Sunday, October 23, 2005

crystal meth and white maize

A heart-wrending piece of journalism stuck out like a sore thumb in the Observer today; David Sheff on the trauma of watching his bright, articulate son, Nick, destroy himself with drug use. The sense of hope counteracted by the crushing sense of inevitability as each relapse occurs, as dreadful as the last. His son describes his whole life as a 'search' for crystal meth; once he found it, 'that was that'.

"How the hell did I get here?", Nick asks during one stay in rehab, keeping a journal of his ordeal .

"It doesn't seem that long ago that I was on the water-polo team. I was an editor of the school newspaper, acting in the spring play, obsessing about which girls I liked, talking Marx and Dostoevsky with my classmates. The kids in my class will be starting their junior years of college. This isn't so much sad as baffling. It all seemed so positive and harmless, until it wasn't."

Here's the article
, complete with moving dénouement.

Elsewhere in the paper, I was struck by this story of a Zimbabwean farmer who has managed to grow African crops in a 20 acre field in Enfield, and am keen to try some white maize. Anyone ever had any? It's like a flourier, sweeter Sweetcorn, apparently.

1 comment:

Stephen Newton said...

'Binge drinking horror!' screamed the front page. 'How we reported Britons' anger at Foreign Office,' boasted page 2. I thought the newsagent had substituted my Observer for a Mail on Sunday this week.

But, you're right it's still a good paper and it'll be interesting to see how it looks when it goes Berliner next year.