That theer dingy bog at’t’ Blue Note reeked uh stale wazz un Southern Comfort but thon cubicles were miraculously clean – folk vommin’ in’t urinals un ower’t’ sticky, black dogshelf instead, leaving glowin’ globs ayit int’ UV light tuh avoid contaminatin’ true heart uht’ club – them flat, white ceramic cistern tops frum weer speed un coke were dabbed un snorted, once t’often wettin’ wraps – sliced un cut frum magazines then artfully folded – ‘ad been tecken frum kecks un pockets un socks un mingin’ shoes. Only’t’ unlucky ones, back in them days, would find ’emselves awkin about wit’ condensated dealy bags – them little plastic ziplock packets in whicht’ stodged gear would sweat un liquify. There wah no banging ont’ doors, no disturbance frumt’ bouncers. Both were ont’ payroll, patiently ignorin’ allt’ drug use un only turning away’t’ types uh punters likely tuh disturb’t’ peace by gettin’ bladdered, bein’ bladdered, or wearing shoes which indicated thay’d not come tuh enjoy’t’ secret delights uh Aas Music un illicit, class A chemical substances. Int’ dark club, painted blacker thun sky ower Bill’s mother’s, which would accommodate nuh more thun three-hundred people at its wost fire risk, provision uh’a weekend ‘aven at’t’ Friday Club wah crucial tuh its continued success as a tax free, money makin’ vehicle weert’ bulk uh legitimate sales come frum bottled water un dinky lollipops.
Sat’day night saw its return tuht’ drinkers, tuht’ owder generation uh Derby’s more tradishnul sloshin’ culture, but Friday wah a day uh worship at t’alter uh thumping beats un uplifting vocals, weer DJs like that Jeremy Healey un Alistair Whitehead would be just as mashed as t’ dancin’ throng, whoopin’ un blartin’ theer hearts int’ old disco style, un shaking euhporic sweaty ‘ands at th’ends uh theer sets.
‘Ad it not been furt’ escape tuh Wilmorton’s grubby inner-city college, away frumt’ maddening snootery uht’ wannabe grammar school int’ village, Billy might never uv come tuh experience t’ bitter taste uh anphetamines, t’ nasal burn uh coke, ort’ sheer joy uh a white dove. Ecstasy. A stomach-tinglin’, man-made joy int’ form uh a tiny stamped pill, cooked up in an Amsterdam lab un lovingly smuggled intuh his ‘and at’t’ cost uh a ten pound palm cross tuh Winston. T’ big, hamfisted lump made t’ perfect stooge, uh course. Imbecillic un delighted tuh carry enough drugs un cash upon his person ‘tween ‘andovers tuht’ club tuh send him far on wi’ slops fur a very considerable period. He wah equally happy, happen, tuh carry a lock knife in case things went wonky, despite also bein’t’ only punter int’ joint who wah allowed tuh hold ontuh a glass pint pot, in case a glassing wah required.
Poor owed Winstuhn di’n’t really see what wah coming when Billy first spotted his own opportunity tuh make a dent ont’ local economy – though it di’n’t cross his mind until’t’ end uh that first three months as a recreational fuckhead, coz’t’ high wah new un obliterated everythin’ but’t’ absolute enjoyment uh it. T’ tingling sensation int’ chest or belly as’t’ glorious concoctions began tuh release ’emselves intuh’t’ body, that shimmer-shake int’ major muscle groups as ‘is blood pumped’t’ artificial stimulation tuht’ limbs, then’t’ owerwhelming headrush as allt’ brain’s electrical impulses began tuh fire un’t’ world changed shape un tone under’t’ forced dilation uht’ pupils – greedily takin’ in light, even int’ black uht’ club.
Billy ad’n’t been very good at cannabis, neither skunk nor resin had particularly enthused him, un buckets un bongs had always led him tuh coughing fits, red eyes, un a slight nausea which disrupted his enthusiasm. He wah also an outdoor lad un theer wa’n’t much worse than sitting in a aas, surrounded by a cloud uh thick un smoggy pipe smoke produced by a group uh five or sex teenage boys, stale stench uh bongwater mixing with that unpleasant pong uh trainers. Even whent’ drinking years had started, when he wah fourteen, Billy had never really taken tuh that either. ‘E could shotgun a can uh lager witht’ best uh ‘um, un he could wipe aat a tenner’s worth uh one pound pints at Berlins no bother, but alcohol, like weed, provided too many setbacks fur it tuh be fully enjoyed. Hangowers were a cripplin’ ruination uht’ day which followed t’ night out un when you took it a step too far in taan, un theer wah always’t’ risk you’d end up spewing all ower yourself just as’t’ girl yud been watching all night met your peepers. No, neither dope nor booze were a good fit fur William Howard but, ‘s’if tuh prove t’old parental fear about gateway drugs, it wah both which provided Billy wit’ access tuh a world in which he found himself as happy as a pig int’ prowerbial shit. It wah through college he met Matt and it wah through a night aat fur drinks wiy Matt that he finally became acquainted wit’ delectible feast uh Derby’s controlled substance underground uh 1996…