The weekend just gone marks what would have been the fortieth birthday of an old friend.  One who has passed away.  Dead as dead.

Grover was an unusual man.  He was literally friend to thousands.   So laid back he would often fall over, in his younger days he worked for social security.  And he actually helped people.  He knew the rules inside out and especially how to bend them.   Which he did, in abundance.  This won him a vast reputation and where ever he went he would be welcomed by people he had assisted to live.

Added to this he loved the ladies, and despite being in no way particularly good-looking or fit, they loved him.  I didn’t get the sex part myself, but I certainly always felt happy, safe and well looked after with Grover.

By far his biggest gift was his ability to bring warring factions together  in peace and thus his parties were the place.  You would see people mingling who never would on the street and whilst ecstasy no doubt assisted the general good will it was Grover that got them there in the first place.  On a good E he couldnt ‘t talk, only trill. 

I lost track of Grover for several years as Oscar, my ex husband was insistent on a division of friends and such a grumpy grudge holding bastard that few dared to defy him.  But one day a little bird told me he was living near by and would be happy to catch up. 

The Ice rampage had left its mark all over.  It was hard to respect the hunger it created in others and harder still to see it in yourself.  Here was a man in debt, but able to sell vast amounts as he knew everyone and everyone knew him.  But he didn’t want to.  He was struggling to hold down a ‘normal’ job as part of a road work crew.  And be a part-time dad.  And struggling to like people. 

He would sell people rubbish if they upset him or were trading goods for drugs.  He left drugs and jewellery and toys all over his house to tease and tempt people.  He told me of old friends who had sold him out.  Grover’s heart was still there but his soul had taken a battering.  He didn’t actually know what a friend was any more because all the lines had cracked and broken.

I got another old friend to come and see him, and let them do their mucho get together.  I cooked and took food around.  I put back all the gold he tempted me with and told him he wasn’t being fair.  I refused to buy off him, and looked after myself.  I didn’t beg or borrow from him.  I listened.  I shared.  Slowly we were becoming friends in the dark little world he was living in.

Two days after a visit there was a call.  Grover was on the job after some impossible time without sleep.  Heavy machinery.  With him in it.  This absolutely mad character squashed to death.  It wasn’t instant.  The crew held his hand.  A friend was passing in  a car – when wasn’t a friend passing  Grover – and got to him in time to say good-bye.  No one could help.  No one could do a thing. 

Everyone came to the funeral.  They didn’t talk to each other but they came.  His son tried to crawl in to his coffin.

Someone did try to get everyone together to raise a toast to Grover.  But they wouldn’t come.   Iinstead lots of individuals did remember.  You are not likely to forget him.   But what a stupid way to die.

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Is he a doll or a dummy?

 

In honour of my friend Ms AB, who has just experienced a large fall from grace after her adventures.  Don’t say you weren’t warned before hand… 

1. It’s a job, with hours longer than most jobs – often when you want to spend quality time together.  The phone won’t stop, the people will keep turning up and the novelty will quickly wear off. 

2. It takes a certain personality to do the job – one with big balls and arrogance and the passion for always being right and good at crowd control and one up manship.  For some reason they are often control freaks.  These are not necessarily ideal traits in a boy friend. 

3. Whether you mean to or not if you share the goods it is hard for this not to end up an inequitable arrangement that causes problems – particularly when you fight.  It is probably a good idea to make clear what you can and will give to the relationship in terms of your own goods and services – it  won’t be financially equal but it can help.  It can also help if you take care of your own needs but again if you buy through him you may just give to the pot and not get goods directly and going through someone else may also cause problems.  Whether you want to know or not you should make sure you are aware of the market value of goods you consume.  You are probably getting things that are better than street value, this can also cause health and addiction problems. 

4. It is very hard to explain your boyfriend to your parents, family and many of your friends.  Unless you are excellent at lying or enjoy living a double life or simply don’t care, this will be stressful.  

5. If you work in the ‘real’ world the hours you each keep will clash, as will your attitudes to work.  If your sick leave starts to go up you need to consider you have a problem.  If you can’t understand that sitting around talking is his work and that he may sleep all day then this may also be a problem. 

6. You will be expected to be a hostess but will probably not be trusted.  Or you may be used as a gimp.  Or you may be presumed to be a drug whore and his mates will try and crack on to you.  His female clients will be jealous.  Everyone will be  pissed off it you take him away from being available to do business or just actually want to have some time together or if you try to change anything. 

7. Drug dealers are the worst time keepers in the world, they are always late – sometimes days late.  There is always a reason, usually because of someone else but if you are a timely person do expect to be frustrated and waiting around. 

8. You very much need to remember that the people purchasing goods are not your friends or even your boyfriends friends whilst they are doing business.  If there is nothing to purchase you won’t hear from them.  They may be nice to you, give you things and flatter you – don’t take it personally. 

9.  It is easy to get hooked on the drama and intrigue.  Don’t.  It is all bullshit and never ends.  It is also easy to lose perspective.  Make sure you stay in touch regularly with people outside of this world.  Get out in the sun. 

10.  We all know men like to solve problems presented by their ladies.  However problem solving here can involve getting people to dig their own graves, having people wake up with knives at their throats or at the least some nasty phone calls to sort someone out.  Trust me, it helps no one.  Make it clear you will resolve your own issues though you might appreciate his general good intentions. 

Now this is not to say that it won’t be great and good but at least 5 things from this list are bound to present you growly moments at some stage.  

Dated a drug dealer and have something to add – love to hear from you. 

Are you a drug dealer with points of your own to make? I welcome them, but don’t dare tell me you keep good time – I’ll be asking for referees to verify.  

As for Ms AB – she’s licking her wounds at the house of a friendly customer who ‘has his shit together’ which to her means he is a buyer with money and not a seller.  A bit of her soul got lost somewhere in the points above.  As well as her job and somewhere to live.

Compartmentalization – no doubt it has kept many a person sane.  Boxing different parts of yourself up for different parts of the world.   It’s kept many a sociopath under the radar.  It’s kept many a person happy in their own mind despite disparate points of view with in themselves. 

There is my bright sun shiny work me.  There is Mom me.  Family me.  Good me. 

But this blog is about me who likes to live a life of mischief.  Who engages in activities in my time and place that are outside the bounds of legality and ‘normality’. 

There have been so many stories and odd bits of advice in the making, it’s time they found an audience.  But on the quiet, don’t get telling on me – shhhhhhh. 

Compartmentalization also means sharing on a need to know basis, to protect intelligence.  I can’t help but wonder what happens when you reverse that order – sharing what you would normally protect whilst protecting what you would normally share.

Is that a recipe for disaster or an opening up to a world of like-minded souls who might be out there with your own stories to share?