Down and Out



I lie cold and tired. The questions in my mind slowly drifting in and out like a butterfly flitting between cabbage leaves. The moment a new thought settles, it is quickly floating away again, to be replaced by a new random one.

Is every life so fragile, or is it just me? Perhaps I am simply reaping the consequences of my actions. Ah well, this question is no longer of any real importance. It is too late for me to worry now.

Although it is merely a few months, it feels more like years, since my world began to fall apart. Maybe the financial crisis was to blame, or those leeches at the banks, or perhaps it really is all down to me, not being strong enough to live in this cut throat world. In any case, it doesn’t matter anymore. I am now the fool, the beggar, the scumbag. I am the one some call a ‘stinking humanoid’.

Originally I had it good. With a first class honours from Birmingham, management team position at Price Waterhouse and my first six figure salary at thirty, I was set up for the good life. For a decade I lived like a king, never imagining that it could end.

But it did.

It started with redundancy, loss of job and company car. Even my laptop disappeared with my work. I consoled myself in the close relationship I had with Jenny, until she followed soon after. Our relationship had been strong while the paycheque constantly arrived. How naïve I was to think love has no boundaries. She was off like a shot, leaving the words ‘failure’ and ‘loser’ hanging in the air, like an invisible fog, ever ready to wound my little remaining dignity.

I tried to search for another job. They were scarce, with hundreds of applicants for each position. I had no chance. My heart was not in it, maybe it was broken.

The next to go was my apartment.  I was out on the street before I could blink.

I couldn’t face going to family or friends. They have their own lives, and in any case the shame is far too great to share it with them.

No. It’s better to be here where no one knows and probably no one cares.

It’s better to be here, helped by a bottle of gin and a few scrounged fags from the passers-by. I am almost invisible here, free of my shame, free of my dignity. Those that do notice, mostly look at me with pity or sadness, but some of them with disgust. It is these that seem to believe that I chose this life, that I am lazy or trying to cheat their society. I feel sorry for these poor people, without any compassion to understand or feel my pain. These are truly the sad people of our country.

It is becoming colder now. I welcome the numbness.

I welcome the end.