Nothing Else Matters


22449530 - drugs and syringe with out of focus female addict on the background

I’m awake, and all I hear is some twat on TV selling kitchen knives.

I can’t move. I can’t open my eyes. I think I was shot last night. Or stabbed. I have the worst pain in my side, like TV twat is actually stabbing me with a paring knife.

I can live with the pain. I’ll deal with it later. I just need to sleep. I need to not be me. Even if the alternative is nothing.

It fucking sucks to be me.


It’s late afternoon. TV is a rabble of screaming yanks. Montel Williams. I don’t want to be awake. I feel like I could puke…that if I start puking I won’t be able to stop. It comes in waves, each one worse than the last. I’m sick for the dope. I’m sweating like a bitch and it stinks to high heaven.

Niki’s strung out on the sofa next to me. She’s drooling like a rabid dog and one of her tits is hanging out of her size 6 dress Primarni dress. Her fucking stiletto’s digging into my side. I knock her legs off me and grope at the dent left in my skin.

Jesus. When the fuck will this end?

First thing Niki does is reach for her works. The sickly sweet smell of dope overpowers everything else…the scummy odour of our own dopesick, the stale remains of men and their rancid cum. My cunt feels like a slop bucket. I need to shower but I need the dope more.

Niki’s straight into a vein in her forearm. She’s young though, her veins are still good. I get in on the side of my foot, just above the ‘h’ of my Clash tattoo. I used to love the Clash. Now I’m more Metallica. I turn the TV off and put on my favourite song, wait for the high, but the high never comes. Not like that first time. Still…

Fuck the Johns. 

Fuck them all.

Nothing Else Matters.


We’re out on the streets just before dark.

I fucking hate this town as much as I hate myself. I hate all those young immigrants treating me like it’s a fucking porno. I hate the middle-class wankers with their cold leather seats, and the smug look on their faces when they cum over your tits. But most of all I fucking hate Jimmy Spencer. I hate him for cruising the youth club in his shitty old Opel when I was sixteen. I hate him for taking me to that metal concert…and to the party afterwards…

I hate him for not telling me it was dope in that joint and not weed.

I hate him with every fibre of my being. And yet he’s the only person I’ve ever truly loved.


By ten we’ve earned enough to score some dope. We fix our works in the toilets at Maccy D’s. The night manager knows what we do in there, but the promise of a free blowjob when his shift finishes helps him turn his fat cheek the other way.

This is how it is, night after night.

I take my spot back out on the street and light a cigarette. God, they should rip this town down, starting with those fucking chimneys. The whole place is dead. I smile to myself. I’m part of the disease.

A car rolls up. Time to punch back in. It’s the oldest trade. It’s outlived the factories. Will outlive me. I throw away my cigarette and push my tits up as far as they’ll go.

“After a good time, honey?”

He looks up at me like a rabbit in the headlights and mutters an apology. And then he’s gone.

Fucking time-waster.

Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. Taken from my Instagram page.

(c) Darren Hawbrook 2016


So, I have Kindra M Austin to thank for this short fiction. A while back I wrote a piece inspired by song titles, She Sells Sanctuary by the Clash, about a guy who saw his school crush working the streets.  Kindra wrote


This is my attempt at portraying her point of view. And it is a fiction–I don’t mean in any way to trivialise the real suffering that addiction inflicts on people’s lives. I know this stuff is real for too many people.

p.s. check out Kindra’s blog. She writes some really cool stuff!

10 thoughts on “Nothing Else Matters

  1. You had me at TV twat. To me, this is an excellent example of visceral writing. The grittiness of it all is heartbreaking, but I want to keep feeling that heartbreak.

    You say all the best swears without sounding like a twelve year trying to smoke his first cigarette.

    Oh, my, and thank you for the shout out! ❤

    • It was good to write something that gritty. Thanks for suggesting I put something together in her POV…and you’re more than welcome for the shout-out! Even the comments section of your blog is worth the admission

  2. Wonderful piece, Darren. I cringed throughout, knowing that this is probably very close to how it really is. I can’t even go there in my head, it’s so painful to imagine. Wasted lives. So tragic. At the same time, it helps to remind us how lucky the rest of us are, even when we’re at our low points. At least we can turn it around if we want to.

    Keep sharing your work. I really am drawn in by your true-to-life gritty stories.

    • Thanks, Kate! I always appreciate your comments. You’re right, we’re lucky we only have to imagine, and even then it probably never comes close to the reality. There are so many broken lives that go unnoticed by us each day.

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