01 February 1982

My friend Tommy (Part 2)

A few weeks later Tommy and I went to Das Kino, an alternative movie theatre where they played artsy films, films that we mostly did not understand or care for. We were there to see The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, which was the incoherent ramblings of a pompous Malcolm McLaren interjected by some excellent music by the Sex Pistols.

Das Kino was an old-fashioned premiere venue with exquisite decorations and a red carpet running up and down the hallways and stairs. The film wasn't exactly a blockbuster, and Tommy and I were sitting in the balcony section alone and were taking turns getting bottles of beer from the little refreshment stand on the ground floor.

By the end of the film Tommy and I were quite drunk, and as we were stumbling out of the darkened room I noticed a giant wet stain on the red carpet. On one of his beer runs, Tommy had decided that finding the bathroom would pose somewhat of an inconvenience.

Even in my punk days I didn't approve of it, or especially in my punk days. Somebody had to clean up the piss, and you didn't impose cleaning up your piss, or shit, or jizz on somebody else. But then the weekend before I had vomited all over the bathroom of the Copersucar, so I couldn't really say anything. In any case, Tommy made up some excuse and disappeared into the night.

Tommy could be a terror, but he was good-natured too, too good-natured. One time two dealers from Munich -- I remember their Bavarian accents -- sold us a couple of L.S.D. blotters. I was always afraid of acid, but Tommy wasn't, and I said I will stay clean and take care of him if something should go wrong. So, we were walking around for half an hour and nothing happened, and we were walking around for another half hour and more of nothing happened.

Tommy was getting angry about being duped and painted a picture for me what he would do to those two crooks if he ever ran into them again. Next thing that happens, we run into them again. So, Tommy walks up to them and politely informs them that the trips they had sold us were no good. The two dealers looked at each other and then one reaches into his pocket and hands Tommy another blotter cautioning him to not tell a soul that he had gotten that one for free.

And Tommy?

He said thank you, turned around, and joined me happy as a peach. In the meantime, I had calculated that each sheet of blotter sheet would allow for about six hundred trips and that even if the two crooks only sold three hundred, they would have made a handsome profit. Needless to say, the second blotter had no effect on Tommy either, except that he didn't seem agitated any more.

Drugs really weren't our forte.

Somewhere Tommy had heard that you can get high on Gravol. So one Saturday evening we went down to the night pharmacy. Through the little safety window we told the pharmacist a story about an impending trip, and how one of us suffered from travel-sickness, and if he wouldn't have any pills against this.

The pharmacist handed us some blue-coated tablets. There were twelve of them in the package. I took four, Tommy took eight. Then we made our way on foot to the discotheque, the Copersucar, a twenty minute walk.

As we walked north along the right side of the Salzach, the tablets kicked in. That is, Tommy pretended that the tablets kicked in. I asked him how he felt, and he said that he was seeing swans, and the swans were everywhere. I envied his experience and after a couple of minutes I started to pretend myself.

"Wow," I said. "I can see all these swans too."

Obviously, I was too stupid to realize that the nature of hallcinations is a rather private experience.

I don't know if this was the same night that we smoked hashish through an apple.

In any case, the day after the pissing-on-the-carpet incident, we were all right again, and Tommy made a mess of his parent's bathroom when he dyed my hair with Henna. He caught a lot of flak for it. My mother had specifically forbidden me to dye my hair, and when she saw me she pretended not to notice my Johnny-Rotten-orange head. Pretence was a game my mother and I liked to play a lot.

Later in the summer Tommy, Michaela, and I were invited to a sweet-sixteen party at Astrid's house. The party was held in the party room in the basement, and it was crowded and loud, and I didn't like it. But then Tommy brought us two big glasses filled to the rim with vodka.

As we were standing there near the dance floor somebody accidentally bumped into me, and I spilled my glass, and Tommy thought I had deliberately emptied it. And so he deliberately poured his glass of vodka on the floor. Somebody slipped, and there was a row, and we had to retire to the birthday girl's bedroom in the attic where Tommy used the content of a tin of Nivea crème to paint a giant penis onto a mirror. Sweet sixteen wasn't happy about that, and we were yelled at and thrown out of the house just as the unsuspecting parents returned.

We had no money for a taxi, and it took us two hours to walk all the way to Tommy's place. He offered Michaela and me his bed while he slept on a mattress behind the bead curtain.