Car 6

Mr Michael Hanshaw

Outward appearance

Slim, youngish black man. Grey slacks, red-striped sweater, elaborate jacket in art deco knitted patterns and leather panels. Starts to whistle edgily, in competition with the woman opposite.

Inside information

A 27 year old telephone engineer with British Telecom. The job is skilled and well paid. Mike spends his days out on call. Lunchtimes, he lifts weights with two guys from work. He has a wife and a one year old baby daughter. Going to an appointment with a private South Bank clinic for drug abuse.

What he is doing or thinking

He's down. The world is shrivelling like a bad apple and he feels like he's wading through glue.

Coke doesn't change him; it makes him more himself. He sizzles through work, jokes with his friends, pumps iron, goes home and makes his wife giggle. The world seems full of love.

He remembers the first time he took it, at a party full of people he only half-knew and half-liked. His cousin Colin laid it out for him. That night, kipping at Colin's, Michael had a dream. It was more like a vision. All his friends were beyond the bedroom door and they made a light that shone under it, concentrated and searing like a star.

Michael loves cocaine. He's signed a piece of paper that acknowledges that he will be injected with a drug that reacts to it. If he uses coke, the drug will make him ill. The contract says it could even kill him.

He thinks of his wife and daughter. And the light.

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