Claret and Gravestones
My man turns up at my gaff disheveled and grim. His usual look. Since becoming a professional addict and user he has perfected this image.
"What the hell happened to you?" I ask.
"Dunno." he muttered. "Some guy walking his dog found me face down in the graveyard and called the police."
"The one that's just over the dual carriageway."
"That's not your manor."
"I know. I don't know how I got there. It's a mystery." he shakes a bit, he's not talking clearly. He is a man beaten down, destroyed, a shell of a man. But still my friend from way back when we were young and had fun drinking beer and chasing girls. I often wonder what brought him to this stage.
He brightens up a little "Look! Haven't you seen?"
"I'm covered in claret."
I look him up and down. The bottom of his leather kacket and his combat trousers are covered in blood. "Christ! Is it yours?"
"No. but it's human blood. The police say it is. But it's not mine."
"Whose blood is it then?"
"I don't know. I don't have a scratch on me."
"What did the police say?"
"They let me go. No crime has been reported so nothing to charge me with. I walked."
"I'm gonna have a bit of a mooch around ask a few questions, try and find out what happened. But first I need a drink. I'm going to the offy. You want I bring you anything?"
"No thanks I'm good."
He turns to the door opens it, and as is his usual routine, sticks his head out and looks up and down the road before walking out. He doesn't say 'Goodbye' He just stumbles down the road, head down. As my usual routine I wonder if that's the last time I'll ever see him.