Loyalty Card



I’m in McDonald’s, having a coffee (12 sugars). I now have six stickers on my loyalty card, so tomorrow’s coffee is free. Two more stickers on the new card from a quick mine sweep too.

I had a meeting with my key worker at CRI today. Most of my to-do list from our previous meeting has been done but I couple haven’t. I could procrastinate procrastinating, I’m that good at it. We’ve agreed points to address before we next meet in any case. We spoke about many things, including my children. At the top of the new to-do list is to buy cards on Monday and write to them: just short maeesages to let them know that daddy loves them.

Darryl (my key worker) observed a change in me – mentally – for the better since we last met. This is largely because I’ve been very reflective over the last couple of weeks, identified my chosen path and set goals. I’ve also cast some people aside who were impeding my progress and feel like some weights have been lifted from my shoulders.

Darryl also backed up what I’d already been told about my grant application for the netbook: that it’s pretty much in the bag. So in a month or so I’ll be able to work unimpeded by the time limits imposed on computer use in the library. I’ve also been told that I’m monopolising the PC (there’s only one) at CRI: not by Darryl but from those above. So I’m barred from using it. He thinks it a crazy edict and I do to, as it denies me my therapy, work and ability to engage with clients and staff. Good job I’m getting the netbook then.

The netbook really can’t come too soon, as I have so much to do and now further reduced resources to use. One of the larger projects on the list is setting up the two Gilbert House Publishing websites. They’re owned, parked and hosted but need building, copyrighting and SEO.

At least one person has expressed concern lately that my chosen path of writing may be a handy one to hide behind and not stop drinking. This was something else I discussed with my key worker today (I instigated it in fact). If I don’t get better, this story will never end, or it will be even more tragic when it does. More importantly though, I have to get better in order to see my children again. And become re-acquinted with my reduced pool of friends, to whom I remain loyal and they to me.

I was also talking to my “Agent” today about the book. Although parts of what I write are semi-fictitious, or at least a stretching of the truth (I’m known as “Stretch” in certain circles) for the purposes of the story (and there are no outright lies), there are things which have been deliberately witheld. These will take the form of an appendix in the final volume, containing details of things even stranger than the truth already written. My more perceptive – intelligent – readers know how to separate the truth from the fiction; others just needed to know how to do so but didn’t (couldn’t) and they no longer read nor follow: dilution by literature.

A tiny part of me has been tempted recently to leave this path but my key worker and others remain encouraging. My situation is far from ideal but there are plans afoot. Money is tight but there are a few revenue streams in the pipeline.

Among the many money-saving methods I employ is the rolling of “Prison” roll-ups, which I’ve become proficient at: a little tobacco with the paper. My tobacco expenditure has reduced from £6 a day when I was smoking tailor-mades (even budget brands; they all give you cancer) to £2 a day on roll-ups; thin ones.

Dan phoned again today (because I’d asked her to). I needed to clear up a couple of things hanging over from our last conversation and she helped me to do so. Things are clearer now: thanks mate. Loyalty.

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