15.02.2004 14:55 - Falling Upwards From The Past
My mother used to work as a secretary in the Rugeley probation office. Because of this, she used to hear some real horror stories. When my sister was old enough to start being interested in the opposite sex, boyfriends names would be met with a nod or a shake from her, depending on whether the putative boyfriend had crossed the threshold of the office. Most of the time she kept to herself the things she heard. Sometimes, only very occasionally and with dire warnings of never to repeat it, would she speak to us of what she had heard, presumably because she was so horrified that she needed to share it in some way.
It was an education in how low people can sink. There are things which even now I cannot bring myself to think of.
Often, some of these stories would involve people who I knew at school. One, for example, was brought up in absolute squalor, but he had a gift for mathematics and arithmetic, and he\'s now a successful businessman.
One of the saddest things I have ever heard, and which even now causes me to shake my head in regret, happened near christmas about two years ago. My mother phoned and happened to mention that one of my former schoolfriends, a boy whom I used to sit next to, was dead. His frozen corpse was found in a derelict industrial unit, where he had died from an overdose of drugs.
From what I\'ve heard, by the time he died, there was hardly any trace of the little boy whom I shared a desk with. He\'d become a petty criminal to support his addiction, and had driven away his partners and family with his habits. The little boy I knew wasn\'t from a rich family, and his clothes were hand-me-downs and a bit scruffy, but he was a nice person to me throughout the time I knew him, and so his subsequent death seems all the more sad to me. He may have become an unscrupulous drug-addict, but someone far more unscrupulous took what little money he had and sold him certain death.
Whenever I hear some idiot banging on about how great drugs are, I think of Matthew\'s cold and lonely death.