Going to Stereo Mike’s house was always an ordeal in itself. It was impossible to just drop by and see the cunt and you couldn’t even phone him and say that you’re five minutes away. He would never accept people like that.
‘If you’re coming round, give me a call the day before so I know who’s coming’ he told us one day in Le Jardin. Then we did a line in the bogs.
A few days later my brother wanted to go and visit him.
‘I’m going up to visit Stereo’ he said.
‘Have you made an appointment?’ I half joked.
‘Called the cunt this morning and he said he’s got a window free. Coming?’
So up we go to see him. He lived not too far from us, a little bit up the Mid-Levels. We stopped by Mr Squeezy to get a couple of Special Brews for the climb up the hill.
‘Sorry about the mess’ said Stereo leading us in. Shit everywhere. I immediately thought of possible fire risks and how the Hong Kong fire brigade could reach the 32nd floor. The living room looked like he lived in it. The sofa had a body print embedded in it, empty beer cans and polystyrene food boxes on the small table.
‘Fancy a line?’
‘Where can we sit’ asked my brother.
‘Anywhere you like’ said Mike peering through the blinds by the window.
We bunched up on the sofa, leaning over to do sniff in between the old beer cans.
‘That bloke opposite keeps looking out his window at me’ said Mike, nodding his head towards something.
‘He probably wonders why you keep staring at him’ I said.
‘Nah’ said Mike. ‘He can’t see me. I’ve made sure of that’.
Gladiator was on the TV. We later found out after further visits to Chez Stereo that it was always on.
‘I love this movie’ praised Mike. ‘I like all the sword fights’.
Mike deconstructed Gladiator while we sponged free coke off him and he helped us drink Mr Squeezy’s Special Brews.
Later of course we went down Le Jardin. Money doesn’t earn itself and Mike was a business man. We went because, well, we always went down Le Jardin and also because Stereo Mike.
Stereo was a chunky bloke and would often whine about not being able to lose weight. People would take the piss out of him because he asked for it. It was a bit weird that he was fat given his drug habit.
We would see him down all the usual dealer haunts of Hong Kong: Le Jardin, Les Amis – if I had opened a bar called Le Petit Dejeuner he’d probably be down there too. He seemed to like bars with French sounding names.
Of course like all of us he was a Wan Chai Warrior. Strawberry’s, Big Apple, The Bridge – these was Mike’s manor. I saw him holding court with a bunch of Thai hookers one time.
I left Hong Kong and only saw him one time after that. It was in Le Jardin. Nothing changes with Stereo Mike. Except that now he’s in a Bali prison. Bet he ain’t so fat now.
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