I’ve been thinking a lot about the people on the edge of things recently; the lost, the hurt, the disillusioned, the broken. Admittedly it’s part of my job but I also like to look at stuff from different angles; to focus on the things in the background; to study the minor characters. I’m that annoying guy who always says, “Yes, but what if?”
So, I’ve started working on twelve pieces of writing that champion the misfits, of which I am one. This is the first.
I live the life of casual violence, disregard for others and light fingered discounts; don’t turn your back on me. Cut purse, cut throat, cut price items down a dark alley.
You can trust me, honest mate, they fell off the back of a donkey, totally legit and selling fast, going for a steal.
What yours is mine and what’s mine was someone else’s.
I’m an opportunist, a lucky dip, bump and run chancer, shadow dancer, window glancer, with a punctured grin and mirthless smile and the slightest flick of the wrist.
Then the inevitable day, the blind alley, the locked doors, the unscaleable wall, the heavy hand on the shoulder and it’s over.
The cheeky fantasy, the twinkling promise of riches, the fables of infamy – all gone.
And as quick as a flash, I’m on a cross, dancing my final jig, hung out to dry and die with another dipper by my side and some guy who doesn’t belong, who did no wrong.
And for the first time in my life, I see the difference between right and not, there beside me in his eternal eyes, and my heart melts, and my eyes blur, and I see this for what it is – injustice.
I hear the mocking, I see the sneers and I say something like, “No not him, me yes, but not him”, and I pull my most barefaced stunt, only it’s not a stunt, it’s the one true, the one pure, desire I’ve ever had and I ask, “Can I be with you? Can I go where you go?”
And through the pain, a whispered, an unbreakable promise,
“Today you will be where I AM.”