The curry wasn't too hot and the view was great. My hostess pointed over rooftops at a quartet of tower blocks. Is that the notorious housing estate? No, it's the other one. I was attacked there, late 90s. Those were the days! Ripping another piece of naan bread, I recalled a day from dark times.
Seventh floor, returning with a couple cats from copping eighths off their hook. A figure came out a stairwell door and head-butted me. Hey, if you're gonna cop smack in North Glasgow, you gotta get Kissed.* Goes with the territory, man.
My nose bridge crunched, then dude grappled me. He gripped a small blade-thing so I grasped that wrist to restrain a stab. My free hand, fisted round an eighth, braced his collarbone. The connections went in their flat looking sad. The guy was their estranged cousin. Me and he twirled a mad reel round the landing before I thrust him away.
Entering the flat, I weaved through floppy nodders to the window, picturing escape. The view was a desolate plaza, where Twix wrappers fluttered in eddies like senescent butterflies. The mad cousin was banished from the trap but I should've known he'd pursue me. He didn't give a fuck and nobody made him.
There was a stout plank used to brace the door against raids, a New York Latch. Wielding this, the nutter advanced with a face from grotesque Japanese theatre. He made as if to smash me.
"I hear you're saying I ripped you off?"
I shrugged but didn't flinch.
"Well, I fucking did."
He had taken £300 and left me in a tenement hallway. Usually he returned with a quarter. A couple days ago, he hadn't.
What to do but suck it up and carry on? The burn-artist's cousins were okay guys but weak. They berated me for switching biz from them to him. They all worked for a family mob; I couldn't know the rankings and dynamics. This fuckhead took over my account and no-one pulled my coat. I should've twigged; don't traffic with a hater. A despised pariah, cast out to juggle trade in stairwells and halls. Pissing where he stood and cursing the residents right back.
Whatever. Long as there was daily bread, stop the monkey howling. But all things random come in time, sooner or later. After the loss, a slow walk home, looking up wishing you were even a seagull.
The crazy clown quit the act and spat himself an eighth, crouching to the task of taxing some fool's weight. Our audience murmured, I shouldn't leave without my drugs. But no, I had them still. This wasn't about drugs, just twisted ego shit.
Precarious got normal plus a sort of happy ending. Or silver lining. A hanger-out listened to the crew discuss the attack. She quoted them saying I handled myself not bad. Some flattery which heard well sound. Worth it all, the cash and chaos.
Pretty much. When you've lost it big, the small ones matter.
*'Glasgow Kiss' = headbutt
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