s teetering on the precipice of your outer memory does. However, once I remembered what it was I was supposed to, I stepped back from the edge and never went back.
I should add that, The revelation came in a garden shed with such blinding force that all I could do was yell “YEAH…YEAH” and shake the shit out of my mate so vigorously that he dropped his bag and bolted out the door thinking I was going to kill him. I think it may have been his last sniff too :)
In looking back I have no excuses, no regrets, no apologies, no one forced me to do anything and as much as i could make excuses about having a shit childhood, crap parents and living in a racist town, i was the one left holding the bag once the buzz had gone…no one else !
Now I hold the bag for whatever goes wrong in my life, the difference being, I tend not to drift too far off and when I do, it’s governed by personal responsibility for my actions. I also know that there are greater forces at work, which contribute to shit happening in life beyond my control.
Its worth remembering though, that shit doesn’t just happen, arseholes cause it and we usually just let them.