Thursday, 21 January 2010

A sad case

A woman sat in front of me on the bus to work this morning was drunk, drinking Lambrini out of double-bagged carrier bags. She was quiet for the first half of the journey but something sparked her to life and she started talking to herself about how her house had burned down last August and she'd been on the streets ever since. She hadn't slept the night before and was going to drink on the streets in town, hoping she'd be arrested because it was warm and "you get some cornflakes". She has, so she said, a 16 year old son at Rhyddings who was ashamed of her. She said she was intellectual but had a chemical inbalance in her head that made her go crazy. It's impossible to know what bits are true, but it wasn't pleasant to hear.

Who knows this woman's story before last August? Or does it go back further than then? I leaned forward and asked her if she'd heard of THOMAS, the Catholic group down on King Street that help out people like her with getting clean and with their housing and so on. I'm not keen on the religious side of things, but they do a very hard job and I can put aside religious indifference for the sake of that. I presume she'd been asked that before because she launched into an instant diatribe, one of those things that seemed burned into memory - a standard response to a question too often asked. At least I tried; for the moment, until I finish with uni and training in a few years time, it's only little things like this I can do. I've already enquired about helping out at THOMAS one night a week but not heard anything back - this can be a reminder to chase that up.

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