And on the bench outside the pub, you can’t sit down.
The bench is full of family. It says SON and BROTHER and UNCLE in pretty flowers.
Where were they all these years that you slept on that bench?
I asked you once or twice and you always told me that you had no family and that’s why you didn’t really care what happened to you out on the streets because there was nobody to miss you. So I never asked again.
“I don’t mind getting beaten up or drinking myself silly because it’s nice in hospital – people care about ya. Or at least pretend to for a while. I can get water whenever I need a drink, straight outta the tap, just like that! They gave me a toothbrush last time, that was kind of ’em.”
I wrote down my name and number on the back of a receipt and told you that you can put me down as ‘next of kin’ on all the formal docs because I was the only person you knew who had a mobile phone with credit.
But they showed up in the end, didn’t they? Came crawling out the woodwork with all their fancy fucking flowers after you’d died of pneumonia out in the freezing cold all on your own. I hope your family enjoy fighting over the £1.26 in your pocket, I really do.
(I left you a vodka miniature but someone’s already nicked it.)
“Those bastarding bastards!”
God bless you, mate. Rest easy. See you soon x