It’s the summer of ‘05. Damo is your best mate, and you decide to drop some pingers before your first Roni Size gig. For years, you were best mates, getting drunk and smoking weed. The pingers felt good that night. You both danced the night away and expressed plenty of love for each other. All your other mates were on it, it felt so natural. You remember chatting shit with strangers outside of Heat Nightclub. It was a special night that imprinted a new sense of freedom onto your hearts.
Years passed, and you and Damo partied hard. Even though you were partying you both kept on top of your studies. You always promised each other that you’d keep on top of your studies and enter the real world together with that sass you prided yourselves on. It was a nice dream. It made the grind worth it.
One warm December evening Damo pulled out a bag of rock. “This will keep us going till Sunday mate”. You smoked a thick cloud. You had a good time that night. Planning your lives and talking through all the important issues. At that snapshot in time, you could see nothing wrong with what you were experimenting with. Just two mates talking smack and smoking Winnie Golds.
Fast forward 4 years and you and Damo don’t speak so much now. Damo started smoking gear monthly, then fortnightly, then weekly. You remember at Andy C 2009 he was so scattered that he just did laps of the dance floor. Not really speaking, just kinda lost. You felt concerned. Where did your best mate go? You always assured yourself that Damo was on top of it all, he was a soldier, after all, he was just going through a stage. Retrospect is a harsh teacher.
3 years pass and Damo starts hanging out with cretins. Skinny-fucks with bad skin and untrustworthy eyes. You barely see him, it hurts but you are sick of Damo making excuses for why he is not coming out. You know that he already has arrangements, a date with a light bulb he so masterfully dismantles. You are jaded and angry, it’s not until later that you regret not speaking up.
3am on a Sunday night, you get a call. It’s Damo’s brother. Damo bugged out and was arrested and detained under the Mental Health Act. You drive straight down to Royal Perth Hospital. You sit by Damo’s bed, your brother in handcuffs. Tears roll down your cheek while you ask Damo whether he is OK. He, but you don’t recognise him, his personality had been burnt up through the hole in the pipe. The tears roll faster. It’s unbearable,
You tell him, “We graduate next week mate, are you going to be there?” He is silent and then turns away. You leave. Heartbroken.
Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?