It’s 10pm. I’m fatigued beyond words and freezing. My car never warms itself up enough. I’m driving though Westbourne, and as always, I feel a pang of guilt as I drive pass a homeless man lying on the floor with his duvet.
You all know the ending to this one
Remembering I had a spare fiver in my wallet, I pull over. I get out and give it to him, he’s grateful as always and says goodbye. I walk back towards my car and I’m greeted by two lads, one of who’m is in the state of inebriation I always aspire to reach when I partake in a G+T session.
‘Hello mate! Give me a kiss eh come here I want a cuddle!’
He staggers towards me. I laugh inside. I won’t lie, as well as laughing I got a bit excited too, he decided to get balchy. I just watched him, ready to defend myself if necessary. Not exactly a new situation. However his mate, who was decidedly less drunk than my new friend, was there to talk some sense into him.
‘Leave it mate he’s twice you size he’ll knock you out!’
I told him he should take his bravery jacket off and listen to his friend. I always remember something someone said to me:
If you’re ever in public and you find trouble, always put your hands up to show you mean no harm. That way the police can say you acted in self defense
Remembering this, I put my hands up, but luckily his mate dragged him away, telling him to shut up.
Then I realised. My homeless mate, Shaun, was in their path of the direction they were walking. My new drunk mate was still shouting at me as I got into my car, his mate hushing him. So I waited with my camera ready (and superhero cape) to jump out, record, and help if they decided to give Shaun a hard time, but they didn’t.
Ok. Home time.
Then I had a thought. I turned my car around and drove back to Shaun. I rolled my window down and said:
‘Mate. How much do you need to get a hostel for the night?’
He told me £12. So I pulled up at the bank (where my two new friends were also standing) and fetched the money. So I paid it to him and was relieved when he started gathering up his belongings, telling me:
‘I’m not staying here unless I have to! Time for a shower, a hot dinner and a bed’
Am I skint? Yep. Does it worry me? Nope.
For the regular readers of this blog, you’ll know my thoughts towards people who do not have a home to live in, so I won’t waste my breathe. Shaun is one of many friends who sleep rough, so I often hear all sorts of stories from these guys.
Money has never meant a great deal to me anyway tbh.
But I’m safe. I’m home and don’t have to worry about pissheads starting trouble with me. I was chatting to Shaun as I was getting his money, and he says he’s used to getting a beating and leaving it at that, it’s commonplace. I suppose I’m just writing this to remind anyone reading it to think of the small things you have in your life. They make all the difference.