As I said before, I was on the street living on and off for years. It’s scary, but you learn to get by and survive. My last memory of the street was probably the scariest time of my life. My drinking had got really bad. By then I really just didn’t give a fuck about anything. I lost touch of those close to me. They were never far away, but by now I was ashamed that much that if I saw anyone I knew, I would just hide and try not to bump into them.
The only one I would ever go near was my brother who, through all my life, from the day he was born has been my one and only true friend who I trusted and still do till this day.
Most of the time I can nearly say, I liked living on the street: that was drinking all day, out of the way of people who I knew, talking the same shit to each other all day long, just forgetting the world around you. There were fights and arguments all the time, but within a couple of hours like everything was forgotten about, literally.
That was alcohol for you; just getting and forgetting. My life had fallen apart and it took decades for me to start piecing it all together again.
On the street it’s about surviving each hour. The drink helps you, but the reality is, physically and mentally it is really killing you. It took me nearly to die for me to stop, but that was the only way it was going to happen or to be honest I still would be drinking… but I wouldn’t have lasted more than a week….if I hadn’t have gone to rehab. But back to the title…. alcoholics aren’t bad people. We’re just like normal people.
There is evil amongst us all whether we like it or not. One night, while lying on a bench, trying to sleep, I was lying there sleeping with one eye open, and fully aware of everything as this is the way you have to sleep on the street.
I heard them coming….. talking and laughing. I knew one of them. They were evil bastards and I knew this, but I didn’t feel threatened . But as they got closer, I noticed they were off their heads on heroin, and I knew I was up shit creek when the one I knew couldn’t even recognize me, cuz he was that fucked up.
I was on crutches at this time, because my health was bad — really bad. So I just lay there hoping that when they saw the crutches they would just walk on…. but I was wrong. One sat down beside me where I was and the other stood there. They were both totally off their heads. One of them grabbed my crutch and he asked me if it was mine. I said, “yes” and he threw it out into the bushes and said, “It’s not yours now.” And both of them just stood their laughing. My legs were that fucked up through drink and the previous stroke. I actually physically could not stand up.
One of them hit me as hard as he could with a punch right in the face and said to the other one, “It’s your turn now. See if you can hit him any harder.” They did this a couple of times each. And as I could not get up and walk away, I just had to sit there and take it. But the scariest part of it all was when one said, “Pull him off that bench and get his face on the concrete and see who can stand on his head the hardest.”
They tried to pull me off that bench, but I was not going to fucking let go. The only thought in my head was not to let them get me off that bench. I swear if there had’ve been 20 people they would not have got me off that bench. As all this was happening in an enclosed park, circled by tall trees, all you could see was the headlights of cars passing by. A car was slowing down and had stopped outside the park. On seeing this, the both of them, they walked out of the park and disappeared. I got up as steady as I could and somehow staggered to the entrance of the park as quickly as I could. When I got to the opening of the park, I staggered out falling into the middle of the road. A car had stopped as I was on the road. It was a taxi and it was actually my brother who was meeting me in the park at 5:00am. He got out and helped me up, and I told him what had happened while sitting at a bus stop on a main road. Amazingly enough, sitting there, the 2 bastards appeared from nowhere. One sat beside me and asked me for a cigarette, while the other one stood beside my brother. I said I hadn’t got any. He actually did not know me or remember or say fuck all of what he had just done.
My brother stood beside one, already having lifted a small bottle which he was holding behind his back. We both knew, me and my brother, that if it kicked off again, I couldn’t move, and he would’ve been on his own. So I moved as close as I could to the guy who was the main instigator and sat as close as possible to him and hit him as hard as I could with a head butt. I knew there was no way I could stand up and just fight this bastard but I could not just let it go and everyone who knows me knows I could not let this go. After I hit him, I grabbed a grip of him with one hand and punched as hard and as fast as I could with the other. He ended up putting me on the ground again and beat me up again, but this time I didn’t mind as he was on his own while my brother held the other one back. And now that we were in the open, I didn’t really give a fuck as I had got him back.
A friend later told us that they had a knife on them. So if that taxi hadn’t of stopped I dare not think about what might’ve happened. I don’t know what happened really, can’t remember, the next couple of days.
But within a week as my parents found out this story, had me yet another flat fully furnished and with supplies and food, and I never slept another night on the street. This was not the first time my parents had done this for me, but I always ended up fucking up the flat in one way or another. This would be the last time they would have to give me a flat, even though over the next couple of years in this flat, my drinking just got worse. That would go on for another 2 years till I finally stopped. My friends finally did catch up with the 2 in the park who had hurt me, but never ever told me what they did to them, and I didn’t ask.
Most drinkers are decent fellows who are down on their luck. But there is evil out there and that night I bumped into it.
May 20, 2017