As predicted, I pretty much just ran out of time to write. Between the job, Czech Republic and the girlfriend, I pretty much have zero time for anything else and if some statistical anomaly would occur (usually triggered by me texting ‘I need to be alone for a bit’), it is entirely dedicated to building a factory in order to launch a satellite into space, or watching my friends take a bullet while saving the earth from alien inv- games, yeah. Computer games. I might elaborate on my internet addiction later once I get over the shame.
I am actually at work now, if you could call this work. The job consist of that of a single dad at his kid’s birthday party: Putting in a vaguely inappropriate dvd and running for the nearest computer for some mental escape while the kids sit and stare. Just upscale by about a hundred kids and you get the idea. I’m not watching the movie because it is literally about cancer. I don’t feel like cancer today. Or, ever.
What I do feel like, is telling you about the one time I got arrested for begging.
In order to fully grasp the situation, we need to flashback further, to when I was 9 or so, and we were late. We were always late because I couldn’t give a flying fuck about my father’s job and if he made it there on time or not. He was upset with me, which is why he didn’t feel like running back into the house to grab my coat when I got into the car, even though it was pouring rain.
But the rain swelled into a genuine deluge as we drove, and by the time he dropped me off, he felt guilty enough to double back and fetch my coat. He wasn’t wearing one either, so it must have been a funny sight to see him run across the playground in his shirt, carrying my coat. When he finally found me, I rolled my eyes at him.
“Dad. I have like, 2 coats here already.”
I didn’t dress well because again, I didn’t care. My math teacher later on felt flattered that I would try so hard to rebel against him and his colleagues by wearing torn jeans like his generation once did, but the truth is, jeans just tear if you wear them long enough. I just did not care.
So when I went to Brussels to the “exam commission” to catch up after getting bumped from 3rd year back to 2nd (long story) I looked like shit, as usual.
I had exams both in the morning and the afternoon and because this was exceptional and because I have the memory of a goldfish with Alzheimer’s, I had forgotten my lunch. Caring as much about my dignity as my appearance (I acquire little of both with age) I just sat down at the train station, and put down my hat in front of me.
It frustrated me that the woman with the child sitting opposite from me was raking in all the cash, while I had collected exactly 20 francs after half an hour. So when a man squatted down in front me of to ask me what I was doing, I just shrugged grumpily and mumbled, “I’m hungry.”
I thought they were a couple, man and woman. They offered to buy me a sandwich and a bottle of water, both of which I greedily accepted and inhaled immediately. They asked to see my ID and who was I to refuse? Imagine my surprise when the man pulled out his phone and started spelling out my name in it.
“You aren’t calling the damn cops, are you?”
-“Kid, we are the damn cops.”
And they had my ID so I couldn’t make a break for it.
They took me to the police station and sat me down in one of those stereotypical interrogation rooms, I was half expecting them to pull out a ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine.
I answered their stupid questions as they came. Why wasn’t I wearing a coat? I didn’t have a coat. Why was I begging? I was hungry.
When they asked me to give up my earnings (okay the movie rolled into the sobbing part so it’s getting hard to concentrate) I tossed my hard-earned 20 francs on the table. After a long moment of silence, my interrogator burst out in laughter and closed his folder.
They were so kind to give me a ride to the center, with a written thing explaining why I was late. Things worked out, except many of the same questions were repeated by the staff there. With the same answers. Because I didn’t care.
The story continues, though.
Without me knowing, the staff had started to organize a collection of clothes, for little old me, the kid that had no coat or money to eat. They gave it to my father in two large cardboard boxes when he came to collect my degree (without me because I was running late and he left without me). Of all the possible reactions he could have had, he chose to find the whole thing quite funny.
The clothes were donated to the boarding school except for a beige linen vest that was way too big for me but I wore anyway. I drew a giant red ‘A’ on the shoulder. I miss that vest.
It’s always been quite hard for me to step back and see the wholes series of events into perspective. I feel like there’s a lesson to be learned but I can’t seem to grasp it and once again, I just can’t be bothered to give a damn. I always considered that a great talent of mine, one that I haven’t been able to put to use much, lately.
Perhaps there’s my lesson, right there: Give less fucks. Yeah.