Weeks passed by. I lay in bed late. I skipped meals, even my favourite ice cold milk first thing, poured on cereal. What was the point? I had nothing to be hungry for. I’d go out late afternoon when our town’s rush hour had commenced and melt into the crowds, an unrecognised grain of sand in a desert of people I’d never know. Others thinking I too was part of their throng. A young guy hacking out his destiny as they’d done years earlier. If I did see a face I recognized, I’d quickly turn around, follow a back alley, or gaze lost in a shop window display of goods I’d no interest in. I’d stalk around the old market, see the stalls, handcarts, delivery vehicles and crates. Watch as market traders pulled canvas and plastic to cover stalls of small cheap fancy goods for the poor to gawp at. I’d even stopped going to Capaldi’s, which hurt. It was my favourite place to sit, idle and think. Mr. Capaldi always had a kind word for me, but now I wanted the world to cover me with permanent darkness.
I tried to remember if this is how I felt when mum ran off. When our awful flat felt it’d been soaked in gallons of black paint. Life becoming dark and fearsome, crawling with bad feelings. It was so long ago, I’d almost forgotten the pain and anger she’d caused. My failure felt bad enough and the last thing I wanted to do was compare then and now. Reckon now was worse because I was older and more conscious of life’s chances. Then I was a kid dependent on my Dad. As a young adult I’d got to depend upon myself and sort out my own problems.