I take a sip from my bottle of coke. There’s vodka mixed in with it. I need that. I’m anxious. I’m dying for my hit. I’m also worried I’m not going to make it back in time for Mickey. If I didn’t dream the conversation with him, I’m meant to be meeting him at the Radisson at seven o’clock. Me and Lorna have only just got on the ferry from Manly heading to Circular Quay. We need to catch a bus to Kings Cross at the other end, have our hits, and then make the return journey.
“Are you sure we’ll be back in time?”
“You’re doing my head in.” Lorna sits down on a bench on the deck. “Why don’t you just call your punter and rebook him?”
“I told you. His mobile doesn’t work here. It’s a UK phone.”
If I had Mickey’s number, I would call him. And if Mickey was a punter, I wouldn’t care about missing him. I’m so angry with myself for getting on this bloody ferry. I should’ve stayed in Manly. I’ll be lucky to get my hit an hour before I would’ve probably had one with Mickey anyway. I can’t bear being driven by the powder like this. It makes me do things I don’t want to do.
Arriving at Circular Quay, me and Lorna walk to the bus stop and wait. Time is dragging. Unusually, I’m wearing my watch. I keep checking it. Eventually, the bus comes and we take the short ride. When we step off at Kings Cross, I’m infuriated by Lorna’s slow pace. I’m the one wearing high heels, as always, and she’s in flats. She should be walking faster. I can’t even pull her along. I don’t know where we’re going. I came with her once before to score here, but I never paid any attention on the way.
At last, we reach the turquoise door by the side of the barber’s shop. Lorna rings the bell. “Wait here,” she says, as the door is buzzed open. She disappears inside.
Smoking a cigarette, I watch the passersby. There’s a mix of people. I try to avoid focusing on the parents pushing buggies. It makes me sad, thinking about the babies I should have. I take a slug from my vodka and coke. I look at the prostitutes. They’re dressed the same as the streetwalkers back home in London. You can see the suspender straps of the women wearing stockings. They fall below their nearly non-existent skirts.
A young, blonde girl catches my eye. She’s wearing a jean mini-skirt and a black bra. I know I’m staring at her, but I can’t avert my gaze. She looks about fifteen. I ache in my heart for her. I ache for the young girl I was at that age. Fifteen’s when I started working. It was terrible then. I cried all the time. Doing a punter was like being raped. I didn’t have a choice back then. My pimp made me work on the streets. At the time, I thought he was my boyfriend. I was so naive. I thought he loved me. He was evil. So were the paedophile punters who bought me. They fucked a crying child. That is rape.
I stamp my cigarette out on the pavement. Lorna’s taking ages. I hate not having a phone on me. If I was back in London, I’d call her to tell her to hurry the fuck up. I can’t ring the dealer’s doorbell. I don’t think I can. It’s not the done thing when you’re the friend of a dealer’s customer. You’re meant to wait outside discreetly. That’s the rule.
I look at my watch. There’s no way I’m going to make it back in time for Mickey now. I’m not even sure the arrangement was definite. It might’ve been in my dream that I heard him say he was coming back. I can’t check with him though. I don’t have his number. I should have stayed in Manly. Now I’m going to have to get his number from Lorna. Considering she’s trying to keep me away from him, it isn’t going to be easy.