So, the rooms we live in are provided by the charity we work for, the rent is very reasonable. they do keep nagging us though. about smoking pot in them. “please smoke your joints outside?” they keep asking, “that’s our property and we are legally liable”. of course, they have a good point, and of course, we ignore them and keep puffing away like octogenarian grannies on a the 25th mile of a marathon. thing is, the job is stressful, all that bum-wiping, and lifting, and bed-sores, and feeding, and death, and boredom and stair climbing, and caring. you need an outlet and weed was ours. well, that and e, and acid, and ska, and football hooliganism, and speed and uk surf: a genre of music that has sadly not survived.
eventually the bosses do what they got to and call the fuzz. i’m watching the box in the communal area and supping on a pint of shepherd neame, when i see four burly looking blokes and a german sheppard stop outside my room. i know instantly what has happened, and rather than panic, i get up and walk calmly into my fate of being a homeless and jobless criminal. i even manage a smile.
i lead them into my room and just point to the weed on the table next to the bong. they say “all very well and good sir,” all of them staring at my sorry little bag of grass, “but we will need you to strip.” so, i go through the humiliation of a strip-search (wishing that there had been at least one wpc there, to see my dong), and then they let the dog have a good sniff around. she is well trained and loves me, or at least how i smell. there is no other puff in my room and the only point that grabs her attention is my laundry basket. there are socks in there that, if you threw them at the wall, would stick to it, and the cops ask if i have anything in there.
“not that i know of.” i lie, knowing that the cop will have to rummage, very thoroughly through them all.
As they take me to the cop shop i think of doug.
doug and i have rooms next to each other, we smoke a lot of weed together. we score from the same geezer, every thursday, on payday. just like we did today. only difference between us is that i cycle and he walks or grabs a bus. i always get home quicker. he was just arriving, as i was leaving, which means… he’s like half an hour away. he ain’t back yet. there may well be a chance for him to avoid getting busted, if only i can get hold of him before he gets home.
the cops aren’t rough with me or anything, after all, they have what they want, and we almost have a laugh together. all the time i’m thinking of doug. “am i allowed a phone call?” i ask.
“sure.” they smile, “who do you want to call?” i tell them it’s my mate doug. “come with us.” they beckon, and i follow, assuming they are taking me to a telephone. all i wanna say to him is
‘get out of the fucking house man! the pigs are coming!’ they lead me into a room where i see doug, sat, being interviewed by two other cops.
“here is is”, says one cop, “what do you want to say to him?”
“get out of the fucking house man!” i say, “the pigs are coming!”
At first, she is irritated by the idea: just a pointless photo shoot, with some dumbass military medics – but it will highlight the work she is trying to do, help promote her charity and let more of the world see how awful the suffering in these war zones actually is, so she goes along with it.
When she meets them, her mind sways a little, these guys have been through some tough times together and the bonds they have formed seem deep and real. They joke amongst themselves in a way that she has rarely seen before and she sees real familial ties between them.
They are all from a Scottish unit, and are dressed only in their kilts. She thinks this a bit cheap but they all have wonderful, battle hardened bodies, not what you would call muscle men at all, but well defined, well worked chests and arms and backs. They glisten slightly in the afternoon heat, and she finds herself staring at their sun bronzed torsos. These men have seen action and sadness, known love and fear and bravery and heartbreak.
They greet her with a series of grins. They lift her effortlessly into the air for some shots and call her Ma’am or Miss. They hug each other and laugh and punch each other playfully all the time and she senses a deep brotherhood.
During one shot she feels a little twitch behind her, tickling her buttocks and lower back and looks around, and down, the guy behind her is getting an erection. She glares at him angrily and he blushes through a delightfully cheeky smile, tries to whisper ‘sorry’. she glares even harder, shooting him a look of real scorn, but she stays where she is, feeling him swell against her, she even leans back gently into it at some points.
Something flickers in a corner of her vision and she glances its way, a sporran bounces playfully. “My God,” she thinks, “he’s getting one too!” She almost doesn’t dare look at any of the others but cannot help herself, and everywhere she looks she sees rising cloth and flickering sporrans. “Are they all getting stiff? she wonders excitedly as her eyes dart around her. They are. Apparently, they have all been on active duty and most of them haven’t even seen a woman for months. Little thrills run up and down her imagination and her body.
“Okay” shouts the one that seems to be in charge, “That’s it for today.” and then, “We need one or two volunteers to escort our young lady back to her quarters.” All of them thrust their hands eagerly into the air. “Er, up to you then ma’am?” says the boss and she turns round to the man behind her, the one with the cheeky grin. “Him.” she says with slightly less hesitation than she’d hoped. On the way to the jeep, she turns back, points again, “and maybe him too.”