Deepest pit.

Svein Åge Mathisen

Svein Åge Mathisen

Leaving my family in South Africa to the promised land, as I was told. The journey went deeper into darkness.

The best times were while on the ships, where I had a roof over my head. Good food and earned good money. So I spent only a short time in Norway during those years, staying in hotels  and hostels while the money lasted.

The next few years at sea life was just a big party, with no responsibilities. High every single day, couldn’t manage without.  Lost complete contact with all who knew me, couldn’t care less.

I was so lucky to have friends working in the local  recruiting office for sailors in Fredrikstad. They were very helpful, so it was never a long waiting period before the next ship.

After my last ship the government wanted me to take a course before going back to sea. So I got an apartment in town in a house with many apartments, most of us living there were on drugs or something else. Lived in a room where the wind blew through the walls and the water froze. Had never spent a hole winter here before, dark and cold. About  -15 and a lot of snow, remember christmas time without drugs, money, food and no family. Remember making about ten liters of tea with one teabag, and very alone.

During that year at school, things got worse. Now school was something I really hated, and doing it here with the language barrier which made it even worse. I was a borne looser. The practical side of things was no problem, but theory, no way.

Lucily for me who was always home, many of the other youth would come to my place instead of school to smoke dope and listen to music, I had a real good collection of records (LP’s) which I had bought while at sea. Remember those days hardly anyone heard reggae music over here, and I had one of the largest collections around. Most said it was jungle drug music, and now they are playing it in churches.

Had just completed the school year and was out with a friend celebrating.  Well that night we ran into a rich girl who wanted to smoke pot with us, we went to my place and I ended up in a relationship with her. Bad timing and not the right choice, attracted by desperation.

She lived with her father and stepmother, and I soon ended up working for her father. So that meant I would try life on land and take a chance in a relationship. Giving up my dream of moving to San Francisco, was even offered a ship that sailed between Los Angeles and Alaska which I turned down.

During that relationship which was more trouble than pleasure, one evening while sitting on bed bed. I saw death staring right back at me, it was a face so terrible looking back at me and I knew I was going to die. I was scared out of my wits and sat trembling in the corner asking for a priest to come and help me, pleading with my girlfriend to get me a priest. Didn’t leave the room for days, drugs were the only solution at hand and after a while I was back to normal.

Started working for her dad in a factory making signs. Started with making pallets for packing products for delivery, and ended up in production. We later moved into our own flat, but things between us only got worse. Ended up needing even more and stronger drugs, to make it through. Life was in such a mess, but I loved my job and never wanted to go home. We fought like cat and dog and I couldn’t understand why she stayed on, guess her life was also in such a mess. She grew up with plenty of money but no love, her parents had enough with their own lives. Then when things couldn’t get any worse she got pregnant, but that couldn’t stop the desire for drugs. I ended up running away from it all, back to Cape Town.