I meet many people on the street and for the most part it’s a pleasure.
Some I don’t even remember meeting but they remember me: I’ve been called colourful, a character, charismatic (and other things beginning with “C”).
Today I became re-acquainted with the police officer who propped me up while I waited for an ambulance to collect me, having collapsed in the street (not drunk but having succumbed to the effects of a rather strong sleeping tablet).
Anyway, Laura, this one’s for you…
I’ve been accused of being self-indulgent and over-confident: both have permitted me to punch above my weight in gaining relationships. They seem to fall for me because I’m me (they tell me so when I ask “why? When you could have anyone?”) I’ll never pretend to be anything other.
I miss my ex-girlfriend; I miss my ex-fiance; I miss my ex-wife and the kids. The former three were out of my league – or so I believed at the time – but they fell for me; the charmer (not intentionally).
So now I’m after Laura, my copper: I set my sights high. A criminal and a police officer: one can imagine and I like a challenge.
Whilst sitting in the waiting rooms of Tonbridge rail station in the evenings, I’ve asked various people to draw doodles in my notebook. Alas I have no means of uploading them here but I have a stick girl from Samantha, a mountain scape from Rowkan (from Algeria), a smiley sun from Cassandra Spencer and a big face from Miranda and Jack. I’m grateful to all of you for your contributions to this little project of mine. For now it will have to sit here on WordPress but in time, I’ll get a domain and maybe a publisher.
The generousity of strangers never ceases to amaze me. I actually like being out here. I meet people: people like my illustrators and engaging with people is what I do best. One day, maybe some good will come of this.
I saw my dad today; asked if he was okay: “No. Because of all this…” But I didn’t cause “this”, nor create anything. Or am I deluded? Maybe it’s me that’s wrong?
Another ongoing project is my novel (which I’ve yet to start). I’ve been struggling for inspiration and concluded that even if I do publish my memoirs as fiction – as I’ve been advised, as no-one will believe the truth – as such it’ll still be too far fetched. So Samantha’s stick girl, wandering around Rowkan’s mountains, with Miranda and Jack’s face looking over them, beneath Cassandra’s smiley sun…
As I’ve said, in some ways I prefer life on the street (current shanty weather aside). There’s little I’d like more than return home to one of my various former homes: mum and dad’s, ex-girlfriend’s, ex-fiance’s, ex-wife’s; but then I wouldn’t be truly me. I’m at home here. They fell for me before and others will fall for the true me. And if you’ll indulge my self-indulgence, I’ve had some gorgeous girls and I can still do it; do even better maybe (shallow? Moi?) Take me as they find me.
Cloth flat caps (here’s a random): I wear one and have noticed how many others do too. We tend to acknowledge each other; not by doffing our caps but by a friendly raising of the eyebrows and a smile.
Another random while I think of it, from the ex-girlfriend:
“You don’t get Smarties in tubes anymore. Does that bother you?”
(Just thought I’d mention it as it’s stuck in my mind as a random, drunken classic).
Another moment of self-indulgence, if you’ll indulge me: I don’t mean to be all about me but this is – well – all about me. So indulge me. I wear my heart on my sleeve (along with various charity bands and souvenirs of hospital visits), I’m open and I’m honest: this is me.
I know that what I write here will be archived for posterity by Google et al. I know it’s not erasable. But I want people to know about me; know my story; know that I’m still here (some still care that I am). I’m gaining followers daily.
As well as an outlet for me and my writing, if this blog (social project is what it seems to have become) saves just one of my growing list of followers from taking the path I did, then I’ve served a purpose. That’s why it’s warts and all: nothing held back; open and honest; me.
It’s been said objectionably that my kids will be able to read this when they’re older. They can read (they’re nine and six) but understand perhaps: good! If they see where their daddy went (wrong), hopefully they won’t be tempted to follow. I’m not allowed to see them now until I’ve been dry for six months anyway, so this is one of few remaining means of communication I have with them as well as others.
So today has been the usual routine: relying on the kindness and generousity of others for the most part. Mobile phone charged up in a High Street retailer (shop, not person), type up last night’s and today’s journal notes (these) into the blog (this) in the library (here), meet up with The Bush Gang (I’m The Daddy). Once I’m done here on the PC, I’ll retire to the reference section to read The Gaurdian; then spend the evening in the waiting rooms of the station, writing. Just before Saisbury’s close, I’ll buy some end-of-date food for supper and brunch (I tend to keep unsociable hours). Then “home” to bed: “Home” is not much more than a shed (and I must create a new “place” on facebook) but it’s dry, albeit without electricity or running water. But I have all I need: a notebook, pen and friends.
I’d almost compare this to job satisfaction, in that I’d rather do a job I enjoy for little money than earn the stupid sums I used to doing a job I hated. I’d actually rather be in my self-imposed open prison than couped up in any of my previous three homes (company therein excepted). I miss home comforts; I miss my parents, girlfriend and fiance but I’m making the most of what little I have; being resourceful, creative and just about surviving. I’ve taken on this social experiment so that no-one else has to and hopefully people will learn from it: there I go being self-indulgent (congratulatory) again.
Tomorrow is Saturday (no shit Sherlock) and weekends are the worst times: no CRI (recovery centre), no library on Sunday (where I commit this) and few shops open that I’m not barred from.
I’m still reading “Everything You Know” by Zoe Heller: very good Steve; very good. Next on the reading list are a couple of books I’ve borrowed from this library: Life of Pi by Yann Martel and The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill, of Woman in Black fame. I’m looking forward to consuming those (reading them, not eating them, although I am hungry). I’m also still reading The Light of Other Days by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. Reading and writing are all I have, which is why I’m prolific in both pursuits as I need to keep busy and have always been good at multi-tasking. The only problem is the potential for crossover in my mind between the novels, which is why I tend to read different genres alongside one another. But if Willy Muller from Everything You Know ends up on an alien planet from The Light of Other Days in my mind, I know I need to sort my head out. Really!?
Tomorrow is indeed Saturday and also day thirteen of this self-imposed thing. Unlucky for some; misplaced, displaced, destitute… I’ll be back though.
Always glass half full (and since my medication was stolen when I got beaten up whilst sleeping rough on a park bench, I actually feel better), I’ll leave you with this:
Tomorrow is day thirteen: 13 x 3 = 39.
(Three being the week I’m about to enter homelessness into).
13 (tomorrow) + 3 (weeks) = 42.
One final thought: I was in a florist earlier and I asked them if they could arrange some flowers.
(Please tell me I don’t have to finish this gag. Okay then…)
They asked where I’d like them delivered: “Delivered? I just asked you to arrange them”.
I’ll get my coat…