Recollections from a Rehab – Part Five

Continued from recollections from a rehab – part four…

The third attempt didn’t work out any better, lost as I was in a fog of my own creation, yet convinced I was perfectly normal. Friends tried to intervene and help but I talked them out of it; assured them I was fine and that I’d make it onto this flight with no problem at all, that they had nothing to worry about, although the look in my eyes; the look of someone disconnected from themselves; unplugged at the mains; there, yet somewhere else entirely, must have indicated to them that they did indeed have plenty to worry about, yet they were powerless to do anything about it.

I had replaced my glasses in the meantime, so was actually in a position to travel again, yet still managed to turn up at the gate half an hour late only to be informed that the gate was now closed and I had yet again missed my fucking flight.

I tried to mount some kind of protest but must have looked a complete shambles as the two stewardesses didn’t even bother to engage with me, they just turned away and walked off up the concourse, leaving me there alone with no one else around, muttering towards the closed doors of the gate something about my taxi having been late picking me up.

A couple of days later when I finally made it onto the flight, I did so only because a friend took me to the airport himself. There had been talk of him flying all the way to Durban with me, only to then turn around and fly right back, just to make sure that I made it all the way to the rehab. I guess people were beginning to fear for my life by this point, oblivious though that I was, due to being consumed by fear of my fast approaching detox, in a foreign country, far from anyone I knew.

Upon arrival at Durban twenty-four hours later, I was just one huge streaming river of sweat and must have looked like the most suspicious looking individual ever to attempt to pass through an airport security system and was duly intercepted by two guards and pulled over to the side, where they told me to put my case onto a bench and open it up.

By the twenty-four hour mark of a heroin withdrawal, you are looking and feeling absolutely terrible. Your eyes are constantly watering making it difficult to see, your bones are aching and your limbs feel like sticks of lead; it is really hard work to think rationally and logically and it seems a wholly unreasonable request for anyone to ask you to keep up one side of a conversation, as forming words takes every ounce of energy you possess and here I was being asked to lift a heavy bag onto a table. Things were bad.

“Where are you going?” asked one of the guards, after I’d lugged the case onto the table and which I have to say, completely stumped me. I opened my mouth to say something because it seemed reasonable, somewhere in my head, that if I was at an airport arrivals lounge I would have at least some idea as to where I was going but after having opened it, it quickly became clear that I didn’t have anything remotely helpful to say, so I closed it again.

“Well?” he continued “Where are you going…what is your final destination today?”

Now, the only phone calls I had made to the rehab over the preceding days had been direct to the mobile phone of the main guy over there, Don, and those calls were just to tell him that I’d failed to make my flight…again…so the actual name of the place had been of no real interest to me up to that point; all I cared about as far as travel instructions, were the bare essentials, meaning flight number and the name of the guy who was going to pick me up at the gate at the other end.

After an awkwardly long pause “I don’t know, I’m afraid” was the best I could come up with, which coupled with my dishevelled appearance and the torrents of sweat pouring from me, didn’t seem to please him any.

I could see where this one was heading and it wasn’t looking pretty so with a deep breath and using the very last of my energy I said…








“Manchester United?” is all he said in response “Yes” I whispered with a faint smile

“GO!” he suddenly barked…and I was on my way out through the exit and straight into the eye line of two guys standing together, who both must have immediately clocked me as their man due to my appearance.

“Are you Tim?” asked one of them in a thick South African accent…I nodded…”I’m Ed and this is Joe…glad you could make it finally…this is the fourth time we’ve been out here to pick you up”

And with that, they showed me to their truck and we set off on the ninety- minute drive to the rehab

…in total silence.

To be continued…


One Response to “Recollections from a Rehab – Part Five”

  1. Says:

    are you man u you?

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