I met him at a rave. Or, to be more exact, the after-rave of a rave.
He was a blonde, whippet skinny, and a skater.
He mumbled, and spoke in constant oscillation from normal to almost incomprehensible nasty comment peppered sub-frequencies, and on to furious infrasound muttering.
He lived with his brother, who he said was autistic, successful, and lamentably, had thrown his life away to video game addiction.
He suffered chronic depression, or so he said, and he wrestled constantly with his drug appetites. Primarily, weed, and amphetamine, and anything else he could get his hands on.
He was, he said, desperately lonely, but was prone to lapsing into hateful misogyny about “Finnish whores who only wanted to fuck foreign men.”
He was prone to mood swings, and would sometimes appear at my door, to be let in, to sit, mumbling to himself, ignoring everyone in the room, cut up lines of amphetamine he offered no one but himself.
He was suspicious of everything I said, as if I was constantly telling tall tales, and or laying traps for him in fallacy or pisstake.
He spoke of the free party movement, and wanting to put parties on that were completely free, but then would sell beer, and food, and sometimes charge in.
He didn’t drink much without amphetamine, and when he did drink, it was mostly sweet and dry ciders.
He made electronic music, and used to perform with Korgs, though said taking acid one night had led to a terrible fuck-up that’d contributed to his breakdown.
He complained about impotence, from nerves and whatever else, and in the small scene that existed in Helsinki, venomous gossip rang back that “sure he could lick pussy, but he can’t fuck.”
His childhood friend used to offhand explain his behaviour, that he was just gay. But then, it was Finland, and toxic masculinity ran deep, and men’s’ perceived weaknesses, and frailties were often explained as them being homosexual.
The same friend used to secretly record people speaking on his phone, and rant about his genius, wanting to be a rock star, hurt people, be dead, and his numb penis. He’d sell his hip openness to impressionable women in the underground scene by talking about college orgies, being Bi, and sucking cock. Though later when you privately commended him on his openness, in the smoking area of a bar, would hush you down, and with angry-worry tell you “It was just that one time man. I don’t like guys. I don’t suck cock. I know I said, made it out like that accidentally, but you misunderstood, it was just that one time. And I didn’t really like it.”
He used to shadowbox at my head and face, when my back was turned or to the side, bobbing around to my face. He did this until he gave me half a startle, and the hyper arousal of PTSD unloaded a stream of conditional invectives. We worked together, and ran and plotted raves together. The parties were good, and long, and addled with bad burning amphetamine that I’d long suspected was danced on meth. Or some Moomin willows bark extraction.
He would say we should be playing the big clubs then “you going play live this time?”, and always accuse us of playing pre-recorded sets, even when shown otherwise.
He intermittently made rape jokes, and got petulant if you didn’t laugh.
He was chronically jealous of the women I collaborated with, and used to say things in front of them like, “When you want to collaborate with a real artist, you know where I am.”
He listened to me meticulously detail the outline for a concept EP, then immediately stole the idea. The first I would learn of this was when he linked me the track I had described to him, on the Metro, as we returned from preparing an old bunker for a rave.
He constantly begged and hassled for my ADD medication, and whinged loudly when he was refused.
He would invite me for a drink only to hassle me for something to take the edge off the days of amphetamine. And when refused, grow sullen, and complained I was there, and that he had to speak English.
He got jealous of the fact I gave the people around me nicknames, so I called him the Disco Loris. He thought this was a derisory reference to the size of his eyes.
I never explained that like the Loris, he was slow and cute, and that drew people in. But also like the Loris, when he raised his arms, he was readying hidden venom.
He’d written a book, but rarely spoke about it.
He would seek sanctuary after raves, and often pull up his hood, and weep, and sometimes, have to be sedated.
He woke me up late one night, and came by asking to “watch a film and sleep,” but got grumpy when I made the bed for him on the couch, and retreated to the loft. So grumpy, he could not decide what to watch, and lost interest. And when I, now awake, kept talking, flew into a fury, and stormed off into the night.
He once arrived at my door, with his hard drive, demanding my entire performing folder. So that he could perform them. Like I would. Warm eyes belying the truth of the social engineering attempt at the hard grift.
He used to write me notes about alpha and beta behaviour, imagined humiliations, long winding, screw-mouthed things left on newspapers, letters, and my wall.
He had blue eyes, and a gambling machine smile that shot around his face like the end of a summer squall.
And he was a snitch.
He used to save and travel, and Facebook brag post about the drugs he brought back. Because no one understood Finnish, and he knew those people, he knew them.
Whenever I travelled, he used to hassle me to bring him back hash, weed, or if possible, ecstasy. Anything. Even though I had long ago stopped smoking, and dropping was blue moon. Drugs were so expensive in Finland he reasoned it made sense. He hassled with growing regularity, and intensity, that only telling him “I’ll see, I’ll see what I can do.” would get him to “Do, see, see what you can do, please.” And he’d stop.
One October, I was returning on the red-eye back to Helsinki. It was a long journey, riddled with delays, and gate changes. In Stockholm airport, the gate appeared changed, and the route was a labyrinth walk to a smaller side gate, that led to an escalator down, second security, and to the waiting area.
The flight was sparse, and held mostly only returning suited business people, and myself.
As I descended toward security on that escalator, I was met with the vision of something I had never seen before.
Two lines of airport security each with a dog beside them, stood, facing each other so they formed a tunnel. A tunnel of security dogs, maybe six or eight deep. Three or four on either side.
It seemed incredibly intense for a handful or three of business people, and me.
As the escalator brought me unavoidably down to the tunnel of dogs, a shiver of fear ran through me, and my mind raced to try, and remember the last time a friend had smoked a joint around me.
Had I cleaned my clothes after, or been wearing this coat?
The knowledge I had nothing, and had done nothing but my prescription for so very long, allowed me to smile, stare straight ahead, and walk through the tunnel of dogs. Another one joining even as I did.
He asked did I bring anything, enquired about the journey, and seemed genuinely irritated I was back safely.
We rarely spoke after this incident, and he drifted angrily off, barely to be seen again.
Bio: E.F Fluff is still trying to escape a Kafka-esque nightmare of corruption, death threats, violence, white collar crime, and bigotry in Finland, and Ireland. Seriously. The photos above are all theirs.