Kev the Vampire
by Phillip Donnelly
|Cast of characters|
|Chapter 5: Dissolution|
Epiphany: permit me to begin this chapter with the same word as the last. Did I now know the cause of Patient K.’s insanity? A lesser psychiatrist might have declared the case solved, but I do not mistake every false dawn for enlightenment. The truth is darker and deeper.
While Kev was sinking in a failed search for meaning, a shipwrecked solitary figure circling his own dark thoughts in a dark brave new world, this was not what led to his psychosis. Had other events not transpired, the development of his mind may have taken an altogether different path from the one that led him to this institution. The world of the mind has no final destination, and there is no terminus.
Let us move then to that singular event that triggered the explosion of reason and the supersonic flight into insanity.
It was, I maintain, the self-administration of the psychedelic, Salvia Divinorum. You will remember that this was part of the mantra Kevin repeated ad nauseum upon his arrival, occasionally howling it to intersperse his rhythmical chanting of ‘The blood is the life, the blood is the life!’
Salvia Divinorum, I later read, has a long history of use by the shaman of the Mazatecs, an Amazonian tribe, who use it to divine the ephemeral nature of what appears to be reality. Indeed, in some circles in the west, it is translated as ‘Diviner’s Sage’, because of its purported ability to promote revelatory visions and to induce altered states of consciousness.
Resisting the a priori temptation to attribute blame to the plant, my research indicated that this drug has no reliably reported side effects, and unlike hallucinogenics such as LSD, the effects of Salvia Divinorum are very short-lived, and I could not find a single case of prolonged psychosis.
Either patient K. was unique, or the hypothesis was flawed. Consulting with the renowned chemist, Professor Thompson, currently on sabbatical here, I postulated that the chemical psychosis was provoked by unknown impurities within the Salvia tincture, but we were unable to test our theory.
On the streets, however, the laboratories are unsupervised and there are no notes to be consulted. Experiments, nonetheless, are performed. Was K.’s madness the result of one of them?
Salvia Divinorum is one of the many ‘legal highs’ that are currently legally available in Dublin’s notorious ‘Head Shops’, but modern production methods have dramatically increased the potency of the active agent, Salvinorin A, an opioid agonist.
There has been much press hysteria surrounding Head Shops of late in this country, and it is lamentable that our press hounds have not conducted a modicum of research before condemning the drug so vehemently in a series of inflammatory articles, which would seem to be playing a significant role in a string of arson attacks visited upon Head Shop establishments recently.
On learning of my patient K., for example, the following article appeared in one of more salacious tabloids, much to the displeasure of the Board of Directors of this establishment.
At first, I was outraged by the article and wanted to clear my name, since the newspaper had not even attempted to consult me, in spite of appearances to the contrary, but following legal counsel from the hospital’s resident solicitors, I was persuaded not to take action against the newspaper for libel, since they felt it would most likely result in a protracted and costly legal battle that I was unlikely to win.
To add insult to injury, our Chief of Staff then asked me to release a statement condemning the drug. He took extreme unction at my refusal to do so, and my appeal to the facts fell on deaf ears.
Instead of venting my frustrations on both staff and press, I bit my tongue and submerged myself all the more deeply in K.’s case and its antecedent causes.
But let us now place the offending and offensive piece of ‘journalism’ under our nose and sniff it.
* * *
(Newspaper Article from The Irish Star)
Vampire Drug Shocker
Irish boy driven mad by Danish Drugs
Outraged parents all across the nation are in a state of panic today following the discovery of the latest designer drug to hit the crime-infested streets of Dublin, ‘Vamp’, AKA ‘The Vampire High’ AKA ‘Saliva Salvisnorum’.
This newspaper has discovered that the narcotic, a sister drug to the opiate heroin, is being manufactured by underground chemists in the drug dens of Wittenberg in Denmark and then smuggled inside sheep’s bottoms into the Republic.
After injecting the drug in their tongue, or ingesting it in the form of ‘Space Stew’ and ‘Party Pizza’, teens have been reported to engage in frenzied orgies in cemeteries up and down the land.
Mrs O’Dunghaile’s, of Dublin 9, states that her own son, Kevin, formerly a straight-A student and popular teenager, is now a hopeless Vamp addict.
‘He has to spend 24 hours a day in a straitjacket in a looney bin, trying to come off the Vampjunk,’ she stated.
Kevin’s doctor refused to be interviewed by this newspaper, but sources inside the psychiatric institution state off the record that he does not even believe the drug is dangerous!
We ask the good doctor to take a look inside the Vamp Junk crack dens of Parnell Square and then tell concerned citizens that Vamp is not a menace to society.
“No more Saliva!” parents up and down the country are shouting.
And if the medical establishment’s indifference were not enough, politicians are equally deaf to the calls of the country.
What the Irish public cannot accept is that because of a legal loophole in Brussels these drugs are totally LEGAL to buy in the infamous Head Shops.
Tired of waiting for the government to act, many concerned parents have taken the law into their own hands and petrol-bomb attacks are being reported on Head Shops across the city.
Eyewitnesses to one attack heard cries of ‘This one’s for Kev! The blood is the life!’
While this newspaper paper does not condone these acts of violence, it does understand them.
When will our politicians wake up and put a stop to these Danish drug demons and their satanic Saliva?!
In tomorrow’s paper, find out how to discover if your child is a Vamp junkie in our 10 Ways to spot a Vamp Head special.
* * *
The press debacle did not end there, but I have wasted enough words on the gentlemen of the press. This is not a description of my war against media distortions, and so, I will say no more on this theme.
My suspicions of impurities within the salvia salvinorum were to prove correct, following evidence from a trial which is still taking place in one of the lower courts, in which a certain Mr. Raithoo (not real name) stands accused of the production and sale of variety of illegal substances.
I was alerted to the case by Teacher G., who informed me that the gentleman in question was a notorious dealer of narcotics great and small within the School of the Bleeding Pelican and had been known to associate with Patient K.
I contacted one of the prosecuting attorneys, with whom I share the same alma mater, and asked her to direct her questioning toward my charge, the young K. and to uncover more details about the potion he imbibed and his state of mind prior to ingestion. The following transcription, I believe, sheds a great deal of light on the case, and I have therefore included it below.
* * *
(Extract from Transcript of The State versus Mr. Raithoo)
Ms. Finn: Would the defendant be so kind as to describe his relationship with one Kevin O’Donghaile?
Mr. Raithoo: You mean Space Cadet Kev, dreamer of dreamers, schemer of schemers, steamer of steamers. The School of the Bleeding Pelican’s very own Shakey Pear? Some called him Oracle; some called him Madser; I just called him Kev.
Ms. Finn: Would the defendant kindly confirm that this photo, exhibit D, is in fact, your former classmate, Kevin O’Donghaile?
Mr. Raithoo: There needs no ghost come from the graves of Glasnevin to tell you that. ’Tis him, indeed. I’d know his mullet anywheres, but the mugshot does him rough justice... and sure nobody knows more about rough justice than me. I’m no friend to this crown, nor it me.
Ms. Finn: Would you say that you were close?
Mr. Raithoo: As the proverbial peas, my lady.
Ms. Finn: You were school friends, were you not, until your expulsion for drug-related offences a month before Mr. O’Donghaile’s own departure from those hallowed halls?
Mr. Raithoo: Them drugs were planted in me locker! I only ever kept seeds in there for me flower bed, to germ mate.
Ms. Finn: The court at that time felt otherwise, Mr. Raithoo, as it will no doubt feel so in this instance. But why, Mr. Raithoo, in view of your friendship, did you not visit Mr O’Donghaile following his altercation with Mr. Brennan and the assailant who goes under the moniker of ‘Macker the Smacker’?
Mr. Raithoo: I was out of the country on business. I mean, on holiday.
Ms. Finn: And what foreign shore did you grace with your presence?
Mr. Raithoo: I was in Denmark, fishing for Little Mermaids.
Ms. Finn: And when was the last time you saw Mr. O’Donghaile?
Mr. Raithoo: I don’t rightly know. Mind’s a blank. Can’t say. No.
Ms. Finn: Can’t say or won’t say, Mr. Raithoo?
Mr. Raithoo: Can’t say, your grace.
Ms. Finn: I put it to you, Mr Raithoo, that the last time you saw Kevin O’Donghaile was on May 15th, the very same night of your arrest, in Elsie Knorr Park, between the hours of seven and eight.
Mr. Raithoo: So have I heard and do in part believe it.
Ms. Finn: ‘In part,’ Mr. Raithoo. ‘In part?’ Surveillance cameras have already placed you at the scene, and testimony from several Garda Siocana officers states that you were at that time in possession of a large number of narcotics and in the business of distributing them for profit.
Mr. Raithoo: I was framed, by the pigs’ wild and whirling words. All day and night, I see them, swinish wandering Gardai ghosts flaming over Elsie Knorr Park. I was just... looking at the sunset, that’s all, minding me own business.
Ms. Finn: Studying the sunset, Mr. Raithoo? How very poetic of you. Could you share its brilliance with the members of the jury?’
Mr. Raithoo: The dusk, real rusty man and sad, walked over the screws of yer High Western Hill, and I was warning me hoppos off those dead-head skag-pushing skangers Rosy Kats and Guildy Stern and their hoe Absinth Felicity Felatio, and ...
Ms. Finn: Mr. Raithoo, we would be obliged if you would come to the point.
Mr. Raithoo: The point is that I’m being set up. The point is that a bunch of bent pigs are fixing to fry me on the barbecue. Why don’t you come to the point and spend your golden words? You’ve crushed noble Kev into the dust, trampled him on some trumped-up charge, and now the Prince of the Bleeding Pelican lies howling down below, with the scum of scumbags, and now you mean to incinerate me.
Ms. Finn: Mr. O’Donghaile does not labour in any prison, at least not a penal one. He currently resides in a psychiatric ward; and to judge by your shocked expression, this news is new to you.
Mr. Raithoo: Kev? Lost his mind? But what drove him mad?
Ms. Finn: That is precisely what we are trying to find out. We demand you inform the court which narcotics you sold Kevin O’Donghaile on the night in question.
Mr. Raithoo: I didn’t sell no nothing...
Ms. Finn: And before you answer, I should warn you that the young man’s sanity lies in the balance; and I would have you remember that the information you provide us could be instrumental in his recovery. What drug did you sell Mr. Raithoo? What drug? This court demands an answer and so does your friend.
Mr. Raithoo: ... Kev? The noble Kev? Me hoppo Kev? Nobbled by me very own stash of YLL!
Ms. Finn: YLL?
Mr. Raithoo: Yetsum Likker Left.
Ms. Finn: Yetsum Likker Left? Tell us more, Mr Raithoo. What is this drug?
Mr. Raithoo: I gorrit offa some ole antique Roman bird, Danius Daniola, or summint. It’s salvia salvisnorum, cut widda bitta acid and topped off with some angel dust. Straight from the labs of Wittenberg, she told us. Said you’d see more things in heaven and earth than you could dream of in yer philosophy.
* * *
(Extract from Transcript of The State versus Mr. Raithoo)
There followed a great deal of invective and spleen, with Mr. Raithoo invoking a host of saints and demons to bear witness to his oaths of bloody revenge on the dealer from whom he had purloined the poisoned assignment of YLL, but I will not trouble the reader with it.
Eventually, he had to be forcibly ejected from the chamber, practically foaming at the mouth. Found to be in contempt of court, he was later sentenced to the maximum term allowed under the law, and he is set to toil for five long years in the joyless world of Mountjoy Prison.
As to the details of what happened to K. under the pernicious influence of YLL, which he himself only took to be a particularly potent version of Salvia Savinorum, I should like to quote the recently unearthed diary K. himself kept of the event.
However, I should warn the reader in advance that, as the drug takes hold, the literary style quickly degenerates into an incoherent stream of consciousness, popular among certain modernist literary circles, no doubt, but of questionable utility to an enquiring psychiatrist.
Nevertheless, I have quoted it verbatim, since it is in this dairy that we may see the subject’s mind unravel before us.
To be continued...
Copyright © 2011 by Phillip Donnelly