Weed or not Weed – is that the Question?
The next morning I was the first up, and after making a cup of coffee I sat there smoking a cigarette, shaking my head and laughing to myself, saying quietly, ‘Fuckin’ hell Peter, that’s some weed you’ve got hold of there. And I chuckled even more at the thought that I should charge extra for it. But something else made me think that it wasn’t the weed, and although I always tried to convince myself that it was just the weed, I always had that nagging feeling it wasn’t.
Nothing changed, and it was business as usual. Plenty of weed coming my way, and no more talk of heroin, though I knew it was getting shifted by my mate, and he just wasn’t saying anything about it. Because although he was dealing it, I know he didn’t like what he was doing either. But, if you’re part of a firm, especially at the level he was, then once you’re in, you’re in, and you do what you’ve got to do. And it doesn’t make any difference what it is, and that covers everything, from the drugs to murder if needs be, and that is not something I say to put a sparkle into this story, it’s once again the truth.
Over the next few months the money rolled in, and I found myself a nice little one bedroom flat. Things were going good. No problems having to worry about other people and being in their way.
Then out of the blue, but once again after I had been smoking dope, I had another strange sort of conversation. It was short and simple, the same warmth and peaceful feeling that I had experienced the first time, seemed to wrap me up and make me feel completely calm. Then this voice in my head just said, ‘It’s time to leaveLiverpool.’ I tried to ask questions, but as quickly as the feeling had come, it had gone again!
To be honest I felt disappointed that it was just a momentary feeling. I wanted to have the experience I had the first time again, and as a matter of fact, I more or less brushed that moment to one side, and just turned over and fell asleep.
The next day I was down at my mate’s shop, and as far as I was concerned it was business as usual – until about one thirty, then I started to think about that brief moment and what had been said. And before I knew it, I had borrowed my mate’s van, and was heading for the Old Swan area of Liverpoolwith one thought in mind, and that was to visit the job centre and register for employment, and ask for out of town work. But even as I drove down there I wasn’t very hopeful of anything coming from it, but I just had to try. I felt compelled to!
Now you must understand that this was in 1983, ‘The Thatcher Years’. Millions throughout the country unemployed, andLiverpoolone of the worst places hit by that recession. But believe it or not, I walked into an empty job centre and spoke to a young girl sitting at her desk. And as I sit here typing this, I can see her now looking at me in such a sympathetic and understanding way, then after filling in my card she commented on just how fed up I looked.
‘You just don’t know how fed up.’ I replied, smiling at her as I asked if there was any out of town work. She sat there flicking through her cards before she pulled one out and frowned as she said, ‘Well there is this one, but you really are over qualified for it.’ ‘Where is it?’ I asked, without even asking what the job was.
‘It’s in Aberystwyth.’ she replied. ‘It’s Head Chef in The Belle Vue Royal Hotel. The wages are negotiable, but they’re looking for someone to start as soon as possible.’
Without any hesitation I just said ‘I will take it.’ Then I asked how soon everything could be sorted.