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  • Jimmy Broccoli

Glue-Sniffing Survivor

I’m the only punk in the room holding a bottle of American beer…

[yeah, I know it’s piss water]


I stand against a multicolored spray-painted graffiti wall

by the slam floor,

Paul stands beside me, a glass of ale in his hand

His green mohawk hair-sprayed high into the air –

Spikes as sharp as knitting needles


“The band fuckin’ sucks tonight”, Paul tells me between swigs of suds

“Yeah,”, I reply, “the bassist is on day 5” –

then I lift a finger to my nose and mockingly inhale with one nostril…

“or, so I heard”

“Fucking, hell – it’s fuckin’ pants, mate” Paul says,

as he reaches for his lighter - cig already in his mouth

“An’ I leave my flat for this shite…” –

I shake my head to agree


“Knees up, mate” – Paul states, after punching me in the shoulder -

he looks expectantly towards the front door –

“It’s Polly innit?”

“Yeah”, I reply as my buzz increases and I feel a bit pissed –

“She’s lookin’ proper fit, eh?” Paul observes…


“Another Bud”, I tell the bartender

“I don’t know how you drink that yank shite”, he tells me

I pull on my braces and snap them back as if it were a reply

“Ta”


“You brought the American… chuffed,” Polly sarcastically observes -

as she looks me up and down with disapproval –

Her nails match her glow-in-the-dark pink hair –

there is golden glitter on her face and silver glitter on her eyelids -

“All right, Polly”, I respond…

Paul grins from ear to ear


I’m out on the slam floor as Paul and Polly get a pint…

I remove my shirt (and tuck it into the back waist of my trousers) –

and my anarchist sweat mingles with the sweat of others –

…testosterone fills the air like oxygen, it’s masculine air…

I push – and I push hard – it’s violent and I’m in my element –

A guy with a bloody nose slams into me – and I fall hard onto the ground…

A hand reaches towards me – and he pulls me up…


“Another Bud in a bottle”, I tell the bartender –

and he snickers at me like I’m American scum –

He simply shakes his head in disapproval, smiles, and pops off the bottle top –

“Cheers”, he says –

“Cheers”, I reply


“It’s still hard, ya know?”, Paul tells me between drags on his cig

He looks at something in the distance of the room I cannot see…

“Yeah, it’s been awhile”, I reply -

“Congrats on 6 months, mate”, I say

“Ta”, Paul replies as he exhales smoke like he is exhaling an unpleasant memory


Polly asks me if I want to dance (slam) and I accept her offer (hesitantly)…

I think she wants to fuck my American ass up

“maybe you’re not so bad”, she tells me quickly

before she slams me into a table

“perhaps your hair is naturally pink”, I reply –

and it’s the first time I’ve seen her smile –

and I know it’s genuine and not cruel or condescending in any way

“what are you drinking?”, I ask her

“British 75”, she replies –

“whatever the fuck that is”, I say as I tip the bartender a fiver…


The three of us are in the back of Paul’s small truck bed –

It’s open – stars twinkling above – we’re drunk as fuck –

“You know, you’re my best mate”, says Paul, smoking his 100th cig for the night

“Cheers, mate”, I say as I tilt my American piss-water beer towards his glass

“Cheers”, says Polly – and I see her smile again

“Cheers”, I say –

and the three of us bask in this glorious moment…

Enjoying the company of others…


Paul – he’s out tonight

(I wouldn’t have predicted he’d still be alive)

he’s been clean – 6 months tonight…

he’s a glue-sniffing survivor…


and I’m really proud of ‘im


Photo: Jimmy Broccoli with Caesar, the Therapy Bunny Rabbit.


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