Its’s the end of the year and a lot of school groups are coming through. “I remember you,” says one 13 year old boy to me. “We were here last year and that guy was sniffing paint on the opposite platform and he fell over. That was scary.”
I remembered that day though not the boy. My old friend J had sniffed so much paint out of his plastic bag he actually passed out on platform 2. He was up again by the time I got round to check on him.
Platform 1 was full of a school kids who were most concerned about him so I took the opportunity to warn them about the dangers of paint sniffing.
I was sorry the boy was scared and hastened to reassure him. J had never been in danger of anything more than bruises. In the 12 years I’ve been doing this job, I’ve become much more relaxed around people under the influences of substances and I hardly blink at it now. (Probably not such a good thing)
“I saw that guy recently and he told me he’d given up,” I told the boy now.
The boy expressed doubt. He regarded himself as a worldly youth and said he had relatives who took drugs and they never gave up. Ah,the wisdom of youth! Statistics mean nothing to them.
My favorite customer this week was a woman with long cherry red hair and lots of silver jewelry from Georgia, U.S.A. When I asked her why she’d come to live in Australia, she won my heart by cheerily making a joke about gun control.(“I was getting tired of having to shoot people all the time”). Apparently she was also sick of being legally obliged to have a sign on her door saying no guns in this house to stop people bringing their weapons into her home.
Also she’d fallen in love with an Australian and was about to become a citizen here.
She’d been in to the Zoo to feed the Lemurs and showed me a great picture of herself with a perky looking lemur on her lap.
“Does it get any better than that?” I asked and she agreed that her life had probably peaked and she might as well give up from now on. She was fun. Hope she comes back.