2006-11-04

Danny Boy

I'm having time management issues. Once the working day is done, and the commute, and dinner, I just want to sleep. I keep my eyes open long enough to play a game or watch The Daily Show but I'm brain-dead already and in no mood for long catch-up phone conversations. I know I'm neglecting good friends but I don't know what to do about it except bitch about the problem here.

I made an unwanted friend when I first moved "downtown". I always talk to people in the street because I don't want to live in a world where people don't talk to each other in the street. Shig says it will be my undoing. Coming back from the corner shop one day, I chatted with someone walking alongside me. He told me his life story: heroin addiction, fights with his girlfriend, and the person he manslaughter-ed once. (The judge showed leniency because he stayed with the victim while he died.) He followed me to my door. I did not invite him in.



I saw him around the neighbourhood from time to time after that. I kept the conversations short, wanting to neither encourage nor antagonize him.

One Tuesday in September, he rang my door buzzer. I couldn't tell what he was talking about but there was trouble and money was involved. Shig was visiting at the time so I made my excuses and hung up. Next my neighbour, Lisa, came over to talk about my friend, Danny. I said I didn't have any friends called Danny.

While I'd been at work, "Danny" had given Lisa a sob story about his girlfriend being attacked at knife-point. She'd loaned him £10 for a taxi so he could get to Frenchay hospital to see her. I felt no sympathy because I was still reeling from the invasion of privacy. I offered to pay Lisa back in case she thought I was part of the scam, but she wouldn't hear of it.

The following week a policeman called to see if we'd been robbed. (We hadn't.) A local man had gone up in front of the magistrate that morning and his girlfriend blabbed about a burglary on the way in. I wondered if my mother was the one passing sentence at court that day.

I saw "Danny" in the street once more after that. He vowed to pay Lisa back as soon as he could but he vowed so much that it didn't ring true. I hope he considers £10 a good result and has moved on to new prey. We consider a tenner a bargain to be rid of a nuisance like him. Security Dave, who guards the construction site on my street, says he last saw "Danny" in the back of an ambulance. He said it looked like an overdose. Nobody I know has seen him since.

5 Comments:

Blogger DrHeimlich said...

Not easing your time management issues is the fact that you still have more Deadwood to watch! I came late to the party too, and like you, I'm sorry I didn't start earlier.

(And you know, Kyle actually tried to tell me early on...)

07:12  
Anonymous Shig said...

I'm just jealous because I don't have as easy a manner as you do with people I don't know well. That said, Danny sounds like a bad friend to have made. £10 to be rid of him is a bargain.

08:45  
Blogger thisismarcus said...

Dr: There's always time for Deadwood. I'm 15 episodes in now, and annoyed that I've only got 21 left!

Shig: £10 of someone else's money, too! Do you get the Patrick McGoohan reference? If you don't, and Trundling Grunt doesn't, I don't think anyone else will.

17:40  
Blogger Candace said...

Were you a Prisoner in your own home? Ah, I got nothin'.

19:16  
Blogger thisismarcus said...

Close, Candace. The Prisoner was in colour. I meant Danger Man.

21:08  

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