MISSING: 9 YEAR OLD GINGER TOM
by Martin Bolton
What are you doing here?
I just thought I would say hello.
Hello. I didn’t think I would see you again.
You’re looking a bit dishevelled. What happened to you?
I’ve had a few beers.
Look at the state of you. You’ve got a rip in your sleeve.
I think I bumped into a wall on my way home.
And fell over.
And passed out.
Did you wake up on the floor outside the Broadwalk?
Yes, how did you know?
I recognise the pattern on your face. You’re bleeding.
It’s just a bit of a scrape.
You should really wash the grit out of it.
Later. I’m knackered.
It’s getting late, haven’t you got to work in the morning?
I’m not going in.
I don’t feel well.
I’m not surprised, how long have you been drinking?
Since Friday, I think.
No wonder you’re such a mess. Have you been arrested again?
No, the copper gave me a lift home. He seemed to feel sorry for me. I woke up to find him peering down at me, it was the loveliest vision of a policeman I’ve ever had.
Christ, you don’t even make them angry any more. When even the police feel sympathy, you know you are beyond pathetic. You look like you’ve just been dug up.
I feel like it.
Your knuckles are bruised, have you been fighting?
Well spotted, Columbo. Anyway, so what if I have, you’re always out there fighting.
That’s different and you know it, I am protecting the garden. When was the last time you ate?
I had a kebab last night.
That’s rich coming from you, I’ve seen what you eat.
You’ve never had the decency to try it though, I always bring something back for you and you screw your face up and throw it out. That’s gratitude for you. I suppose I’m expected to make do with that tinned shit you bring home, well you can stick it up your arse, I require something a bit fresher from time to time.
What am I supposed to do? Cook you a gourmet meal every night?
It wouldn’t hurt, just now and again. You could be a bit more thoughtful.
I’m not Hugh fucking Laurie.
Hugh Laurie, you know, the butler.
What are you talking about?
The butler on that programme. What’s it called? Jeeves and Wooster, that’s it. He’s always one step ahead of the game.
That’s Stephen Fry.
…Stephen Fry then. I’m not your butler.
He’s not a butler.
What? Yes he is. He does the ironing and breakfast and all that. He gets Hugh Laurie out of hilarious scrapes.
Yes, but he’s not a butler. He’s a “Gentleman’s Gentleman”.
What? What the fuck are you talking about?
Give me strength. He’s a valet. A butler works for a household. Jeeves is Wooster’s personal servant.
Shit, I always thought he was a butler.
You fucking moron. Don’t you read books?
Shut up you ginger bastard.
You cretinous stick-man, you absolutely stink. Why don’t you wash?
We don’t all have the luxury of being able to just stop and wash whenever we like.
Once a day would do. You smell like a tramp’s dog. Have some respect for yourself.
I’m not sure I have any left.
Get a fucking grip, man. Do you think you’re the only one who’s had a shit time? There are people out there with fuck all, who struggle every single day of their lives just to survive, people who would give anything to have your life. And look at you, wallowing in self pity. You’re young, you’re intelligent, and you’re alive. What is the problem?
I don’t fucking know!
You can’t carry on like this. Why are you so angry?
I’m sure I had a good reason, but I can’t remember what it was. It was a good reason though.
A good reason? Good enough to destroy yourself and push away everyone you love? A good enough reason to hate yourself? Whatever it is that has made you angry, it is winning. It is winning easily. I suppose crying is a good start, at least it is a genuine emotion that doesn’t break anything.
I have to go now, Martin. Will you be OK?
Will you come back and talk to me again?
You know I won’t.
What happened to you?
I don’t know.
Why did you leave me?
I wasn’t given a choice.
I’m so lonely. Look at the state of me. I don’t know what to do any more.
You have your whole life ahead of you. You must live it. Live it for me. And know that wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, every time you feel joy, and every time you feel sorrow, I will be there watching, and I will be proud of the man you’ve become. Don’t cry for my death, celebrate my life and all that we shared, and remember I live on in you, so you’ll never truly be alone. Can you do that?
I don’t know.
You have to. There are people who depend upon you. They’ll need you to be strong. Life is beautiful, and you are surrounded by people who love you. Just look around you, don’t shy away from them, be yourself, express yourself. You’ll find that they make you stronger. OK?
Good bye Martin.
Good bye, Whiskers.