Sunday, June 02, 2024


For now, maybe for the next few weeks, I still have this fourth-floor bedsit (above an Italian restaurant, panoramic view of Maidstone Prison). It’s damp. I came here because my life was too small. Now it’s smaller. Once I did good things.

It’s Friday, wretched, pissing down, grey. They cut off my SKY a month ago and I am almost flat-lining now. I’ve got half a dozen free-views left and the shopping channel.

When I applied for the job, skinny nineteen, back when I dressed like a pimp, before the neck-tats, way, way back when there was still an NHS of sorts and a tiny glimmer of hope coming over the hills, they asked me if I would give it my all, just how much was I prepared to give to the job. I told them (and I meant it at the time) all I am able to give I give and more. It’s not “Casualty” they said. That was a thousand lives ago.

Well, I got in, studied, got the quals, got my slick green uniform, and then they sent me out on the road.

Did I meet you once? Did I save your life? I might’ve, there were a lot of lives for a while, the numbers are highly impressive.

Surprise, I’m drinking. Jeez, I never knew cheap whisky could be so shit, but I need at least the bottle to go with these sweeties. Ah, well, this is where we are. Send in the clowns time, or go live in a cave on some island, or pop this lot in one go washed down with shit grog.

Is that one or two choices?

It’s really simple sometimes. Sometimes things just end. Someone licks the flap and seals the envelope. We stop lying. Mothers do not always fight for their children. Lionesses watch as the new lion eats their cubs, people are arseholes, drunks; axe murders have rights, too.

I’m not keen on living in this flat anymore. I’m not keen on living in this body. There’ll be another paramedic. If he’s nineteen, twenty, he’ll think all this is a bit sad. If he’s twenty-five or a fat fifty, I will barely register.

367 Words

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