Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen

“You get under my skin, I don’t find it irritating, You always play to win, But I won’t need rehabilitating, oh no, I think I’m on another world with you, with you, I’m on another planet with you.”  Another Girl, Another Planet.  The Only Ones.  

 

Pete and Christine were a couple.  They were also junkies.  They loved each other, in the codependent way that heroin addicts do.  Christine worked the streets at night to earn the money.  Although I never used needles, end of the seventies, early eighties, if you smoked weed you inevitably came into contact with a harder scene.  Each evening she would paint her face heavily with make up, sometimes with shaking hands, pull on a low top, a short skirt, scuffed heels and leave the house to stand on a street corner, probably hoping to make it back with cash and in one piece.  I never asked.

The two had been together long enough that each set of parents knew each other.   Out of the blue I was handed a wedding invitation.  The parents had gotten together and come up with a plan to save their kids.  They talked with them and said if they gave up drugs, and got married, they would give them six thousand pounds to start a new life with.   I have no doubt whatsoever that Pete and Christine believed that they could give up anything for such an offer, and in turn would have persuaded their folks of the same.   There is nothing as convincing or believable as a junkie who is about to give up and get their life together, they will have you believing black is white.   Whether or not any of Christine’s family knew that she was a prostitute, I don’t know.

It was a registry office marriage.  Pete in borrowed suit, and Christine in a long-sleeved white satin dress, chosen to cover the needle marks on her arms.    There was a mix of guests, from their parents and relatives, to their friends and neighbours.  Those who knew could see that the couple were shaky from lack of drugs, and those who didn’t would have assumed shaky from nervousness.   Despite this there was still an air of happy anticipation and the registry was signed.

 

wedding

 

We went off to a local hall of some sort, where the reception had been booked.   There was a buffet out on tables, and someone playing the music.   Christine disappeared at some point and was gone for a while, but not quite long enough for everyone to notice.

Having slipped off for a hit, she returned heavily stoned,  a few drops of blood along the long arm of her satin dress.

“Golden brown, finer temptress …… never a frown with golden brown.”  The Stranglers.  

CQ of APJ

 

This is the first Strange Tales that I have felt a need to add something to after the Tale.  I have never forgotten the feeling I had when I saw this junkie-bride return to her reception.  It broke my heart and the scar has never quite healed.  I left their reception and I know that they moved into another place.  I doubt that there was any kind of happy end to the story;  but perhaps Christine was able to quit her street work.   As I have said before I am thankful for the religious teachings I was brought up with, and the strong foundation that it laid.  It prevented me from going too deep into a dark scene, so that a story like this did not become mine.  As a parent now I can only imagine the desperation that their parents had, willing to do anything to rescue their children. Nearly forty years on, Christine will sometimes appear in my dreams.  I hope that she got out of the scene and found happiness.

 

 

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen

  1. lady jane grey

    Back in the 80s Golden Brown by The Stranglers was one of my favorite songs (and still is today…). It took me ten years though to understand that it‘s not about love to a girl with golden brown hair…
    „Golden brown texture like sun
    Lays me down with my might she runs
    Throughout the night
    No need to fight…“

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hugh Cornwell said that it is about heroin and/or a girl – both of which provided him with pleasurable times. I don’t think unless you knew anything about the drug scene that you would know. It is a great song.

      Like

  2. Heart-breaking but riveting tale, Val. We can only hope they made it through. Thank everything for your faith keeping you safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There were enough times when I was not safe, bit yeah, there were certain things that I would not do. That saved me. (Perhaps we will have Uncensored Strange Tales one day. 🙂 )

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  3. matty1649

    I hope she made ot through.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jillie

    Oh my goodness, that is so sad. As the old saying goes: “There, but for the grace of God go I”.

    I hope that most of your dreams are happy ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hamamelis

    I hope so too, that she got out.
    When I was 17 my best friend’s sister was a junkie, she was so young. I remember my best friend invited me to her sister’s birthday (18th?) as noone else would come. She was part of a junkie couple as well. I bought her some nice presents and she seemed so happy, although she may just have been stoned. At least in those times there was some chance of survival, although I don’t know if she did. The current US opioid crisis -we read so little about- with drugs like fentanyl and worse leaves no room for surviving I think. Or GHB which junkies make themselves and which is almost impossible to kick the habit of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh – the opioid crisis is sooo much worse. Prescription drugs are awful and always have been. And now you don’t only have the druggies doing it, but your straight citizens who start by taking pills that the doctor prescribed. These are horrific drugs, ruining the lies of so many. Pharma industry – criminal. The firms, deceptively market the painkillers – downplaying addiction risks. I hope Oklahoma screw Johnson and Johnson big time. A man-made public health crisis. xx

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  6. A very sad tale, and for all those young people that get stuck in that place and don’t get the opportunity to live productive lives. I’m happy for you that you didn’t go in that direction, and sad for you watching with sadness and then always wondering what happened to your friends. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doing this Strange Tales series has got me wondering what happened to some people. Mostly when you are living in it, you don’t see clearly. And it would be fair to say that being a junkie and manintaing a habit is damn hard work. You sure need your wits about you. Or you did. it is kind of different now. I mean you can dial-a-dealer in some places, keep your fat ass on the sofa doing nothing waiting for it. Shocking! xxxx

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      • I often wonder about people from my past as well, and from the ones I’ve heard about, most people haven’t changed sadly. The opioid crisis is a man-made health crisis, insane how many people are dependent on pharmaceuticals.
        On a positive note, I blind bought Lustre after reading all the positive reviews. Spectacular! xx

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Tara C

    Thank G-d you were spared that path. A hard story to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for Sharing this story,although its really sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very poignant story, and one I can relate to in a much more minor way. I was Maid of Honour / Wingwoman at the wedding of a friend who took OTC painkillers more often than was advisable, or that her husband knew. Due to the lack of pockets in her wedding dress, we had a secret signal whereupon we would both repair to the ladies and I would get out some tablets and a collapsible cup. I had mixed feelings at the time about performing this ‘wedding favour’ though it wasn’t comparable to your friend’s situation. I hope she is still around, but I infer you have no means of knowing anymore?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I probably would have done the same, although dunno about a collapsible cup. 🙂
      Absolutely no clue what happened – I got out of that particular scene and moved onto the next. Thank goodness. It was heavy.

      Like

  10. What a sad story! I don’t think there was a happy end. But as a story goes, it was a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

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