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.

Burning Bridges

taxi

Arriving at work Electron is informed that a Mr Strangename has asked to be called back. He does not know Mr Strangename so ignores his request. He calls again and reluctantly Electron accepts the call. It is AntiQuark,  a close friend of Charm and Quark, who says they need to talk later to finalise THE PLAN.
They meet in the park and Electron is informed of behavior that had been thus far unbeknown to him:

  • Quark has been borrowing money from AntiQuark but never paid any back.
  • Various packages have been arriving at AntiQuark’s and other addresses around town. All for Quark although the names on the packages were never his name, sometimes anagrams of his name, sometimes not, sometimes male, sometimes female. AntiQuark believes that these packages contain legal highs or other chemicals .It seems that Quark has plans of manufacturing his own drugs. A notebook discovered in Proton’s lounge confirms this; website addresses and lists of various pharmaceuticals together with prices, £80 here, £250 there,  £950 on 1st April alone. April fool ? Where is he getting such sums of money?
    The notebook also contains a list of his books together with prices, presumably for sale but this does not correspond with his outlay.
    His free money handout amounts to less than £100 a week and they all know what he spends that on.
  • Quark has been taken to hospital on several occasions having been found unconscious in the street (park) he is then returned to Proton’s house. He treats Ambulances as Taxis.
  • He has been having many junkie “friends” around to the house.
  • He seems to be dealing. Hence the smiley face sign in his mothers lounge window, a known code to those in the know, that the drugs are available, the sign is taken down when they are not.
  • At least one person has overdosed in his mothers kitchen – the junkie was dragged outside and recovered – no ambulance was called, either for him or Quark.

All of this  happened when Strangeness was still sharing the house with Quark but he did not think to inform his mother lest it upset her. But in the end it all got too much even for him and that is why he fled to his grans.

secret-meeting

It is agreed that THE PLAN must be carried out on 21 April, a few days hence,and that it would be best to keep this information from Proton. She is of the belief that Quark has until 1st July but they cannot wait that long. The house is going downhill fast and god knows what it will be like after another 2 months.


The days pass and Charm continues to tidy the house whilst Quark continues to take whatever he can get his hands on in the way of chemicals. She is now assisted by AntiQuark who has made it clear to Quark that anything he has not packed come 21st April will be taken to the dump. Quark does not seem bothered, remaining in his room consuming chemicals.


Eviction Eve arrives. Quarks rucksack is in the hall awaiting his departure. Charm and AntiQuark are in the large bedroom on the first floor ready for the final push on the morrow. Quark has locked himself in the lounge having been belligerent to everyone and no doubt feeling persecuted. He has made no attempt to tidy up or pack despite saying that he has arranged storage for his belongings (mostly broken electrical equipment or things discovered in skips during his night time raids. He has continued to do this in the past few weeks despite his imminent eviction). One more evening to go………

A Very British Ninja

Charm contacts Strangeness and finds that he has for once ventured out of his grandmothers house to go into town for the evening. He is at a nice bohemian bar and deep in conversation with a new found friend. Male or female is not disclosed but he sounds happy. However it is still early, they are all aware of what usually happens when Strangeness goes out for the evening.
The next day Grandmother calls to inform everyone that Strangeness did not get home until 4am. He was in a bad way having been beaten up again.
Strangeness has a superiority complex which means that he ultimately treats everyone with disdain, when drunk this tips over into anger and the slightest suggestion of confrontation can result in violence. He starts to think that people are looking at him in a “funny way”, not really surprising for a 40 year old goth with the diction of an 18th century gentleman.
The problem is that Strangeness is interested in martial arts and the ancient Chinese philosophy of warfare. When things kick off he is so busy posturing in preparedness for his oriental style fight, that his opponent(s) adopt the British style.
They kick the shit out of him.

brit-ninja

Strangeness has lost his spectacles, has two black eyes and has either bruised or fractured his coccyx. His grandmother advised him to go to A & E but as a nihilist this is one of the many organisations that he does not believe in. Lawyers, banks, doctors, employment…..the list goes on.
The days pass with Strangeness hobbling around his grandmothers house using her crutches. He is over 6 feet tall whereas she is under 5 feet tall. Despite a public school education he is unable to work out how to adjust the height of the crutches so walks around with limited eyesight groaning bent double leaning on the two tiny sticks. It must look hilarious and pathetic at the same time.

The Plan

Amazingly Charm has taken notice of Electron’s outburst and has begun setting a plan into action.
Quark has been given notice to quit.He is to get out of the house by the 1st July deadline set by Electron. Charm has promised to help him get his own accommodation if that is what he wants. But now it appears that Quarks plans have changed, he doesn’t want a flat, he wants to go and live in Mexico.
He no longer has a passport.

Charm leaves her grans house to come and stay in Proton’s house for the duration to help Quark tidy up and pack in readiness for his departure. Ever afraid of hard work, Strangeness remains behind.

After a few days away, Charm is angry to find that Strangeness has commandeered her bed in her grandmothers house.
“Yes “ says Proton “and you are using my bed in my house”.
“And you are in my bed” Electron points out to Proton.
Like a warped version of Goldilocks and the three bears, Quarks behavior has ousted each and everyone of them into different beds.
For the first time in months they all laugh.

3-bears

THE DAM BURSTS!

4 April 2016

 The structure of “conversation “ with Proton is always the same. Someone will state an opinion  and she will respond, “Yeah but….” It is as if she can never agree with another persons point of view. She always has to take a contrary stance. You could say to her that the sky was blue and she would find a way to negate this. A number of years ago there was a notorious child killer all over the news, it was an open and shut case. Everyone thought that she was guilty. Yeah but, both Proton and her mother thought it could have been someone else… Maybe the butler…. Who did not exist.

THE CHILD KILLER WAS UNANIMOUSLY FOUND GUILTY.

Charm rings to say she is coming to visit and sort things out at Protons house. “When?” asks Proton.                                                         “I’m on my way, be there in about an hour”. Charm arrives, the problems with Quark are discussed. She knows. Unbeknown to them she has been dropping down occasionally for some time and has seen the state of the house.                                    She asks if the lights in the house have been fixed..

“What about the lights?” “They are all out and it isn’t the fuse this time, they have been out for about 6 weeks. Both Quark and Strangeness said that they had told you”                                          They hadn’t.

Electron is asked if he will go around to fix it. He reluctantly agrees to do so but insists that Quark leaves the house before he will enter as otherwise he will not be responsible for his actions.

Quark is called and eventually answers.He does not want to go out as he is cleaning but eventually agrees to do so. He is given 30 minutes to leave and Charm and Electron set off. They arrive, put the key in the door, it does not turn. He is still inside with the key in the   lock.Propped up in the centre of the living room window is a sign of a smiley face saying  “Sex in the street” FFS Charm batters on the door while Electron sits around the corner in the car…away from Quark. Eventually Charm is let in. Reluctantly Quark leaves, no doubt for the park. Electron sets about mending the electrics in the house. Quark had stated that it was definitely not the fuse.It was the fuse. A few lights come on but on closer inspection most of the other fittings have been relieved  of their bulbs and for some reason their lampshades. The store of light bulbs in the under  stair cupboard no longer contains light bulbs.

With nothing more to be done, Charm and Electron return to the shed.  On reporting to Proton, her main concern seems to be for the light bulbs.

“We must buy some and fit them. We can’t have Quark wandering around in the dark” “If he wants light he can buy some bulbs”says Electron.        “Yeah but……..” begins Proton.                                               “NO YEAH BUT!” screams Electron.

The flood gates open:

If he didn’t spend every penny on drugs he could afford to buy a light bulb, he is a junkie c***, he doesn’t give a sh** about anyone or anything, and you just let him get away with it all because he is vulnerable or sad or you are not feeling very well or lets not upset anyone or lets not confront anything, or or or or yeah but, yeah but there is always an excuse to maintain the status quo.

And then the bombshell….

IT HAS GOT TO STOP!

If he is not out of your house by the 1st of July, you are going back to live in your house  whatever state it is in and I am washing my hands of your entire family!

dinner party vom

Both Proton and Charm are in stunned silence until Proton decides to break this with…..

“Yeah but……….!”

A Cat Diversion

CAT DIVERSION 3

Meanwhile the Cat has become a fixture.

Choosing to turn up night and daily in return for food and the occasional chin rub before  buggering off again.

Proton decides that she “loves” Cat and begins to treat him as one of her children, God help  him, he already has a catnip addiction.

Cat now has HIS bed, HIS light, HIS Door, and Electron is dispatched to ensure that these  things are either plumped up, on, or open, just in case Cat returns. If Cat does not return, Electron is sent out to look for him.

With unkempt hair and wearing slippers and pyjama bottoms Electron scours the back  alleys as he tentatively calls out into the darkness for someone called “Big Jessie!” Eventually the tinkling of a bell will be heard and Cat will appear at Electrons side for  the walk back home with only the occasional pause to inspect the underside of cars.  Walking with Cat makes Electron happy it brings out his caring side and gives him  a sense of control. As much control as one can have over a cat.

Protons eyes light up when Cat re-appears, she makes up songs and sings to Cat,  invariably Cat ignores her. But no matter, whatever the situation in the house;  tension, stress, arguments, all these disappear on Cats arrival.

As the months pass, Cat, now sure in the knowledge that he has a home, turns up as and  when he pleases. He stays for less time, just enough time to eat HIS food and HIS milk.

Electron points out that this is costing him a small fortune for what is basically a sentient  ornament that keeps disappearing. Mimicking Electrons question when Cat first began to make regular visits, Proton asks; “What is point of Cat?”

Electron ponders his own question and replies……………”Joy”.

 

cat alley

 

 

 

 

SUSPICION V GULLIBILITY

 22 March

Q SAINT SINNER

What has been going on whilst Quark has been in the house entirely alone is open to speculation. Why the large wooden cupboard in the hall? Electron thinks it may be there as a blockade to the front door.  Why the incessant unanswered phone calls, drug debt demands?

But to Proton this is all perfectly understandable.  Apparently Quark stated the cupboard is for his new place when he moves out (hilarious).  Later he  said that it was  a project he was going to do up for Charm (who also does not have her own place).  Proton also believes that Quark did not answer the phone because he wanted to    answer it  in private (but why?). Who was calling so urgently?

Suspicious Electron, Gullible Proton, the truth is probably somewhere in between.

2 weeks pass by, both Proton and Electron have been felled by a vicious virus.  It gets so bad for Proton that she needs to collect her ventilator from her house.  Again she phones to warn Quark that she may be coming over.  She believes he sounds together.  After a few hours she phones again and is informed that the ventilator is nowhere  to be found.

“How do you know that? It is in my bedroom and that is padlocked closed.” “Ah”, replies Quark, “I had to break in on my birthday.”

(Quark regularly does this in order to steal from her stash of cigarettes,  £200 pounds worth last time before said stash was rescued to the shed.  She also has a rucksack full of painkillers that have been prescribed over the years.  Naively Proton believes these drugs hold no interest to Quark as they are past there use by date).

As ever Quark is ready with a reason for breaking in….                                                              “I had a friend around on my birthday and he brought a friend with him who swore  was okay.”                                                                                                 “And………?” prompts Proton.   “And it got a bit out of hand and his friend punched me in the face. I had not put all  the phones back in their chargers so when I wanted to use them they didn’t work.  So I had to use the one in your room.”

“Oh god, why did he hit you?” asks Proton already distracted, “At least you are okay.  So you cannot find my ventilator?”The interrogation now totally abandoned. “No its definitely not here.”                                                         “Okay, thanks Quark, love you, bye.” “Sounds to me that Quark definitely does not want you to see what’s going on   in your house, ” says Electron.

GOLLUM RAID 3

 

“No he is just being helpful”, she replies.

“Looking after” the house.

8 March 2016.

Since coming out of hospital in September, Proton has been living in the shed. But it had to happen sooner or later, she would have to visit her house.

Strangeness and Quark had been asked on several occasions as to whether they were keeping on top of things and both assured her that they were keeping the place tidy.

Recently Strangeness had managed to get a free journey to visit Charm and their grandmother in the country. It takes a lot to get Strangeness to wake up and move and when he does he stays put wherever he stops. So after 2 weeks he is still asleep at his grandmothers, leaving Quark alone to his own devices.

Spring is in the air so Proton & Electron decide to move some of her winter bedding (all those cushions!) back to her house. Proton rings her house to warn Quark of her imminent appearance , the car is loaded up to the gunnels and the two of them set off.

gollum Q1On arrival they cannot turn the key in the front door. This means Quark has left his keys in the lock on the inside. Proton rings the doorbell and shouts through the letter box. No response. The phone inside is ringing incessantly. Electron begins to hammer hard on the door then looks through the window into the living room. The room is piled high with speakers and electrical equipment and then suddenly Quark appears at the window. He deigns to let them in.

The door opens and it is obvious that he is totally out of it, looks like he hasn’t eaten for days and has difficulty in forming coherent sentences. He looks like Gollum. In the centre of the hallway is a large ancient wooden cupboard unit blocking access to the rest of the house. For fucks sake Quark! shouts Electron, yeah for fargggs sayg repeats Quark sarcastically. At the top of the stairs is a wicker chair that doesn’t belong to the house teetering on the edge of the flight. Further investigation beyond the chair indicates that tiles have fallen off of the bathroom wall, these of course have been left where they fell …….. in the bath.

Cigarette/joint butts litter the floor throughout. The kitchen of course is piled high with dirty dishes and welded on food. The recently purchased brand new cooker looks about 20 years old. There is a plastic bag of what were once frozen chips on the table. Uncooked. Quark makes some space on a dining chair for Proton. She sits down and weeps inconsolably.

The phone still unanswered finally stops ringing.

Quark begins to apologise for the mess but says he cannot understand why it is so bad. He swears that it was fine when Proton spoke to him on the phone 2 hours earlier. Apparently this has all happened since then.

The phone begins to ring again,”Why won’t you answer the phone!” Proton shrieks. “Not now”, he replies and runs out of the house.

He returns 20minutes later and sits down next to Proton now on the garden bench outside the front of her house, leans back and almost overturns the two of them onto the concrete behind. “For fucks sake Quark! I have fractured vertebrae in my back I don’t want another one!”

Still incoherent, Quark is instructed that the house must be cleaned and tidied from top to bottom and that they will revisit in a few weeks time to inspect the place. If Quark were a tenant he would be in the process of being evicted.

Proton and Electron cannot wait to leave, as they do so, the phone begins to ring again.

Quark disappears back inside the rapidly degenerating house.

Christmas Plans

Wednesday 23rd December

alc drug free

The stench of Protons house is still exuding from the reclining swivel chair which now resides in Electrons living room.

Charm has returned to her Grandmother and there has been no sign of the “boys”.
Both have been invited to stay with grandmother for Xmas and Proton wants to find out if this is what will be happening.
She calls her house but there is no reply. She calls Quarks mobile but there is no reply. She calls Charm.

“Hello mum. No I don’t know if they are coming for Xmas. Strangeness is still away in the country. I can’t get hold of Quark either. I gave him a new sim as he had broken the old one but he doesn’t appear to have used it.”

Ending the phone call Proton states “We must go over there”.
“Why”.
“Something could have happened to him”.
“He is probably high as a kite somewhere”
“Please take me to my house”.

No point in arguing.

They arrive at the house.
There is an upturned coffee table leaning against the outside wall next to the front door, through the lounge window they can see Strangeness playing video games.
They enter the still  reeking house.
“Hello!” shouts Proton.
A very stoned Strangeness comes out of the living room.
“Have you been here long”
“Not long”
“Where is Quark?”
“Dunno”
“”Quick, check his room for me”
Strangeness shrugs and ambles upstairs to the black hole that is Quarks room.
“Not here” he reports.

Foolishly Proton enters the kitchen.
“Strangeness! Please can you do something about this mess.”
It is obvious that Quark stopped cleaning as soon as they had left the house a few days earlier.

Proton informs Strangeness that it is no good him and Quark blaming each other for the mess and thus nothing happening.
Strangeness mutters in agreement. She also informs him that there will be no Christmas money for either of them this year.
“I don’t want you spending it on booze and getting drunk and fighting with Quark like last year. And I don’t want Quark spending it on drugs”.
“Ummmm. OK”.

At last a semblance of confronting the facts by Proton.

Strangeness states that he cannot be bothered with christmas so will not be visiting his grandmother. Probably just sleep through it.

It later transpires that Quark was intending to visit his gran. A friend of Charm had arranged to drive him. But first Quark had to visit a “friend” on the outskirts of town near where Strangeness has his unlived in flat. Quark entered the “friends” house. After 45 minutes he had not returned so Charms friend drove off without him.

Christmas came and went uneventfully. Now we just have to hope the same for New Years eve.

The chair in the living room still stinks.