Wednesday, 21 June 2017

I haven’t got aids after I don't know if I was stabbed with a needle by a homeless woman. #DadDirt



You know that you are a Great British Dad when...
...you think about your near escapes, even if they’re in your head.


2005. Dean Street, London. Or Wardour Street.
Four decades of growing up in the Capital and I still get the two mixed up.

HOMELESS WOMAN
Got any change?

She’s young. In her twenties. Hair tied back, hard face, teeth missing.
But she’s still made an effort.

ME
I’m really sorry.

HOMELESS WOMAN
Ah go on, give me a smile.

I break into a smile.
It’s 1130 at night, and I’ve had a few.

ME
I haven’t got any.
Living on cards.
Honestly, I’m really sorry.

ME
(now) That’s a lie. I’ve got a pocket full of change. But I’m scared. I grew up in this borough, and know if you stop walking, someone else is working with them, they’ll see where I keep my stuff, and why should I give money to the gobby ones when the quiet ones, the ones who really need the help are rotting in the park and I’ll give some money to a proper homeless charity who’ll hand it out fairly I promise when I get the chance. (I know I won't).

HOMELESS WOMAN
Ah, go on.

ME
I’m really sorry.

She blocks my path. I have to stop walking. Her hand is held out.

HOMELESS WOMAN
Well for such a lovely smile can I wish you a good night.

ME
Thank you.

I shake her hand.

ME
OW!

Something dug into the soft bit between my thumb and forefinger.

HOMELESS WOMAN
Oh sorry that must be my ring, it catches sometimes. N’nite.

She strides away, back down Dean Street or Wardour Street and my heart is racing.

ME
It was definitely a needle.

I’m in the flat saying this to my girlfriend.

GIRLFRIEND
Are you sure it’s not bleeding?

I’m in the bathroom, still drunk, trying to focus on the flap of skin between my thumb and forefinger.

ME
There’s a mark. There’s definitely a mark.

GIRLFRIEND
But no blood?

ME
No.

GIRLFRIEND
Maybe it was just her ring.

ME
It was a needle. It was definitely a needle tucked into the ring.

GIRLFRIEND
(outside) You haven’t got AIDS.

I’m left staring at the tiny mark.


Previous post...
Of course we're angry. It's all our fault. #DadDirt


All about me, and getting these by email.