Tuesday, 26 February 2008

The Junkie

I was asked a question during my recent radio interview which I was unable to answer at the time, the question was;
What was the messiest job you ever had?
I've thought about it and here it is;
I was queuing in traffic on Wexford street when this guy opened the door and sat in beside me, I recognised him, he was the lad that sat between the two ATM machines on Camden street begging.
He said he wanted to go to Sheriff street, buy some gear and return.
I hadn't been driving the Taxi for long and felt a little trapped, he was already in the car, OK, it was a poxy job but he wasn't intimidating, I decided to just do the job and get it over with.
As we drove to Sheriff street I spoke to him about how he got to this point and he told me the same hard luck story I've heard a million times since, he seemed a nice enough guy though and I grew to like him a little.
Eventually we arrived at Sheriff street and he left me a manky jacket as security, then walked towards a group that were hanging about outside a shop a hundred metres away.
I'm not sure why I didn't just drive away at this juncture but I decided to hang about and see it through.
He chatted with this group for a little while, then two of them left on bicycles, returning eventually, I assumed with his gear. He then returned to my cab.
Back in the seat beside me he began sweating profusely, I asked him was there something wrong but he said no, this always happened after he got his gear. It was the anticipation of his upcoming fix!
He then said he was going to get his "works" ready and with that he took a selection of syringes and needles from the jacket I'd been minding, he pointed out the various types and sizes and their general usage, he showed me the one he preferred; a particularly long needle, seemingly he was very lucky and had a scab on his groin he could pick at, extract a little puss and inject, thereby saving his veins. He explained how many of his peers had no veins left.
He reckoned the quality of the gear he'd just obtained was so good he could just mix it with the water in the toilet of the chipper beside his ATM begging spot, a much coveted spot amongst beggars which he "owned", obviously he was the king of the beggars?
Different world!

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