Essay / 9 January 2019

Prison Capacities of Synthetic Drugs

The LSD on the pavement

Handsome DJ promised to arrive by midnight. We’ll play chess, he said. There will be money, we have cigarettes, we have everything. He’ll bring his tips, Sunday is a perfect day for waiters. There will be sweets, no problem. I was waiting. I was chilled to the bones. We didn’t have the best heating.

He didn’t make it by midnight. Nor after midnight. I was listening to the radio. There was some good heavy metal music on. Then I fell asleep. He disappointed me, I’d been nourishing certain hopes for the night. This way I grew bored by everything.

Handsome DJ wasn’t bored. He finished his shift and set out to finish his weed. He hadn’t shared this idea with me. He was a man of surprise. He reached downtown Belgrade, where Need was waiting for him. Need was always at his own place. He patrolled the city centre, at everyone’s disposal. He had a solution to any situation. A good type, our pal. I’ve never met him. He’s remained more of a myth. A positive guy, what to say.

For some time, Handsome DJ suffered. The market suffered, too. The times were tough, and the police set their sights on honest drug addicts. You could find heroin without much ado. There was no fuss over weed, cocaine. LSD was a problem. Handsome DJ dreamt about LSD. He decided to get hold of the commodity, sooner or later. The situation was difficult. He couldn’t accept reality. I taught him that there was time for everything. It says so in the Old Testament. There is time for everything. Including LSD. Handsome DJ couldn’t reconcile himself with the Old Testament postulates. Patience wasn’t his manner.

What follows is reconstruction. I might have been dreaming that night. However, I didn’t dream about what was happening to my roommate. It couldn’t be dreamt about in such a fashion. As I said, he went downtown. Need was at his own place. The weed was at its own. However, it was the night for serious business. And Need informed Handsome that somewhat different merchandise had appeared in his retail facility, too. And Handsome DJ tucked a small sticker under the cigarette box cellophane. And started back content. Finally. Thus, comes the time for wishes to come true.

In our neighbourhood, the crew was waiting. Handsome promised to bring them a small packet of weed from downtown, and to go play chess afterwards. DJ had always set great store by intellectual skills. It was a somewhat half-exclusive blues bar. The boss was a nasty guy. He didn’t feel like fucking about with drugged assholes. Nor with any assholes whatsoever. For this reason, the crew decided to wait in front of the facility. This seemed like a right decision.

A hundred metres away from the entrance, Handsome was addressed by a uniformed officer accompanied by another uniformed officer. The first officer was male, the latter not. Whence come you, son, they asked routinely. Let’s see what we have tonight. Handsome didn’t have much experience with uniformed officers. He acted instinctively. He claimed he had nothing. Put your little hands up in the air, ordered the first uniformed officer. Look, look, we have something here after all, the same officer remarked cynically. Handsome DJ began to describe himself as a small provincial peasant whom a malicious guy from the capital palmed something off at a bus stop in downtown Belgrade. Also, he asked them to allow him a cigarette, in order to rid himself of the fear accumulated due to the unexpected encounter. The key detail follows: The not-so-intelligent uniformed officer grants him the permission, Handsome flicks the sticker out of the cellophane by way of a flurried move of a fingernail. The sticker goes to hell.

Afterwards, uniformed officers apprehend the entire crew and provide an overnight stay at the local police station. The rest of the crew introduce themselves as an association of nuns to which Handsome belongs on no grounds at all. They are nothing but casual acquaintances, that’s all. Then they wait for the inspector. He is sleeping, it’s Sunday, he does not want to be disturbed on account of apprehending minor street scoundrels.

New uniformed officers bring company to the crew out of somewhere. Local youths, an attempt at breaking into a car. They deny everything. Then they ask Handsome why he is there, he tells them the story of a small peasant coming into town only to be hoodwinked by the city’s wheelers and dealers. The youth gang leader adds a resigned rejoinder: ‘Hey mate, the last thing we needed tonight is the likes of you’.

Ljushmi, one from the crowd, spots another guy in a corner of the cell. He appears familiar to him. Ljushmi comes close to him and, straightforward as Jehovah created him, asked: ‘Hey mate, aren’t you from Ub’? At which the mysterious detainee replies affirmatively. And Ljushmi goes: ‘Mate, I’m so glad to see you’! Such a statement stirs a serious revolt in the present company. This is a story in its own right, though.

It’s Monday, and Handsome retells the nightmare to me and my brother. My brother becomes curious about one detail, so he says: ‘Hey Handsome, that LSD, you think it’s still there’? Handsome was all curled up in his bed, he couldn’t get a wink that day. He looked at us both, it was primeval sorrow, the thing in his eyes. And he uttered under his breath: ‘Dunno, mate. It’s easier when I don’t think’.

At that, we fell silent.