A piece of creative writing I wrote for Trine Magazine on Mental Health and the difficulties those who suffer from it face, through the eyes of young teenagers on a drug fuelled night out at Fabric, London.
Ash stumbled past the heavy swinging doors of the club’s fire exit, leaving the melodic sounds of LTJ Bukem behind him as he gasped in the chilly night air, fighting for breath. His gulps of air were long and heavy as he gently rested himself against the brick wall.
“You alright mate?” says his mate Jack.
He nods, staring empty into the distance in front of him as his body itches with movement, his blood racing around his body as he pulsates to the music.
“I’ll get the others” says Jack.
A moment passes whilst Ash slowly tries to collect and gather the fragments of his mind that have separated during the night. He knew taking MDMA didn’t help him. In fact it made him feel a lot worse. Everyone else around him grinning, terrifyingly baring white teeth, shining in the dark as if jack o lanterns, all ecstatic. Even the increase of adrenaline and the chemicals that whizzed to his brain, did nothing to alter his mood. But make him feel more alone than ever before.
“What the fuck are we leaving for?” thunders Jacks’ mate Lewis as he pushes through the exit. He’s come especially down from Bristol and is pretty pissed to be leaving before sunrise.
“It was about time” says Jack as he avoids Ash’s eye contact, knowing something is up but knows this isn’t the time or place to say so.
“Yeh I don’t mind, there’s too many people in there, got no room to move” says Alex.
“Not like you can move anyway” says Jack.
“Mate you don’t know what you’re talking about” fires back Alex as he starts to shuffle underneath the glaring light of the lamppost. His feet moves frantically, stepping and sliding along the tarmac, whilst he moves his arms either side of him, holding his flat cap for balance. He finishes triumphantly and looks up to the boys with a proud smile, his pupils bulging with excitement, “See?”
“Yeh a pile of shit,” says Jack and Lewis laughs along saying something about his mates doing it better at Motion.
Ash zones out. Leaving them and their drugged up banter behind him as they ridicule each other, enthuse about the DJs who played and pause occasionally to grunt in agreement or finger their swollen lips in bewilderment. Ash feels himself float away, his soul leaves his heavy empty body behind, plodding ahead alone. He floats higher and higher, over the streets and the building tops as he looks directly up to him to the night sky. It’s a magnetic pull that draws him closer and closer to the sky above, an energy that he can feel himself be attracted to and want to connect with. Something that feels so much stronger than anything he has felt before. He has craved this close intimacy, this connection and now, suddenly, he feels like he is finally there, finally with something, someone, someplace.
A jolt lands him back to reality.
“Mate where’s your oyster? The bus is coming” says Jack.
He looks around him confused and side-tracked, taking in the bus stop and the plastered advert for KFC on the side. He fumbles in his pocket and finds what he’s looking for, finding his voice at the same time.
“Got it”, Ash says.
“Away with the fairies were you?” says Alex.
“You could say that” mumbles Ash.
They all clamber on the empty bus, nodding to the tired driver as they slide their oysters with a beep.
The bus journey feels slow and stifling. Too tired to join in conversation with the others and too high to fall asleep, Ash stares blankly out the window as the various dark shadows outside merge into trees, buildings, and shops. Different shades of dark overlap and form together, creating an abysmal array of shapes and scenery. Ash catches a glimpse of himself in the reflection. Tired, lost and alone. He looks to the others, playing music on their phone and chatting about various DJs. He turns back to his window and rests his weary head on the frosty glass.
Jack calls for the bus driver to stop and all follow his lead and jump off grabbing Ash as they go. Striding into the street Jack leads the way past winding rows of houses and apartment blocks. He turns the key in the lock and they all pile themselves into the lift to floor eleven. Jack tells them to meet him on the roof whilst he grabs a joint.
The lift carries on ascending higher and higher til floor twenty three. They all clamber out and push open the fire exit door onto the roof, where the view of London lies below them. Lewis and Alex marvel at the view, how much they can see and how the sky is looking, as the sun begins to rise over the gloomy cityscape of buildings.
Ash thinks about how easy it would be to leave the miserable city quickly and practically painless as he looks below, counting floors and seconds in his mind, calculating time and speed. He looks on, numb with emotion as he thinks about how free he would feel as he falls.
Jack interrupts his train of thought as he calls them all to gather round and sit on a disused sofa, full of foam sprouting out of gaping holes. They spark up, the flame glowing on the tightly packed joint and they begin to pass it round the circle. Each one of them inhales deeply, letting the drug slow their heartbeat down and relax them.
Jack watches Ash suspiciously out the corner of his eye. Something tonight doesn’t feel right with Ash and he can feel it. But he’s not sure what. He’s not sure if he should say something, or do something. Or just sit and wait. The whole situation is tiresome and uncomfortable and Jack’s drug infused brain tells him to stop worrying.
If you suspect one of your friends are not feeling their usual self, most likely they are not. Show them that you are there for them to talk to and to listen. The smallest sign of encouragement can be the biggest advance. With 1 in 4 people suffering from Mental Health Issues, it could be someone close to you that is suffering.
Take a look at these websites for more information: