The Man with no Friends

Category: sheltered housing

The Man on the Wall

the man

 

This is the man on my wall. He has been there for about 4 years now and I’ve no idea who he is. I bought this  little painting at a small antique fair here in Dublin…..it was something of an impulse buy. I look at it every day. I have no choice really as I live in a one room flat but I’m not complaining……There is no signature.  ‘ No date either.

In between watching reruns of reruns on TV my eyes stray to this man. Who is he ?  At night when I’m in bed ( which is to say when I’m lying on the floor) my eyes catch out his and I find myself wondering , ” Who are you”….. I wish I knew his story…. He certainly looks like a real person and not just the figment of some artist imagination. He’s dead now whoever he is. And I’ll be dead myself soon enough and so , sooner or later , will you.  We all have THAT  in common.  In his life he could never have know that some day, generations after his death,  his image would be sitting on my wall . Somewhere along the way this painting of him has been abandoned  , made homeless and sent out into the  big uncaring world. The people who cared about him in his life are now long dead and those who came after must not have cared enough to keep this picture in the family or perhaps they  just forgot about him..

Now he has , after a fashion , been reborn into a virtual world he could never have imagined in his wildest dreams or worst nightmares.  He’s living in the either of the world wide web.  He has been reduced to a miniscule piece of binary code. He is timeless now and stateless too. He’s a million miles from where he was and just one click away. He is the man on my wall. He is my companion in the lonely hours – the wondering hours.

 

SMOKING IS GOOD FOR YOU

I have no friends. They are all dead. I only ever had a very few friends and that was all I wanted but they are all dead now. Before they popped their clogs they were forever warning me about my smokers cough. I have a more or less permanent smokers cough and I’ve had it for years. If I had a euro for ever time I coughed I would be a very wealthy man. But I AM still alive. And like I say , all my friends are dead.  Facts is facts as the man said and you can’t argue with facts and the fact is that I am still alive. I may be old sad unwanted neglected but I’m still alive –

I sleep on the floor. I live in a one room flat and there really isn’t room for a bed so I sleep on the floor. I actually sleep quite well , I have always slept well – this is a blessing in itself. But , like I say I don’t have a bed.  When I’m lying on the floor at night I always have four or five roll-ups ready to smoke and I smoke these  and cough  until  I fall asleep. In the morning I get up , make a cup of coffee and smoke several more roll-ups and have a good cough. I then go about my business  smoking and coughing  my way through the day  -and it hasn’t killed me yet. I’m still here. I’m still living. So there you are. You can’t argue with the facts.

It’s raining in Dublin today. It’s a miserable wet dull day and I’m sitting here typing this out…..I’m waiting for something to happen , something interesting that I can write about in my blog but nothing ever happens. Day after day after day and nothing happens……Nothing.  I’m like a character out of  a  Beckett play.  -” Nothing to be said”   My little valve radio is on in the background but I’m not really listening. It wasn’t always like this. I used to have a life. I used to be young. Now I’m old alone forgotten…….I have just now rolled another cigarette. God bless all smokers. They are the only sane people left in the world. Smoking is good for you , it’s good for the head.  Oh , right now , just this minute  I heard the announcer on the radio say that Pete Seeger has  just died at the age of 94. He didn’t smoke. And now he is dead. He was a legend in his day. I have been a fan of his since the sixties. Sad news. And to the best of my knowledge he never smoked a fag in his life.

Tobacco is good for you. It makes your hair grow. I’ve always had a good head of hair and so did my father and he smoked a pipe all his life. In the old days  everyone smoked. The stars of the silver screen , they all smoked and they  managed to look sexy doing it. The good old days ? Now it’s all clean air and political correctness.  Landlord culture / X Factor culture……and hate crimes. You can be arrested in these days for HATE CRIMES.   It’s like something out of Brave New World or Nineteen Eighty FourThe new intolerance. The neo-liberal now . Don’t get me going on all that…..I’ll only get indigestion. Funnily enough a cigarette is a great cure for indigestion. Tobacco smoke is holy smoke. Hitler did not smoke. A vegetarian who didn’t smoke. Enough said.

x This Blog is XRated.

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I was sitting here trying to figure out what I might write about. I don’t really have any news as nothing much happens in my world but then it struck me that there is something which you the reader might find interesting. It has to do with suicide. I’m not the suicidal type.  I’m not mentally ill and don’t suffer from depression. I am depressed but I have good reason to be depressed. For quite some time now I have been thinking about death on a daily basis.  My quality of life is , and has been for a long time , very poor . This has to do with my accommodation , my flat.  I won’t bore you will all the details but  for 25 years now my living conditions have been very poor and in the last five years I have found it more and more difficult to deal with the situation.  I literally have not had a normal nights sleep in a quartet of a century.

I like life and have various interests which give me pleasure but the negatives side of things has  begun to outweigh the positive and it seems there is no way out.  It’s quite natural to think of death in such a situation. Now here is the interesting bit…..You might think that there are services and such out there for people in my situation but there are in fact none.  There is of course The Samaritans but what is the point of speaking to some stranger over the phone ? I am now 67 years of age and my health is not great although I can still get around and ride my Mezzo d10  on a daily basis.  I enjoy cycling and  collecting  records and spend hours and hours every day listening to my old valve radio. But the space I’m living in , my home , is not a home but rather a living hell for me. It’s a very strange feeling to sit in your  flat and wish you had a home , somewhere to go to when your not feeling well or even just tired.  It’s impossible to get a  flat now in Dublin , the homeless numbers are growing by the day.  But everyone needs a place of their own. Somewhere to relax , unwind and close the door behind you . But what do you do if you literally hate that space you live in ? What do you do if you have nowhere to go to ?   Well , the answer is quite simple – you look for a way out and sometimes the only way out is death.

All of this sounds very depressing but this is my reality. If I was living in the USA I know exactly what I would do. I would go out and buy and gun….and I would start shooting people.  Not just people in general ….not just random people but the people who have made my life into the hell it is. This is not the sort of thing you should say in your blog. This is not the way to win friends or new readers. Nor is it a way to gain credibility.  But it is the truth. And I would kill those people without even blinking……….and yes , I know what your thinking. But if your thinking what I think your thinking then you are wrong.  I’m neither mad nor bad. But life , as they say , is not a dress rehearsal. This is it -and you don’t get a second change at it . My landlords did me more damage than any criminal was ever likely to do. And no one forced them to. It was their choice. They were strong and I was weak and they took full advantage of that fact. They knew what they were doing , they understood fully the damage they were causing.

But all of this is academic as I don’t have a gun. I’ll get a bit sicker , a bit older and things won’t get better. I will write my blog , play my  Tubby Hayes records , ride my bike and come home to a home that’s far from being a home.  But this is not life , it’s existence and little more . Oh well , as my mother use to say , “there’s always someone worse off”. Indeed indeed.

Funny thing happened just now.  My finger hit the wrong button and this got posted on my blog before I could even work out a title…….or before I even made a final decision to publish it or not.  -Worries worries…..

MURDER IS BAD FOR YOU

A few days ago a neighbour of mine was murdered in his flat . I live in the same complex at Cambridge Court in Ringsend in Dublin.  He was a nice quiet sort of man who I’m sure never did anyone any harm. The Garda forensic team were here today which made it all seem so very real . It’s a sobering thought to think that a man was beaten to death just a few feet away while I slept the sleep of the just. These sort of murders are commonplace now in Ireland….there seems to one every day….human life has become cheap , very cheap.

Watching all those young  police officers in their white csi suits made it look like something you see on  TV – and of course it was on TV – except that this time there would be no credits rolling at the end….. It was , funnily enough,  all very depressing which  came as something of a surprise to me.  I keep thinking of the song , ” Another one bites the Dust”. I can’t get it out of my head and for the life of me I  can’t remember who it’s by.  – Oh , I’ve just remembered now……Queen.  Strange how the mind works.

I’m sitting on my own in my flat , the radio is  on in the background. On the floor beside me is an original early pressing of  Live Dead by the Grateful Dead which I picked up to-day …… I like the ‘Dead .  Most of them are dead now ……  Most of the original  DeahHeads are probably dead  too….or at least  close to it…………A few weeks ago Lou Reed died ……..    Everyone is dying.

Meanwhile , back at the ranch , a Garda is on patrol outside the complex.  It’s very cold.  A thankless task.  Two small bouquets of flower are stuck in the railings outside the dead mans flat  — Nothing more  to be said.

I still can’t get that song out of my head….

SHELTERED HOUSING BULLYING and all that jazz…..

A few months ago I started a new blog , Cambridge Court Chronicles. Cambridge Court is a sheltered housing complex in Dublin Ireland which is run by Dublin City Council.  It’s supposed to be a wonderful place for older people to grow even older in….safe …….caring……blah blah blah….  Dublin City Council like to boast about how well they look after senior citizens  and sheltered housing is good for THEIR image …… a bit like Google who also do a lot for the community which of course is simply a way of deflecting attention from the fact that Google are the greatest facilitator of pornography in the history of the world. Like I say , sheltered housing is good for their image.

I live in Cambridge Court and let’s just say that everything in the garden is far from rosy……..very very far from rosy……Drop into my blog from time to time and I’ll tell you the true story…….

……………. a true story of bullying , isolation , intimidation……

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