Friday, January 08, 2010


And herewith a bad thign that happened to Jasper Lucas. Bad language alert.

Jasper is a man whom it is difficult not to like. He is thin, blonde-haired and freckled, with bright blue eyes above a meandering nose. He breeds tree-frogs, and reads thrillers, and once got shot with a rubber bullet in what he said was a demonstration against police violence, in Ireland. Like a number of our other clients, almost nothing of his wild life from twenty years ago remains - bad dreams, bare gums, scars and pharmacology.

I am reluctant to go into detail here, but while his criminal record is scant, his easy familarity with a number of the "hard men from the old crew" suggests there was, at one time, a lot more to Mr Lucas than met the eye. Bad things have happened to him. Jasper's teeth were not removed in the normal fashion, and this has something to do with the six month prison sentence he suffered fifteen years ago. I don't know.

He still picks up his methadone every day from Crippens' Pharmacy. Every two months we discuss reducing his dose, moving him on, getting him away from the pharmacy. Every two months he says he's not ready - reducing his dose causes disturbed sleep, and anxiety, and physical discomfort, and those are things he's of which he's probably had enough.

But he's doing well, and the other day a group of them went to Shylock Services*and treated himself to a graphite pool cue - he plays competitively - and a second hand version of Guitar Hero. His mate drove him home, and he sat in the back seat holding his pool cue and running his fingers up and down the frets of the Guitar Hero game. His mate dropped him off and he went inside to grab a coffee.

While the coffee was boiling he glanced outside. A man in a police uniform ran by across the street, cruched over, wearing a flak jacket.

"That's never good," he thought. "Wonder what that's about?" A few minutes later there was a knock on thedoor. He wandered over, coffee in hand, and opened it to a shotgun. the muzzle was pressed against his face. A mass of armed and armoured men swarmed in, pointing shotguns and screaming.

"Jesus Christ" I said. My own coffee was half-way to my lips. "TRG?"

"It wasn't the fucking girl guides" he said.

He was quite upset. They had hurled him on the ground in "some kind of judo hold" and pointed guns at his head and screamed "where is it? where the fuck is it?" a lot. He had managed to get them to calm down enough to ask for a hint as to what "it" might possibly be.

"The gun!" They shrieked. "Don't fuck about!" and so on.

Note - from here on in, I'm replacing the obscenities with euphemism.

Anyway, it emerged that, unsurprisingly, there was no gun. There had been no gun. There had been Mr Lucas sitting in the back seat of his car, holding his little plastic guitar hero guitar and his pool cue, and miming "Eruption" by Van Halen. This ludicrous story fooled no-one, but the discoverey of the pool cue, the guitar hero game, and the timed and dated receipt on the bed a few metres from the front door and exactly where he said they would be did temporarily set his assailants back. Murmurs (but no apologies, Mr lucas noted) were exchanged, and the horde withdrew. One of them turned as he left and actually said "We'll be back."

"Knock yourself out, you [foolish individuals]" Mr Lucas said, or words to that effect. "I'm getting a Wii next week. If you squint, and you're [dashed silly], it looks like a pair of nunchucks."

Anyway, must heal sick. We shall see what emerges from this.
Thanks for listening,

*I don't know I am comfortable with this name. Shylock was a more complex character than often thought, and the best portrayals bring out this complexity and ambiguity, but the essential facts remain - the vicious Jew. Shylock Services gives you twenty bucks for something worth two hundred, and sells it at one hundred fifty.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We miss you John. Please keep posting. Sometimes it'the only thing that gets me through my day.

4:32 AM  
Blogger dr.leslie said...

I found your blog a few weeks ago and started at the beginning and just completed your last post. I am a neuropsychologist and have found your writing thought provoking and I treasure your honesty. I hope you continue to use this blog

1:39 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home