Bad Choices

bad-choices-2

3 Jan 2017

A post Christmas poem:

For the first time in years the Christmas event proved uneventful.

Quark remained at his grandmothers with Charm.

Strangeness mostly slept through, and kept out of harm.

Even Proton, now teetotal, managed to not go mental.



First Monday of the year, late evening, Quark phones, he is back in town ostensibly to get his teeth sorted out. Electron brought back 5 cartons of cheap fags for grandmother and Quark intends to come over tomorrow and take these back to her.

On Tuesday he duly turns up.

“Did you get your teeth sorted out?” asks Electron.

“No, The dentist near Grans is taking on new patient’s so I will get it done there”

So the reason for his return is immediately proven to be a lie. The first of the day.

He sits at the kitchen table, head lolling, says he is tired as the heroin addict with whom he was staying had visitors last night. Quark could not get to sleep. Proton believes this. Electron aware that it was also Quarks free drug money hand out night does not believe this.

Electron does not think Quark can be trusted to deliver the cigarette cartons to his gran, and tries to whisper this to Proton whilst she is in the bedroom fetching them. But Proton will not play the game;

WHAT IS IT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” She says loudly, as if she wants Quark to know.

Proton eventually gets the point, but instead of making a decision herself she consults her mother;

“Do you want Quark to bring all of your fags back with him today? He is a bit tired, you know he tends to fall asleep on trains.” (cf “A Welcome Break)

Her 87 year old mother is supposed to be able to interpret this as , “Quark is totally out of it so say no and we will get Charm to collect them in 2 days time”. But of course she doesn’t do this she says;

“Yes please, all 5 cartons”.

For some reason Quark has turned up with bags full of heavy vegetables for his return journey and it is decided that 5 cartons is too much to carry so he will take only 2 (at a value of £200).With the railway station some 30 minutes away, Quark leaves 25 minutes before his planned train departure saying that he must first drop in to his heroin friends place en route.It is looking highly unlikely that the train will be caught, if indeed that was ever the plan.

Charm telephones 3 hours later saying that Quark has not turned up.

Electron talks to Charm and asks about the recent reports of Quarks sobriety. Yes, he has been helpful but has been sleeping a lot. No, no money has been forthcoming for his upkeep, in fact he owes money to both Charm and her Gran. Electrons talk, turns into a rant….

“It’s the standard behaviour all over again! Getting his money every Monday fortnight, drug binge time, run out of money, lay low and sleep, followed by a quick burst of activity before the money turns up again. He has just replaced his mums place for his grans. There is no way he should have been given those fags, they are worth a lot on the black market. Oh, and I hear from your mum that you accept that it is your fault that the house burnt down because you gave Quark the lamp.”

This is news to Charm. She claims that no such statement was ever made by her.

2 hours later, she calls again to inform them that Quark has called from a telephone box in the street adjacent to the shed to say that he missed all of the trains that evening and will attempt to travel again tomorrow. He claims that the 2 cartons of cigarettes are safe.

Only time will tell if this, for once, is the truth.

 

The Ungraspable Concept of Giving

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!
Aaaaaargggghhhh!!!!!!

Loopholes, Shmoopholes

insurance-loophole

A loss adjuster turns up to assess the damage.
He attempts to ask Proton a few questions, but as listening is not her strong point she begins to harangue him with demands for a nice apartment to move into and wants to know how much of her house will be replenished at their expense.

Suddenly, mid questioning, there is a load crash from upstairs. It sounds as if it came from Quarks room, both Electron and Charm leap to their feet and run to investigate. It must be obvious to the adjuster that they are fearful of something as they return to inform him and Proton that it was just a piece of timber wedging the window shut that had fallen to the floor.

After some 90 minutes the insurance man is nearing the end of his questions and no doubt his tether. He has noticed that the kitchen window is also secured by some makeshift pieces of timber. There is just one thing he does not quite understand;
“I’m still not sure who is actually living here?”

All the while, Proton has gone out of her way to avoid saying that Quark was resident, she kept implying that he was temporary and that Strangeness had his own Flat.
“ Quark has been living here for 2 years!” Electron clarifies as Proton glares at him.

Satisfied, the adjuster begins to inspect the living room. He is sure that he is dealing with a fire , this guy is good, but is unsure of the cause.
He returns to the kitchen and begins to discuss other claims he has dealt with. He concentrates on cases where actions have deliberately caused a fire and states how even if this is the case, the insured person is still entitled to HALF payment of their claim.
He then states that he will call in a forensic expert to ascertain what has happened and that her claim will be settled as soon as possible after that.
Just as he is leaving he turns to say;
“I expect Quark to attend when the forensic expert calls.”

loophole

Ominous.

Afterburn

22 April -the clearance of the house continues.

The house is securedburnt-house-2 against Quark, windows are boarded up, doors barricaded, there is no way that Quark will be getting back into this house. At 4pm the doorbell rings and Charm goes to open the door.
In walks Quark!

Despite saying that he had somewhere to stay he claims to have been walking the streets since leaving the house, but no pity is forthcoming. He is chaperoned around the house as he attempts to collect a few items only to find that those items have been dumped. This angers him but it is not as if he had not been warned.He leaves empty rucksacked.

23 – 25 April – Proton & Electron are in the shed with Charm. She can no longer sleep in the house as she has developed a smoke induced cough.
Throughout the weekend Charm contacts various acquaintances of Quark to see if they can put him up. Eventually Gluon steps up to the plate and agrees that she will put a roof over his head temporarily.
In the course of her quest Charm has discovered just how bad things have gotten with Quark:
He has ostracised all of those close to him, even hardened drug users and junkies find his misuse too much to handle. Added to which he seems to have crossed or ripped off some very dangerous people. His drug taking is seen as out of control. The general consensus seems to be that Quark needs to be sectioned for his own good.. But how?

Meson, awaking from his drug induced slumber in some New York shithole is informed of his sons behavior and even he believes this to be a good idea, but in the meantime states that he will start to extradite a passport for Quark. Thus enabling him to travel to the United States and thence to Mexico to visit a shaman where he can get to know more about hallucinogens. Great idea. NOT!

qmex

Meanwhile there are more pressing things to attend to; Insurance claims, temporary accommodation, building work…….

 

THE DAY ARRIVES

21 April 2016

burning

BrrrNNNggg BBrrrNNggg BBrrnnnGGGG BrrrrNGGGGGG.

Urghhh …. 8 am, what the…….  Electron drags himself out of the bed to answer the phone.
It is Charm:

“There has been an incident”
“What’s happened, Whats happened?” shouts Proton hobbling from the bed.
“ We have had a fire!”
“Is everyone OK” asks Electron.
“ Yes we are all okay but you will need to get around here”
“ The lounge is destroyed”
“Wheres Quark?” Proton instructs Electron to ask.
“ Gone upstairs to his room”

Electron is hastily dispatched to the house.
The lounge is indeed destroyed.Electron cannot help but look at the ceiling, his ceiling only recently reinstated at great expense. The sofa is almost burnt in half, The wall and radiator behind are black and peeling. The TV set has begun to melt. The floorboards beneath the sofa are like remnant cinders from an open fire. The bay window is shattered. The Victorian door is smashed through where the firemen needed to gain access.

A smell of rancid smoke fills the house.

So what happened?
AntiQuark narrates the course of events:
Luckily I didn’t get much sleep. The bloody phone was ringing all night long, I finally got up at must have been 4 am and ripped the phone line out of the wall and returned to bed. I then smelt smoke about an hour later and got up to investigate. Then the alarms all went off. Quark was coming from the kitchen with the fire extinguisher but the idiot had shut the door behind him. It was deadlocked. I could see the orange glow within the room but Quark was of the opinion that there was no need to call the emergency services. Resisting the urge to batter him I pushed him out of the way and got my mobile out. Fortunately the fire brigade were very quick, they said another 5 minutes and the first floor would have gone up in flames.

Anyway we have got things to do, he is still leaving today.

They busy themselves clearing the house. AntiQuark makes eleven journeys to the local dump. Electron changes the lock on the front door.
All the while Quark is in his room upstairs, when last seen by Charm he was busy snorting 3 different coloured lines of chemicals off a piece of card.

And then he is gone. Left of his own accord….for now.

Charm, AntiQuark and Electron all stand in the hallway. Along with the smoke, there is something unspoken hanging in the air.

It’s all a bit coincidental, opines Electron.

Mmmmmm, the other two concur.