Three days ago, I posted a blog in which Chris Dangerfield gave his opinion on the Dapper Laughs kerfuffle. Some of what he said did not fit comfortably into that blog. This is part of what I did not post…
“You’ve recently been to Cambodia,” I said to Chris.
“Yeah.,” said Chris. “Went to Cambodia. Went down to Phnom Penh.”
“When was this?” I asked.
“That’s hard to say,” Chris replied.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because of the nature of my visit,” he laughed. “I got on a tuk-tuk (motorised rickshaw taxi) at the airport when I arrived and the driver asked me: Do you want something to smoke? – I said Yeah – So he gave me some weed… Do you want some tablets? – Yeah – So he gave me some Xanax – And he said Do you want some China White (heroin) – Yeah.
“This was the first Khmer I had spoken to and he offered me weed, Xanax and heroin. I took all three of them, went to my hotel room and spent a couple of days crying.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Remember when I last talked to you (in September),” said Chris, “I mentioned I had left the love of my life? I went out to Cambodia essentially to escape a broken heart and, predictably, the broken heart came with me.”
“But now,” I said, “you are back together again?”
“Yeah. I sat out there for a couple of days shooting heroin and having Xanax for breakfast and thought: I need to get home, I need to get clean and I need to give that relationship a chance while I’m clean. Because there’s no chance while you’re using. That’s bullshit to think that. How can you have a relationship while you’re using?”
“So why didn’t you get clean last time?” I asked.
“That is a question I’ll probably asked myself forever until I am clean.”
“But, you’re not clean now.”
“So what about your relationship?”
“Well, I’m giving it a go now.”
“But you’re not clean.”
“But I’m trying,” said Chris. “I’m certainly trying. A couple of weeks ago, I was doing a gram a day of white Number 4 Burmese – the strongest smack in the world – and now I’m doing about 0.2 of a gram a day. By the time me and her go to Thailand in a few weeks, I’ll be down to an oxycontin a day.”
“Oxycontin?” I asked.
“Oxycodone,” Chris explained. “The brief must have been to the pharmaceutical companies: Can you make some heroin? Because all our addicts are giving Afghanistan and South East Asia money, so we would rather them be buying black market American-made goods.
“So, yes, oxycodone: that’s the plan. I’m on 0.2 (of heroin) at the moment; I hope before I leave it will be 0.1 and then I’ll get the oxycontin down and, by the time I come back, hopefully I’ll be clean or just a bit of ‘codeine’. To go from a gram of white heroin on the needle to a couple of dihydrocodeines a day, I’ll be happy with that.”
“How long have you known your girlfriend?” I asked.
“Four years, on and off. I’ve never felt like I do about her. It feels like real love. I actually make concessions for someone else’s feelings, which is something I’ve never done before.
“I love her like I’ve never loved anyone else. I have feelings for her that are new and I think it deserves… I mean, I want to be clean anyway. I’m done with this shit and I want that relationship to have a proper chance.”
“When did you start taking heroin?” I asked.
“I was 23.”
“And you’re how old now?”
“42… Well, I think I started taking drugs when I was around 14. But I’m done with it. I’ve been talking to the American writer and musician Mishka Shubaly who does the music for Doug Stanhope’s podcast. He’s been five years clean of alcohol and he’s been an amazing person to communicate with.”
“And,” I said, “as for your girlfriend…?”
“I love her – I really do. Like any love affair, it has its ups and downs. But there’s nothing new there with the smack and it’s stopping me doing other things. It’s time to love, to create and to relax: and they are three things – the last one, anyway – that heroin interferes with. No, it interferes with all of them.”