The Ballad of C and M

I’ve mentioned my regular homeless couple C and M before. They were very happy together even though they lived in a derelict shed and supplimented their incomes by begging.  Last year they told me they’d moved into a friend’s house for the winter and I didn’t see them for a long time.  Then just before Christmas, I was on the train and who should come along but M.  He looked better dressed than usual.

“We’ve got into a house,” he said.  “We’re getting clean.  We’re trying to get the kids back.”

Wonderful Christmas news.

Alas it did not last.   A couple of weeks later, I saw M at the junction.

“She’s left me,” he said.  “I tried to stop her drinking so she left me and went off with some wino.  If you see her round tell her to come home.  Tell her I miss her.”

I haven’t seen C again.  From the things she shared with me when she’d had a few, stories of domestic violence with a previous partner and the removal of children by authorities, I suspect she has a lot of things to blot out. Sobriety wouldn’t come easily.

I’ve seen a lot of M though.  He travels down my line most days.  The new house is out the other side of town, but he assures me he’s still there.

“But my friends are all out here,” he says.

These days he mostly has a tin of Wild Turkey and Coke in his hand.

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