The Ungraspable Concept of Giving


It is 5 days before Christmas and Electron has been giving Proton ideas for things he would like. She has done nothing. He already has her presents.
Her response is that she was not brought up to give presents to people once they are grown up. Electron can understand this when talking about children, of course, but he points out that when you are with a partner, spending Christmas together perhaps it would be nice to receive a surprise for once.
Last year he bought his own presents and wrapped them for himself. This year it would be nice for Proton to get him a present without him knowing what it is.
“Well take me to the mall and I will get those dvd’s”she says.
“No. You do not understand. I do not want to know what I am getting, why do you not understand.I have given you ideas for several things I would like, Books, dvd’s, vaping equipment, a new violin bow. Baby boy is doing bugger all, you can get him to get one of the items and I will not know which it is. It’ll be a Surprise!”
“Well he is in town now” she replies, “I will phone him up and get him to stop at the DVD shop.”
“No! A surprise.”
Proton accuses Electron of having a tantrum about presents and thinks that this is all very childish.
“OK. Forget it, I will go into town now and take your presents back.” Says Electron being childish.
Baby boy phones up and Proton starts to ask him if he would be able to go to the DVD shop tomorrow!


A Welcome Break

Having spent nearly 2 months in a luxury waterfront apartment, courtesy of the Insurance Company, Proton is now living in the shed. Charm has returned to her Grandmothers. But the endless caring for Proton is wearing Electron Down.


Early December and Electron is in Northern Spain. Alone!
Baby boy has stepped up to the plate to look after his mother for a week and give Electron a much-needed break. Electron is having a nice stress free time, eating and drinking and generally exploring the city on his own, when not ensconced in his luxury Hotel. It is wonderful, no constant chatter from Proton, it is like he has gone deaf.

He checks in by phone everyday to see that all is well, that the cat has turned up, but mostly to check that Proton has not burned his flat to the ground. Being a constant smoker she treats fags like incense, there is always one either in her mouth or teetering on the edge of an ashtray sometimes when she is not in attendance. It is a constant worry to Electron. But hey, in return for his week of freedom he will bring her thousands of cigarettes back from Spain at a vastly reduced price.

The holiday soon ends and Electron duly returns. All has gone well in the shed, it is still standing. As a thank to Baby Boy they will have a nice take away meal together that evening……….

Around 4.30 the phone rings and Proton answers it to the long-lost Quark.
From Protons responses it is obvious that he has plans to visit his grandmother and naturally requires money for his ticket.
“So the train is at 7.30? Well get over here in half an hour, Electron is back from holiday and we are planning a nice peaceful meal tonight and don’t want to be interrupted later.”
Quark of course gives his worthless promise.
“So when did he come out of the woodwork?” queries Electron.
“He’s been over a couple of times whilst you were away.”
“You know he is not allowed in the shed”
“Yes but he needed money to get down to Mum’s”
“So he has been given money for the train twice but he is still here?”
“Well yes, but you know how he is.”
Electron does indeed know how Quark is with train or bus travel. He gets given money and either;

  • Doesn’t catch the train. The fare money gets spent on other things.
    Catches the wrong train.
  • Gets off the train half way through the journey. Stranded somewhere requiring a Taxi fare back.
  • Falls asleep on the train and wakes up a long way past his destination.

It always takes at least 3 or 4 attempts to get him to where he intends to be.

Electrons stress level begins to rise, but he tries to remain calm and offers Strangeness to join him in a nice early evening brandy. Once finished, Baby Boy decides that he needs to offer something in return for his food and drink and will go out to get a bottle of wine.
He returns wineless having apparently dropped and smashed the bottle on the way back. However, after just one small brandy, Strangeness seems strangely overly intoxicated…

15 minutes before the due departure of Quarks train and there is still no sign of Quark.
With 10 minutes to go, he shambles in. He is thin, disheveled and stinks to high heaven. He is also sniffing a lot. More money is handed over and he is about to set off for the station when Proton points out that the train leaves in less than 5 minutes and he is at least 15 minutes away. A later train must be caught. This involves consulting his mothers laptop. But the way an addicts mind works, does not make this easy. Over the next half hour he downloads a transport charter indicating all of the legislation relating to running a train over his chosen route, 3 versions of the same irrelevant document. Gets a vague idea that there is a train and bus connection at 9.30pm and finally decides to telephone someone. The woman he talks top does not recognise his pronunciation of his chosen destination, to her there is no such place. He tries to spell it out to her, but still no such place. He ends up talking to head office, of something,but they have no idea what trains run or when.

Meanwhile Electron has done his own checking and it turns out that there is a train at 9.30 and Quark is finally dispatched from the shed at 9.05 to go to the station.
All the while, Strangeness has been getting progressively more drunk on the brandy he had consumed some 2 and a half hours ago. He is now becoming very abusive to his mother. Accusing her of sleeping all day. This coming from someone who had only awakened some 3 hours ago. He gets nastier and nastier. The take away curry has arrived but he is no longer bothered. He states that there are only 3 curries in the world; mild medium and hot. What have the Indians done for the world? Look at these stupid foreign people on the TV etc. etc, the white supremacist getting into full swing. No wonder he gets beaten up whenever he goes out to a pub.

Whilst he harangues his mother, Electron tries to gesture to her with walking fingers that her son has to get out. But before she sees this, Strangeness himself decides he no longer wants to stay and gets up to leave of his own accord. He is forced to take the unwanted curry with him as he staggers out of the door.
Proton and Electron are left in peace to eat their curry and ponder on what had happened. (It turns out later that he had decided to drink a bottle of spirit when he went to get wine and hence the inordinate drunkenness). The celebratory meal is quite miserable.
At 15 minutes past midnight the phone rings. Quark is back at the local train station. He says he got the train but it arrived too late to catch the bus connection so he got off his train walked across the platform and caught the next train home. The train home left at the same time that his bus connection was due to depart so there is a hint of untruth here.
Quark is requesting somewhere to stay, it is dark, he has nowhere to go, blah, blah, blah.
Whilst Proton tries to listen to Quarks nonsense Electron rants and shouts toward’s the mouthpiece.
Junkie C***
F*** off you F****** Junkie.
You have plenty of places to go at all times of the night when you have some money.
I Don’t care, F*** off you 36 year old Junkie C***, go and see your junkie mates.
Not really helpful, but Electron find it helps him.

Welcome Home Electron. Normality has been restored.

Christmas is lurking in the shadows…………


Junkie Graduation



Like the forensic expert, Electron and Charm also don’t believe it necessary to see Quark. Ever again.

“I’ve been thinking about why he asked me if my brother takes drugs”, says Charm.
“when I was in the Lounge I noticed a needle cover on the floor, you know one of those plastic things. I realised that it was from Strangeness’s vape making equipment, he used to make it in that room.”
That makes sense to all of them. But to Proton this exonerates Quark of any needle use, the hypodermics that Charm found in his room were also for vape making. Admittedly Quark did have vape making equipment briefly but has returned to cigarettes. Electron points out that hypodermic and vape “needles” are totally different. The former is sharp, hence the name sharps, whereas the latter are flat tipped and of a larger diameter. But Proton will not have his, she does not want to believe the truth. Electron despairs.

2 days later, Quark turns up at the Shed door to see Proton. He has to collect a letter informing him of a medical assessment appointment he needs to attend to determine his benefits. He is not allowed to cross the threshold.
Clearly addled, the pitch of his voice going up and down as he shout speaks to his mother standing in the hallway. Surreptitiously Charm and Electron listen at the inner door as Quark spouts his bullshit.

“ I haven’t had my subutex for 4 days now and I feel a lot better” (Trans: He didn’t attend his drug rehab appointment, they have stopped his supply)
“ Yeah, I,m a bit stoned, I had a little joint on the way over, wish I hadn’t” (Trans: You are okay with me smoking dope so this will explain why I am acting weirdly. Nothing to do with amphetamines, heroin or legal highs).

“No I didn’t get the urine test result yet” (Trans: he didn’t attend)

(When originally informed of the urine test ,Proton was really happy about the idea, it was like he was getting some sort of qualification.
Until Electron interjected that “Perhaps he could be photographed with it rolled up to form a scroll and we could get him to wear a mortar board and hang the photo on the wall. We could be so proud.”)

“Weapons! They are for when I’m out building yurts, like when I was in Wigwag Warren”

“ Yeah, I’m getting it together, Dad’s getting me a passport, the Mexico plan is still on” (Trans: Dad has not got himself together enough to get a passport).

He finishes by saying, “ Why doesn’t Electron talk to me, I wish Electron would talk to me”

Electron thinks, “I would talk to Quark if he were ever in a fit state of comprehension. He never is. But then, I’ve only known him 23 years.”
Proton gives Quark 2 Creme Eggs as he is looking thin and with that he walks away into the early evening. Charm and Electron quietly dart back into the kitchen before Proton’s return.

5 hours later they receive a call from Gluon, Quark has once again lost his phone as he was falling out of a car, stationary one assumes, she has lent him another and is passing on his latest contact number. He left the shed and immediately went into town to meet a Heroin addict friend who looks out for a homeless junkie. During this time Quark apparently stopped breathing and they took the opportunity of relieving him of £45 worth of drugs. But Gluon knows that he has bags of amphetamines and other drugs stored at her house so will not go short. Quark started breathing again and is now at another friends house.
Gluon says she is worried about his mental state, he can no longer hold a cup of tea and we all know how much he likes tea (cf: August 2014 post). He can’t concentrate for even a minute. He refused to watch a film that he has seen before because he believed that all of the characters had been replaced with different actors.
And then Neb#45 comes on the phone!
Turns out that he and Gluon are friends. He is worried about Quark, has been looking out for him but can no longer take him home for the occasional meal as his behavior is too outlandish.He thinks this has been getting worse and worse over the last 6 months and that soon Quark will have no one to turn to. He is being blanked by nearly everyone he knows. Neb#45 says that he has been to too many funerals recently and doesn’t want to go to Quarks. But he also doesn’t know what to do apart from getting Quark sectioned. He and Gluon are going to try to get Quark to a GP and then take it from there.

Throughout all this, Proton is strangely calm, her legal pain killing drugs must be helping in this.

There are now more pressing things to attend to, Charm and Proton must look for temporary accommodation whilst the Insurance Company repair her house.

They can both see that Electron needs a break……….before he snaps.


26 April – Electron returns to his stressful job for a break from all of the stress, but first stops off at the local Drug Support Centre, which Quark apparently attends weekly. He is not quite sure why he is there but feels the need to offload his pent up anger on someone outside of the family.
A support worker listens as he spills out his rage. She is told of the drug dealing/manufacturing, the extreme misuse, the various people turning up at the local shop asking about Quarks whereabouts, of the weapons discovered in Quarks room (2 swords a hatchet and a scythe), of Quarks collapsing and of course the fire. Her only response is that Quark is due to attend an appointment the next day and that they will take on board what has been said. He pushes her on the possibility of sectioning but is told that it is very difficult to get someone sectioned and that it is ”not like the old days”. As an ex drug user she seems pleased at this.
As he is escorted out of the building she states that they have a police unit affiliated with them in an office upstairs and they may be interested in the weapons aspect. Implying that everything else is of no interest whatsoever.

On returning home from work, Electron is angered to find Quark standing in his kitchen.
“He is just leaving” says Charm.
“Damn right he is “ replies Electron, ignoring Quark as he shuffles out of the shed.

“You know he is banned from here”
“Yes but I had to talk to him”
“We had a long talk and he has explained a lot of things. The babbling that AntiQuark heard was him trying to pronounce the name of a friend of his, it’s an African sounding name, so he wasn’t rambling. Its quite funny really.”
Electron manages to bite his tongue
“ He is happy staying at Gluon’s and is looking to get a passport. He’s going to the drug support place tomorrow and is looking to go into rehab. He swears that he is not on H, all the needles Charm found in his room during the clean up belonged to a friend of his who he let jack up. He accepts that this was wrong. He will be given a urine test to prove he is H free and is looking forward to getting a print out of the test result to prove this to everyone.”

Sadly, Proton believes all of this. She is a doting Mother.

29 April – Quark has been informed that the forensic man is turning up at noon and that he is required to answer some questions.
Proton Electron and Charm all turn up at the house at the appointed time but there is no sign of Quark. This may have something to do with the fact that in her text to Quark, Charm stated that he needed to meet the Arson man not the forensic expert. But really, they all knew that he had no intention of appearing.
The Forensic guy dons his sturdy boots and anti flash protective overalls before he enters the house. Everyone else in the house is dressed in normal attire.
He investigates the room, places what is left of the sofa back in its original position, the towel driers are positioned back on the radiator, he can see where they were positioned as the radiator is unscorched where they were attached. Next to the charred remains of a towel, the upturned table lamp is righted in its position on the floor behind the sofa and beneath the towel rail. It all becomes clear.
He leaves the lounge taking the lamp and flex with him for testing, he believes it may be faulty and will complete his report at a service station stop on his way home. He does not believe it will be necessary to see Quark.
Before departing he takes Charm aside and asks,”Does your brother use drugs”.
“No she replies”.