I’m walking home from work. It’s raining. I step into a cave to fix my watch. Inside the cave is a men’s toilet. In this, women lay on double beds. One is talking to an Asian man, who is trying to engage her in a relationship. She chats to him and listens, but it’s all a game. I sit in a chair and listen. Other women use drugs and watch TV. I sit and listen.
The first woman asks us to leave, as a man has arrived. A pimp, or cult leader, I’m not sure which. I gather my things and leave what is now a house, noticing that I have picked up the wrong jacket from work. Outside, I clean a giant, dusty, iPad, and organise icons on its screen. I wonder why the police don’t do something about a house full of heroin addicts, in a house cave, not far from my house.
I’ve forgotten something. A bag. I go back to get it. The house is unlocked. Inside, I try to find my bag. I’m tempted to search for clues to what kind of place this is, but decide it’s not my business, and leave, noticing a library of pulp sci-fi as I leave.
On the doorstep, the women are returning from a run. Some are smoking and drinking. I try to leave, but my friend S is there, and suggests I go inside and listen to what they have to say. I go in, and sit down, welcomed by a large friendly Alsatian from another dream.
A large room. Many old sofas. People smoke, and drink, and inject themselves. An older woman asks about my debts. S assures me this is ok. She writes sine questions on a piece of paper. She speaks, her voice lost in the general chatter.
Sat next to me, a junky with a cat asks if I liked being stoned. The answer was, yes, I had enjoyed it, but I don’t do that any more. People leave. I pick up the paper with the questions on. There’s little space to write an answer. There a question about how much I owe to US TV. I answer ‘none’, and another about general debt. I can’t even begin to guess.
S is still sat there. A woman comes back in, and starts questioning me.
She looks at the questions, and hands me a clear plastic box full of money. S tells me they are a community, they just want to help. I’m very suspicious, hypervigilant.
She inspects my teeth with pliers. She asks how many teeth I have, hurting me with the pliers. I say about 19. She’s starting to hurt me. I stand up, and grab a shovel. I try to get the handle under her chin. She dances around smiling. It’s all games. It’s all mind games. I get the handle under her chin and wedge her against a door. She’s surprised by the speed I move. I tell her not to mess with me. She has no idea who I am or what I’ve been through.
She leaves the room, shouting to the others ‘violence, anger and violence are his weaknesses’.