Thursday, February 18, 2010
The Needle and the Damage Done
It seems many of this city's most despicable, lowlife junkies have shifted from the decrepit environs of Smith St to the Vietnamese-restaurant-lined Victoria St. They're everywhere wearing their adidas tracksuit pants with no accompanying top, and walking all fast and jittery. Often yelling at respectable people, motorists and each other.
I was loitering recently outside one of my favourite of these restaurants, waiting for Tex to arrive - he's always late yet I continue to arrive on time because, well, that's what I do - when this filthy piece of shit came marching along the street while his 3-year-old son drove a motorised toy car behind him. The following 'conversation' ensued:
Boy: Dad, can I please have a donut?
Dad (yelling): I already fucken told you I left my fucken wallet at home, don't you fucken listen to me?
Dad: You're a fucken stupid little arsehole! How many fucken times do I have to tell you something you dipshit! I'll push you into the traffic and that'll fucken teach you!
Dad pretends to push boy into the traffic. He was out of control, just stopping short of physically assaulting the boy.
Boy has by now covered his ears with his hands to block out what is, it seems, a common occurrence.
Meanwhile I'm watching, wondering whether it was within my rights to walk up and punch the junkie in the face, grab the kid and run to the police station. I was so very close to hitting this guy. This poor kid (who will probably one day become his father - just as his father was, probably, once upon a time this poor kid) did nothing to deserve this treatment or this father. The Dad's reaction was so over the top, so out of proportion, that he could only have been either on drugs, or needing the next hit.
Eventually, Dad and Boy walk off and stop outside a house in an adjoining street. The Dad leaves the Boy parked in his toy car outside the house and disappears inside - for ten minutes.
A police car drives past, I wave it down and explain what had just happened. The police show some measure of concern and they go and talk to the Dad. After about 3 minutes they leave and that's that.
This (along with a story I read recently in The Monthly about a 7 year old girl called 'Ebony', who was so badly negelcted that she ended up dying in her locked and boarded-up bedroom fouled by her own faeces and urine) makes me look at my own 4 year old boy (who, at least for now, idolises me) and wonder how this kind of mistreatment is possible.