Living… in Edinburgh with a loose band of addicts and miscreants. Mark Renton spends his life chasing his next heroin high, although he’s recently resolved to quit. But even as Renton prepares to take his final hit, he muses that there’s “’final hits’ and there’s final hits,” and he’s not sure which kind he’s ready to take.
Profession… professional low-life and drug-addict. In Renton’s words, the streets are, “full of drugs for unhappiness – and we take them all.” Of course, living a chemically-infused lifestyle isn’t cheap. So Renton can always be counted upon to get up to some minor mischief, whether it’s theft, illegal trade, or forgery. Heroin is his favorite drug, but he’s willing to do anything, even admitting, “We would have injected vitamin C if only they’d made it illegal.”
Interests… numbing the pain of existence using every drug imaginable. Mark’s time is either spent high, or getting enough money to get high. He’ll do just about anything for a quick buck, and jokes that he’s active in, “profit, loss, margins, takeovers, lending, letting, subletting, subdividing, cheating, scamming, fragmenting, breaking away.”
Relationship Status… single. Mark’s heroin use represses his sex drive. Now that he’s trying to get clean, his drug-fueled-sexless-contention is fading into memory. His post-Junk libido, fueled by alcohol and amphetamine, is potent and potentially overwhelming.
Challenge… heroin addiction. Mark sniffs it, smokes it, swallows it, sticks it up his arse, and injects it into his veins. He’s tried to quit before, but he also can’t hold down a job. Might as well keep doing the drugs. Everyone around him is doing the same. What motivation is there to change? Death? It’s not like he’ll beat that either.
Personality… pessimistic and self-loathing. Renton has an extremely negative view of the world at large, and he has no interest in integrating himself with “normal people,” claiming, “There is no such thing as society and even if there was, I most certainly have nothing to do with it.”He doesn’t know what he wants out of life, and scorns the petty goals of the average person. Instead, he embraces the aimless joy of exuberant drug use: “I chose not to choose life. I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who need reasons when you've got heroin?”
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