Maybe it’s the experience of visiting hospitals for the last 4 weeks, maybe it’s just the realisation of being old but Electron has told everyone how much he despises Quark.

Electron is 56, his father passed away at 74, so Electron figures that at best he has 18 years left. He has been with Proton for 22 years so he could potentially be with her for 40 years. He is over the half way mark of their relationship. And he is not prepared to put up with any more of Quarks shit. Quark is 35. If he was a good junkie he would have overdosed by now but Electron figures that he must be a crap junkie. At least he is consistent in his behaviour.

Electron cannot remember all of the behaviour but here is a précis of what he can.

Electron first met Quark at the age of 15, having just returned from living with his father and having been expelled from school for drug dealing……again ……he was previously expelled aged 11 and as a consequence was in a special school for problem children. Now he had come back to live in England.

For a while Electron remembers him living with Proton but he was still in his formative years of addiction and not too much trouble.

A series of unsuitable accommodation followed. Sometimes for as little as a day. And so it continued. Occasionally Quark wintered in the States. One fateful year he and his Father, Meson, decided to go on a road trip. They got 6 miles from the house that Meson shares with his rich girlfriend, parked the camper van and proceeded to get high on heroin for 6 weeks. His father’s initiation ceremony to the wonders of opiates. Thanks Dad!

And so Quark returned with a new found passion. But the people around him did not have the same opinion and so Quark disappeared to be with his own kind in Wigwam Warren, an alternative commune in the far west of Wales. He set up camp but kept returning home for a few days before requiring train tickets for his journey back. Unfortunately Bristol is on the way to Wales and he had made some friends in Bristol so rarely made it to his destination. He had to stop off in Bristol where he could score, before returning to Proton penniless having yet again failed to reach Wigwam Warren.

So Proton would buy him another return ticket. This process continued for 3 or 4 years. Quark setting off for Wales and then Proton getting a call to say that he was in either Bristol, Reading or Totnes and could Proton get him a Taxi back home as it was now dark and he was scared. Foolishly this is what Proton did. 2 days later he would be off to Wales again.

Like Bristol, Quark also seemed to have some sort of affinity with the back streets of Swansea. A total shit hole of a town. Just Quarks sort of place. This also had a tendency to interrupt his quest to reach Wigwam Warren. But he did occasionally manage to get there, setting up home in a yurt.

Miraculously Quark had decided to earn some money and had acquired a job erecting fences at a well-known annual music festival…or so he said. But having been found in a ditch on the outskirts of Swansea in possession of a knife, he was promptly arrested. This was the time when knife crime was big in the news. Quark was facing 5 – 10 years in prison.

But Quark is intelligent and resourceful, he got his junkie father to give him a character report and conducting his own defence, managed to charm the courts into giving him just one years’ probation. He followed this up by charming his probation officer into telling him not to bother with his weekly visits as mixing with the other reprobates on probation was probably not a good idea.

So Quark was free to continue his drug abuse.

The yurt in Wigwam Warren was abandoned and Meson, Quarks Junkie father, stumped up the deposit for a rented flat and Quark moved in. Coincidentally the flat was located slap bang in the middle of this town’s druggie area. Quark was in heaven. Even more so because his landlord liked him and wasn’t overly insistent in getting his rent every month. Quark had money to burn. Or inject…or sniff.

Then Meson lost his father and found that he had been left £100 000 in the will. A perfect opportunity for Meson to set his son up for life. Too easy, too boring. £100 000 will buy a lot of heroin so Meson moved over from the States to live with his son. They then proceeded to take heroin until the money ran out. This took less than a year. Meson promptly returned to his mental but extremely rich partner in the States, leaving Quark with a bigger addiction problem than ever before.

Quarks habit continued as it would until the landlord finally started to demand some rent. This was not forthcoming so eviction proceedings were instigated. But somehow Quark managed to appease his landlord saying he would leave of his own accord and would make the flat habitable for a future tenant. He moved out owing £7000. All of which had been spent on heroin, and was duly welcomed back into the bosom of his loving mother.

Subutex was proscribed for Quarks rehabilitation, a drug which stops the cravings for H….apparently. And apparently Quark has stopped taking H but Subutex can be abused and sure as hell it appears that Quark has begun abusing it and continues to do so. Along with Amphetamines and god knows what else. But Proton cannot kick him out of the house, he is her son, he is vulnerable, she cannot make him homeless.

Electron is 56 years old and feels that at best he only has another 18 years of life left. If that. He feels unwell most of the time. Perhaps he has even less time. He cannot sacrifice what is left of this time to an interminable junkie and his indulgent mother.

What to do?