The other day at a bar we were talking about how in the hood the drunks of the street were often considered the most brilliant minds of their time. There was a suggestion that in the hood when someone was labelled “crazy” it often meant that they were far ahead of their time and that it was often because they couldn’t really stand to be around basic people.
Maybe it’s about people who don’t like people, maybe it’s the age old tale of running away from reality or maybe addiction is just something that we have absolutely no understanding of.
A few years ago my brother and I bumped into this guy we went to school with on the streets. He barely greeted or recognised us instead, he immediately tried to sell us fluorescent light bulbs. I’m sure we’ve all needed fluorescent light bulbs on random afternoons. The dude had gotten off on drugs since we were at school and neither of us were surprised to find him in such a state. A few years later another friend would bump into him and offer him a place to sleep for the night. He’d tell us about how dudes shot up heroin in his house and ended up stealing from him.
The worst part of it all for us was not the fact that he seemed to have grown up in an okay family and had natural talents for artistic pursuits. Nah, the real issue for us was that he had a baby girl at the time, and word on the street was the person he’d had the kid with was on the same addiction level he was on.
It’s not hard to imagine what might have happened to the kid. When speaking about the situation, all of us, my friend, brother and I, couldn’t help but imagine the oh so obvious Trainspotting scene. You know… The one where all the heroin addicts find the dead baby in the cot cause… Well… Neglect.
The bar talk reminded me of another strange irony. We were talking about people losing their minds and becoming drunks cause society was too basic for them. Speaking about addicts and drunks with drinks in our hands.
We indulged our socially condoned habits from a dispensary, approved and certified. Upon reflection I think about how I didn’t really care about the kid I used to know or his pain nor, that of the person he had a child with. I think about how we glibly passed judgement, and without much attachment, made a pop cultural reference that made us feel the same way the movie did. None of this though will register when I take my next swig.