The Junk Yard is a collection of short,
short pieces collected by editor Marsha Hunt, who was a recent writer-in-residence at
Dublins Mountjoy (Joy) Prison. In her Introduction, she traces her
ten-week experience of working with the prisoners as they slowly began to dredge up truths
and get their stories down on paper. The collection was turned down by one editor because
too many of the stories had a similar theme - the drug experience, most notably heroin.
But, as Hunt argues, thats their collective importance: "The majority of
prisoners were men and women in their early twenties; able, smart, and in the whole of
health. What gradually became clear is that nearly all were (or are) heroin addicts who
had stolen to pay for their daily fix. For most, as their stories indicate, their
addiction began when they were teenagers. . . . Most [of the stories] deal with an aching,
sick, desolate and lonely netherworld of young people trapped between highs. They paint a
bleak, fearful mental state that is a junk yard of the mind." Instead of complaining
about the similarity of theme, Hunt insists, one should ask why so many have a
similar tale to tell. The stories are true and are best read collectively, but for a peek,
here is Gotzys story which appears under a section entitled "The Score."
For Family & friends, inlaws & outlaws
I've got the bed covers pulled right up as far as my face. It's fuckin' freezing. Anita
is still asleep right beside me. I don't want to wake her. Not yet anyways. It must be
eight in the morning. I don't think it could be much more than eight. I am wide awake,
lying here just thinking over lots and lots of things. I have lots I need to think about.
I am in my mother's house. I have not stayed in this
house in a long time. Looking at this small room around me, I pick out all the things that
are new. It's all different from how it used to be. I think of the cold again. The
temperature is definitely one thing that's not changed in this room. It's like a bleedin'
I hate being cold.
I have a busy day ahead. Well, maybe eventful would be
a better word. One particular event being the reason I stayed here last night: I am
supposed to be going away today. I am not happy about it. (Ain't nobody else I know happy
about it neither.) I lie here thinking . . . trying to come up with some excuse for
putting off going away. I can't find one and there is no reason trying. I'll end up going
in the end, no matter what I do. I can't change that. It's a catch twenty-two situation,
and I lose both ways.
Still, I keep on thinking. I think about how long I
could be gone for. I got no answer to that. Just guesses.
At ten-thirty I am supposed to be in Dublin Circuit
Court. I expect to go away for a while. A good while. Doing a bunk is a choice. I done one
already. But there ain't no point this time. It would just guarantee me a longer stay in
the Joy. Get it done and finished with is what I think.
Fuck it. I will just hope for the best. Yeah, fuck it.
Something inside me is tired. Tired and wants me to go
Inside I am fed up and tired.
Going away would be a break. It would nearly be a
holiday from where I am now. Everything around me seems to be drugs money drugs drugs
drugs and more drugs. I feel like I know nothin' else. No time for nothin' else. No choice
to do anything else. Even now the day's already got its edge. I am sick. I am if I think I
am. I am so used to beginning my day sick. It's what I'm used to. I think I sometimes feel
sick just out of routine. I expect to be sick so I am sick.
Sick is the excuse to do my gear now rather than
I have some gear. It's underneath my bed calling me.
It's already cooked and ready for me.
I want it but I don't want to move to get it. I don't
want to wake Anita by moving. I want a few more minutes to think.
My gear is a distraction while I think. It calls me. I
keep thinking that it's there.
I think about David and Dean, my two boys. I will miss
them when I go. I hope and wonder will they miss me? I don't want to keep thinking of them
right now. I'll find a thousand regrets about things I didn't or did do. Things I meant to
do. What they missed out on. What they will miss out on when I go. All those people I care
about. People who don't want me going no place but don't want me stayin' neither. Stayin'
so I keep livin' the same shit over and over like I have been doing.
This morning is different for me. I have never turned
up in a court to get sent down. I have never been sure of the big sentence I expect today.
I still have the choice of doing a bunk on it. But I think that's just a choice between a
big sentence and a fuckin' bigger one.
That gear is still there.
Do a bunk or go to court? It's a simple choice that
ain't so simple . . . Fuck it. Two words. Fuck it. I will go to court as planned. Get it
Why do I say 'fuck it'?
I think about it.
I say fuck it about lots of decisions I got to make.
It's a good answer. A good answer when you're a junkie. It's a quick decision. It's a
laid-back answer for everything.
That gear is calling me again. That's why I decided,
fuck it. Any other decision's gonna take longer. I don't want to wait any more for my
gear. My gear won't wait any more for me.
My clothes are on the floor. I pull them over to me
and dress myself. I try to keep it as quiet as I can. Anita wakes up anyway. We share the
gear between the two of us. The first turn on of the day. The best one of the day. The
first always is.
Now I have some things I have to do. I have to get
ready for today. Make sure I have anything I need with me, i.e. drugs and more drugs.
I spent yesterday shopping. Shopping for drugs and the
go with them. It was a poxy day. Fuckin' cold, wet and
busy. In the morning me and Anita went to Ballyier to get gear and napps. Heroin and
morphine tablets. I would need as many as I could get to stop me getting sick when I go
away. We had to wait around in the cold to get them. Most of the time you have to wait.
That's the worst part. Standin' in the pissin' rain . . . cold. Then we scored.
We scored twenty tablets, and since it was such a pain
waiting, we done the only thing a junkie can do - fuck off to the nearest field or some
place quiet to make the waiting worth while. Off we went for a turn on. I love it when I'm
able to make a beeline for a turn on.
We went down behind a school, and to the end of a
field behind it. Right down to the end to the corner of the field where the wall surrounds
it. Mucky and wet, no problem. A junkie can make himself at home any place he has to take
I got my spoon, lighter and water out. I put my works
beside me. I crushed four tablets on the spoon. I was in a hurry. I always am at a time
like this. Waiting is the worst. I sucked the water into the works and squirted it onto
the spoon. I gave Anita the lighter to hold under the spoon. The bastard kept blowing out
with the wind. I knelt down and moved closer to the corner for shelter. Carefully so I
didn't spill what's on the spoon.
No sooner had we started than we had to stop. This
fuckin' stupid horse that was in the field decides to wander on down to us. He wasn't
fuckin' shy or nothin'. Right the fuckin' way up he comes. I thought, 'Fuck this horse.'
But Anita said, Ah, get him away,' and gets all
nervous and shit. Fuckin' women. What the fuck could I do? I was holding a full spoon.
(This sort of shit pisses me off) Fuck off, the bleedin' horse. Fuck off, Anita. Fuck's
I got the spoon down safely to the ground, got rid of
the horse and went back to what I was doing, shouting at Anita while I was at it.
Third attempt. I tried and tried and tried. The
lighter she's holdin' kept blowin' out. It's always the same. 'Gimme the fuckin' lighter,'
I said. I bit the steel guard off it, turned the little thing for adjusting the gas, and
put the guard back on.
'Now it won't go fuckin' out now. Light it . . . Hold
it! Put it under the spoon. Simple,' I says. 'Good. .
'Jesus H. Bleedin' Christ!' The fuckin' flame on the
lighter was turned up, all right. Right the way fuckin' up. And what does the woman go and
do? Jumps and knocks me fuckin' spoon over.
I didn't say a fuckin' word. I was going to snap.
I think I is definitely turning up in court. The
longer I get away the better.