When Life Hands You A Drunk Make Conversationade.

“My daughter, she’s 45 now. She looks out for me. Well sometimes. Sometimes she looks out for me, you know? My sons though, her brothers, I don’t know anymore. 5 years. They don’t want anything to do with me. Maybe they’re dead but I don’t worry about it anymore. Why bother?”

Regardless of the fact that I was at the bus station in time for the 4:30 bus today, something held me back. Today I decided to get the later bus, minimise the amount of time I’d sit next to a stranger in traffic. This decision lead to 3 great things:
1. At 18:16 I am now not only out of Aberdeen, I’m actually almost half way home.
1(and a half). There is nobody sitting next to me, stranger or otherwise.
2. Chocolate. Dairy Milk Caramel to be precise.
3. A very interesting conversation about life with a 67 year old man.

Now I don’t know about you but I love older people. They’re brilliant- I love their stories, I love their smiles and more than anything I love their attitude towards life because I just find it so refreshing. They’ve lived, and this entitles them to have opinions on things the rest of us can only dream about (for now).
I don’t know this man, I don’t know his name, I don’t know where he lives (although I know where he was looking for a bus to), and I don’t know what he has done with his life. What I did learn in the 20 minutes or so which he spoke for (it was a pretty one sided conversation) is that he is 67, he’s smoked all of his life and is now a recovering alcoholic with 3 kids and an ex wife who was cheating on him. He’s lonely and depressed, but all of this has made him one thing I can only ever dream of being- wise. I’m hoping that perhaps by sharing some of our conversation, that you too can be imparted with his wisdom.
“There’s a difference between listening and understanding. Anybody can listen, but only intelligent people can understand…The sad thing is that people never know they’re intelligent. Stupid people know they’re stupid, but an intelligent person doesn’t. They might think that they’re smart but they will never know they’re intelligent. It’s different.”

“After it all messed up and we finished she still wanted me to ‘come home’ at Christmas. Christmas and New Year. Every year she’d ask me back for the festive season because she thought I needed to show face for the kids. Who was she kidding? She knew she’d made a mistake. So I would go back for the festive season, then the 3rd came, she’d kick me out and I hadn’t even touched her t*t. Always the same.”

“Words are free.  To converse is beautiful.  Speak to people.  Those texts you send, they’re all lies.  When you converse, you know. You can tell. I don’t text, I have never done that, because I am honest.  A text doesn’t tell you anything.”

“You women, you can be two people, easily.  Us men, we can’t do that.  You can do what you want and you think you can get off with it because we don’t realise, but eventually we will.  It always comes out in the end, everything does.”

“I broke up with my partner a few weeks ago.  We were together for 5 years, but we were never really together.  We were married before you see. Married for 33 years.  You can’t fix divorce.  Even gold can’t do that, you think it will solve anything but you learn.”

“Always tell somebody you love them.  Don’t write it.  Anybody can write I love you.  Say it, use your voice.  It’s the most beautiful sound.  If somebody says I love you, it means it’s true.  It’s beautiful.  Just phone them. Even on a voicemail.  Voicemails are great.”

“My daughter she brings me stuff.  Mince, sometimes bacon.  Nice stuff, you know?  My wife?  I got out of hospital on the 23rd and she didn’t even send me a cardigan for Christmas. She knows what she’s doing.”

“I have no problem keeping it up.  I may be 67, but I still have that thing they talk about. ‘The Drive’ they call it, I have that.  50mg of viagra, everybody should know about that, it’s all you need.  I have no shame talking about it.”

“I have 2 phones now, I got a new simcard too.  Cost me money like, but it’s okay.  I didn’t pay for a new phone, I paid for peace.  Peace is priceless.”

“I’ve seen the psychiatrist 24 times.  That’s what deep depression does to you. It makes you drink.  They want me to get better, that’s why I have to go.  I need somebody to help me.”

“I may be 67 and I may have smoked all my life, but when I need to I can still run a hundred metres. Zoom, I’m off. Just like that.” [this was followed by a terrible coughing fit of course]

“I’m sorry if I’m boring you. Sometimes I just want somebody to listen to what I have to say.  It’s nice.”

“All I want is to be alone now.  Everyday I just want to have a few pints, do my shopping and be alone.  Why is that not okay?  It’s all I want, but they won’t allow it.  They don’t like it.  I just want to be left alone to live my life now.  It’s my life.”

“When she starts wearing pyjamas instead of a nightie, it’s a sign.  Take notice.  If she starts changing in a different room, you’re in trouble.  Get out right now. It’s over.”

“I cry. You think men don’t cry?  We do.  We throw ourselves around, yes, we take the punches and that’s okay.  But if our heart is broken, we can’t cover that pain.  Sometimes I cry a little, sometimes I cry a lot.  It’s the depression.  But everyday I cry, because inside me there’s a pain that won’t go away.  If you break a man he will cry, remember that.”

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