Apathy in the Sky

The old geezer next door has been banging on the wall all night and I ain’t slept a wink.  I ain’t sure what’s wrong with the geezer but there’s somethin’ definitely wrong with his nut.  I wanna knock on the door but he just shouts at people, I ain’t got no time for any of that game.  They lock him up that mental health hospital every now and again, hopefully he’ll be off there again soon.  Ain’t as bad as that other geezer that lives next to him though, he knocks his missus about all the time, poor girl, but what can I do?  He’ll kill me if I try and stop him.  Just gotta get on with it, you know what I mean?  Can’t go interfering in people’s lives.

I always thought it was mad that they built these places.  Back then they had everything that we didn’t have before, heating and hot water, rubbish chutes.  Thing is they’re all ugly.  Everyone lives on top of each other too.  It’s alright for all these people living out in Surrey and all them places, big house, garden, nice motor, they weren’t ever gonna live here.  Streets in the sky they called them.  I did like it back then, things changed though.  All these dodgy people started moving in here.  The police wouldn’t come around either.  It’s like they just left us to it.  I lived with the wife back then, she always said we should get out but how could I get out? I didn’t have any money.

Now I ain’t even got a job.  I’ve gotta go and sign on in the job centre every week, get patronised by some woman that thinks she’s better than you.  You know what I mean?  Talks like she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, that’s what they don’t understand, they don’t understand us.  How am I supposed to tell someone who ain’t got a clue about my life that I ain’t got a job because I can’t really read or write, that I live in a flat where the nutter next door bangs on the wall all night and there’s another nutter battering his wife next door to him.  You think living in that kind of environment motivates me?  ‘Course it fucking don’t.  You try living here.

I can’t even go out at night.  The kids all stand around at the bottom of the stairs.  They’ll mug me if they get the chance.  Not that they’d find anything to take off me.  Thing is, I ain’t even angry at them.  What else are they supposed to do?  There ain’t nothin’ else round here for them to do.  Their mum’s probably bringing them up on their own, they ain’t got any role models.  The schools ’round ‘ere don’t care either.  The teachers look at where they live and think he ain’t ever gonna amount to anythin’, what’s the point in botherin’?  I feel sorry for them really, ain’t anythin’ I can do about it though.

Few years ago one of them politicians come ’round to look at the estate.  Some geezer showed him around, took a few photos told us how important we all are and then fucked off back to his nice house in Central London.  I’d say they forgot about us, but I reckon they never cared in the first place.  If they cared they’d do something about it.  Tidy the place up a bit, get the police ’round a bit more.  Don’t happen though, it’s like they’ll forget about us so we forget about them, if we forget about them then we’re doing them a favour because we ain’t gonna vote them out.  Geezer in the pub told me there’s a word for it but I can’t remember it now, began with an a.  I’ll remember it later.

It was a few years back when I lost me job, then the wife walked out and I ain’t seen her since.  It was a bit much for me really, that’s when I started hitting the bottle.  It helped me sleep, ‘specially when that geezer next door was going off on one and banging on the walls.  You don’t really take as much notice of what’s going on around you either, you know what I mean?  It’s like you’re in a nice warm bubble.  I wasn’t so nervous walking about the estate either, bit of Dutch courage.  I suppose the main reason was I was lonely.  I’m still lonely, I’ve lived ‘ere for fifteen years and I don’t know no one.  I’m a bit resigned to it all now though, ain’t anything I can do is there?

I go out in the mornings to get my paper and my drink and then I come back and sit around all day.  I go to the pub sometimes.  Thing is, and this is what people don’t understand, I don’t wanna live like this.  You think I enjoy it?  ‘Course I don’t fucking enjoy it.  Would you enjoy it?  But like I keep sayin’, what am I supposed to do?  I don’t know any other way now, no one’s gonna give me a job ’cause I ain’t got no skills.  I’ll tell you something, I sit here every afternoon and dream I’m on some beach somewhere drinking sangria.  That’s how I get out of this place.  If you think it’s so great you swap with me, swap your real holidays for my imaginary ones, when I think about it, going into town is like a holiday for me ’cause I ain’t got any money to go anywhere else.

Sorry, I’m startin’ to rant a bit now.  I shouldn’t really do that, I just want someone to listen to me though, you know?  They reckon they’re gonna knock all these flats down soon.  Where are they gonna put me then?  They won’t be putting me in none of those fancy house’s they build on top of it are they?  I remember now, that geezer in the pub, the word he told me was ‘apathy’.  That’s what it is innit?  They don’t care about us, they built these places, now they knock ’em all down and move us somewhere else.  If I complain people just say you don’t appreciate what you’ve got.  Oh well, it don’t really matter does it, ain’t nothin’ I can do.



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