I knew that the high water mark of my time in the town of Hope was my coercion and corruption of Jimmy Monroe, forcing him into setting fire to the City Hall and to murder himself. My mistake was in staying in Hope an extra month.
Heroin addiction is not what it’s made out to be. I had discovered in my youth that addiction need not be fatal, or that it need be out of control. A visit with expatriate Americans on the Dam in Amsterdam turned up a number of old hippies and political activist types who had chosen heroin as their lifestyle, and further had the intelligence to go to a country where the marketing forces for the drug were not out to kill them. These older, and happier, ex-hippies made a desultory living at this and that, and scraped by without upsetting their neighbors or the system. In return for their complacent and quiet existence free of crime, the state organized clean junk for them to put in their veins. The drug-addicted were uniformly pale, but then, all the Dutch around them were, at least during the long, wet winters. My junkie heroes weren’t remarkably underweight, and they had beautiful creamy skin, and they seemed quite content.
Anyway, it was when I was in the Dam that I started a business helping teenage boys lose their virginity. It paid well, kept my crack habit fed, and didn't take up much of my time. On a good day, I could do a dozen in the space of an hour. On Sundays there'd be a queue round the block. It was while watching them stumble into my little room and fight their way out of their brogues that I came up with the idea of a lightweight, slip-on shoe made out of recycled plastics . . . What? Don't look at me like that! Okay, so I invented Crocs; does that make me such a bad person?
Opening: Scott Jones.....Continuation: anon.