The next morning Val visits Jackson and discovers he is a heroin addict. Jackson is a wreck, he has spilled his last dose of heroin and is begging to go into withdrawal. Jackson asks Val for a favor, to help him score. Thinking of it as an adventure Val enthusiastic agrees.
Val and Jackson go out to Alphabet City and track down a teenage dealer. Short of cash, Jackson shortchanges the dealer. Thinking they have gotten away the dealer chases after them, he catches Jackson and begins roughing him up. Thunderstruck, Val stands and watches until Jackson yells out to him to help. Val hits him in the head knocking him off balance and freeing Jackson. But instead of fleeing, Val stays and beats the boy, taking out his frustrations.
On the way home Jackson asks Val why he went along and why he helped him out like that. Val tells him, “you needed my help, and I had nothing else to do.”
When confronted with the extreme situation of helping Jackson score heroine, Val does not recoil in horror but springs forward with curiosity and enthusiasm.
Eluding to an earlier vignette, Val associates the use of intravenous drugs with sexual intercourse. In assisting Jackson, Val feels a forbidden level of intimacy with Jackson as well as the opportunity for a verboten experience through the risk of another.
Val’s beating of the young dealer is entirely out of Val’s character, but it is in essences an initiation into Jackson’s universe.
A Once Forgotten Love > > >