Cocaine cost me a friend


Cocaine cost me a good friend and the circle of friends that I knew him in. He was a little older than me and we met through growing up in the same neighbourhood. We all used to hang out together go, know each other’s families. My friend was really into music and would spend what little money he had on carefully selected records, which he treasured. He prided himself on his good taste and spent weeks deciding whether a record was good enough to add to his collection. 

He had always struggled to establish his working life. His mother, a school teacher had worried about them getting the right start in life and sent him and his brother to where she had grown up for their secondary education. This had been to no avail and both them had drifted from job to job. My friend found himself after many false starts with the soul destroying existence of nightshifts in a petrol station. 

So when an opportunity came along, no matter how tainted it was, he was primed to take it. An economic opportunity when you are offered no others and life is grim is almost impossible to turn down. He played football in the park regularly, a vast informal game that was played enthusiastically by all sorts of young men on a Monday evening. A shy Nigerian kid had asked to join in and my friend had taken him under his wing. They slowly made friends and began to hang out and smoke weed after the game together. One evening the Nigerian kid came to him with a problem.

He told him, “I have a house full of cocaine. I came to this country to study civil engineering, I want to build roads and bridges but my mother wants me to sell cocaine that she is trafficking, mules sent by her deliver it to me all the time. She rings me every day to ask for the money but I am too scared to sell it. I am not a gangster, I am a student and frighten that I will get shot”.

My friend’s brother had been mixed up with the business of selling cocaine. It had been a disaster but all this offered my friend where the potential contacts to sell it. After this I saw him intermittently and was always plied with copious quantities of cocaine. We had a couple of wild parties, with fruit bowls full of weed and lumps of crystal cocaine the size of golf balls.

The sums of money involved were vast, one night we sat and counted £250,000. My friend seemed to lose his ability to discriminate good from bad, he was buying everything he could in the record shop, absolute rubbish. Music that he would have laughed at when he had no money, he now played without thinking, the sort of derivative pap out by record companies trying to catch on to an existing trend. 

He bought himself a ridiculous sports car and decided to drive to Spain to see the Barcelona vs. Real Madrid game at the Nou Camp with his car boot full of money, cocaine and cannabis. He completely lost it in Spain, probably had a fantastic time along the way, but returned after abandoning the car to find his cocaine dealing business had disintegrated and he had a rather excessive cocaine habit with no means of support.

The first stupid thing he did was to borrow enough money from a mutual friend to buy a kilo of cocaine. This guy worked really hard for his money and had saved it working nine to five in an office in a really boring clerking job, he had been seduced by the hundreds of thousands of pounds he seen lying around our mutual friends house. Everybody locally knew about it and everybody knew it was going to be a disaster. The clerk was aggressive, proud, obsessed with going to the gym. His temper had already led to a short spell in prison and there was simply no way our friend with the cocaine habit was ever going to be able to pay him the money back, certainly not with the vast amount of return on investment that he had been promised. 

I heard a garbled story about how the former cocaine dealer had desperately tried to hold up an illegal gambling club run by Turkish gangsters, a indication of quite how stupid he had become. As predicted the clerk went psychotic and the former cocaine dealer had to flee to the other side of London. I miss his taste in music and his sensitive nature, I hope he has got them back.