Friday, 2 January 2009
The living and the dead
I trust this note finds you - it’s difficult to track you down at the best of times. Still, if you’ve been trying to get in touch with me, you won’t have managed it and I’ve sadly missed out on your fine words.
What must be must be, though, Sebastian. I was thrown from my digs a few months back and had to find whatever shelter I could. The church saved me.
Now, some people say it’s hard to be dead but I just don’t agree. I’ve been living in the grounds of this church for a while now and not noticed their hardship. The dead sleep better than the living and, when they wake, they have little to worry them. The dead do not disturb me.
Sometimes I’ve heard them whispering or moving rocks and leaves about, but they’re not interested in me. I’m as dead as they are.
It’s not been all fine here, but the priest is an understanding fellow and turns a blind eye to us, as often as he can. We stay out of the churchyard in the day, when people might be visiting. It’s a large cemetery and crypt here at St Theresa’s and it’s been easy to hide our existence from others. Fr Mead has warned us that if a needle is found in the churchyard he will be forced to call the police. I regard that as only fair.
I’m staying here with some friends – Millie, who I’m very fond of, also Gregor and his brother Tony. There was an incident a few months back, a group of guys throwing rocks and insults at us. We managed to get away from them, but they trashed our stuff.
The next day, we were drinking and Millie went back early because she felt ill and needed to sleep. They were waiting; she said it was the same guys. They were merciless with her. It brings me such pain to recall the sight of her when we found her there.
She said she’d be alright, that it wasn’t the first time it had happened. She didn’t want to go to hospital because they’d involve the police and then we’d all be moved on. So we looked after her as best we could. The men never came back.
I’m sorry I don’t have brighter news for you, Sebastian. Maybe I’ll see you, friend, next time you’re near the old church? Know that I think of you, often.