Chapter 2 continues
…..One could for instance, let’s say myself, I was in London, and I was on my way to the Netherlands. That was actually another true story, how I rescued a Dutch man Robbie Van Vein, who was stuck in England with no passport, he’d just been released from Walton and was in a sorry state, and just wanted to go home. I will write that story later on how I ended up living in the Gerinstien, Bulmamere, Amsterdam. That was before a plane crashed into it.
Ok here I am in London England again, I had no money so I went along to the Big Issue office that was in Victoria, which is an area of South London, not far from Victoria bus and coach station. I introduced myself, got registered and photographed for the prestigious Big Issue Identification card. Then, for one time only I was given ten copies of the magazine for free.
Back then in the late 1980’s they cost the vendor thirty pieces of silver, and you sold your soul………no only kidding…….thirty pence each, and were sold for a £1. One Pound sterling. Once the ten copies were sold, you could return to the office and purchase further copies. Therefore, if you were very frugal, with the £10. The tenner you just made, you could get your self something to eat and drink and have change left over. One could get a meal for about £2.50 back then from one of the so called ‘Greasy spoons’ , cafes, as you were usually starving and could eat anything.
If you had a bit of nous about you, with the change you could buy more issues, say you had six quid, £6. Six pounds left, that would get you twenty copies of the magazine. Once they were sold you would be grossing £20. in sales. So on and so forth, you get the picture.
Yeah, that was another version of me selling the Big Issue in London, great times, fun and freedom. I really did enjoy that experience looking back. I used to stand outside Baker Street tube, the underground train station, and sell my issues, to the morning business crowd, all rushing along some actually wearing bowler hats, dark suits and usually carrying umbrellas, and or copies of the London Standard news paper. The atmosphere was actually quite exhilarating. I remember one morning two guys stood there dressed up as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, promoting their business round the corner. It was a vibrant part of town.
I had a car at the time, although no money and no job, I used to park it near Regent’s Park on one of the last bits of road that was left with free parking , what a luxury and a necessity that was. I would then walk down to Baker street to sell my mags. If it was a warm day I would give my jacket to the flower seller who had a kiosk in the same same spot, and I would go to work calling out the words ‘Issue’, loudly and clearly with a genuine smile on my face. I did very well each day, pats on the back, smiles and comments like, very commendable young man. I’d usually sell out by eleven or twelve O’clock each day after only three or four hours of singing out, those positive vibrating lyrics.
One thing always led to another and after a few weeks I ended up getting a job as the receptionist for the Scientologists on Tottenham Court Road. I had never heard of them, therefore I had no prejudice, I just wanted the job advertised in the window. I got it there and then after a short quizzical interview. As well as running the reception with an old fashioned plug in plug out manual switch board, answering calls from round the world, and patching them through to one of the many departments, in this tall thin building with many floors, nooks and crannies.
After a while I scored another job internally, and was being given a car and a day job of promoting Ron Hubbards science fiction book while dressing up as a space man, phoning up local newspapers and getting them to come out , take a photo and say a few words. I’ve just thought……. All those local London News Paper clips with my name and my words in them. I wonder if they count as published clippings for my free lance writing gigs ? Anyway I am really digressing here. I will get back to the Scientology episode later where I ended up in Tampa Florida, the U. S of A. another long story coming up.
Where was I , oh yes, Manchester City centre, after 1995 sometime, while walking with the Tramp I went over to a Big Issue seller and gave him a pound, that is a £1. coin, not a pound weight of silver that it’s supposed to be equal to. Anyway, I came back feeling good smiling, and you should have seen the look on tramps face, like a horror mask, like he’d just witnessed me kill something cute. “What’s up”? , I exclaimed.
He was silent as we walked for a minute or two, which seemed like hours. Then he asked me a question “what did you just do” ? , in a voice that sounded just like my beloved uncle Harry, the Cod father. ” I just gave that guy selling the issues a pound” ! “And how do you know that the pound you just gave him won’t kill him” ? he said with an accusing look staring right at me. “What do you mean”,? I asked furtively, hanging on tenterhooks. I was not liking this at all, he looked increasingly angry to me, and I felt like I had just given my dog, who I loved more than humans, a poison sandwhich by mistake.
We walked , not talking , then he threw a question at me, wham………………”What’s the difference between greed and addiction? ” “I don’t know” ? I fired back,sheepishly, not wanting to say the wrong thing that might annoy him further. “I can see that”, he snapped back at me angrily. I really was feeling quite upset now and tears were actually welling up in me, I had a lump in my throat, my mouth was dry and my heart was beating ten to the dozen. I could not think, I felt like running, or fighting, my mind had gone blank. Why was this simple interaction having such an effect on me? I did not know at the time.
By the way, that was me way back then, reacting with a severe anxiety induced panic attack, that was linked to post traumatic stress disorder symptoms. I discovered years later that the psychological and physical reaction I was having, had been triggered by unconscious habit patterns of the mind. Deep seated emotional memories or engrams from the past, mixed with traumatic childhood and adulthood incidents. All of which have a cumulative effect on the whole body and mind system, which will be explained in a later chapter of this book Why and what’s the reason for everything.
Moving on, We walked round town a bit, me doing my best to keep up with his marching pace, he was like an angry wind blowing through Manchester. We got to the coffee pot, I just followed him in silently feeling like a naughty boy. He entered the place calm as a mill pond, like a zen master, speaking gently and smiling kindly to the ladies, “Two teas please beautiful’s”. He said in his now warm comfortingly soothing voice. We sat down, “thanks” I said as we added sugar and stirred our teas, he got a large pouch of tobacco out and made a cigarette. He hadn’t spoken for a while, I hadn’t smoked for a while, either, more than a year I think. It was like he read my mind, he slid the tobacco over to me, was this another test ? I just made a cigarette without thinking, and then got up for an ashtray and asked for a light from a girl at another table that had been staring at us. funnily enough, I recall he did not smoke his.
As I relaxed, feeling comforted enjoying the cigarette as the soothing smoke filled my lungs , with cup of tea in hand. He started to speak in a gentler way to me now. I felt Like I had just passed some sort of test, yes, although at the time I did not realise this, it was more like he understood me more and was now being more compassionate.
‘I wasn’t daft’ as we used to say, I just do stupid things sometimes. I said “sorry about that, I didn’t know he was a drug addict”. Meaning, he was dependent on opioids to feel normal. He’d do that, always leave you to work things out for your self. “Just Seeing if you can think” , he’d say. He’d say soothingly , “it doesn’t matter laddie” with a smile in his eyes, but not on his face, in a way that made you felt cared for and understood.
” What it is, is this, hams, it’s , you didn’t think, you just thought you were being kind, when you gave him money, I nodded, ‘and you didn’t know, he just needed that pound to go and buy a bag of smack, what’s it called’?, “heroin”, I said, ‘yes, and that laddie’, he said trying to comfort me, ‘could just be, the bag that kills him stone dead’. And then how would you feel’ ?, ‘Awful,… horrible’. I said. ‘So now you know’. He said with a smile.
“What’s the best thing to do then?” I asked. “Be kind, like you were towards me when we first met”, “I didn’t realise I was”. He smiled and slurped his tea, “can I have another cig?”, I was feeling good again, loving to listen attentively for these pearls of wisdom. “I am also an addict”, I smiled back. “No , you’re not, You’re a kindness, with No truth” he said.
To be continued…..