in most circumstances
when I was 18, high on life, I brought a destitute
man home to live with my parents and me. I did this
unannounced - met him on the street and figured I
could solve his problem. Now there's no tradition
of this sort of thing in my family, yet my parents
made room for the homeless man as though he was an
old school friend.
chap's name was Drago (1). He was rough looking with
his name tattooed on the inside of his bottom lip.
Showing it was his party trick, something he enjoyed
doing often especially in the company of young women.
Years earlier he'd been hit by a car leaving him with
a withered leg and brain damage (only the part that
controls inhibitions). Drago had a tenuous hold on
personal hygiene and big chip on his shoulder. The
mechanisms of his homelessness were evident.
I don't remember my parents expressing any misgivings
about our house-guest during his stay. Drago stayed
with us for two weeks, leaving to follow me when I
went to house sit for friend (who subsequently came
home early, found Drago alone, whittling in his lounge
and freaked - but that's another story).
So this is a tribute to my parents - the good sports
that they are. My family tends to be very shy, so
maybe they wanted to shout GET THAT TRAMP OUT OF OUR
KITCHEN! and just didn't - but all the evidence suggests
they are decent people who do the right thing when
they can. Here they are pictured leaving the house
to visit my sister with picklets. Note(2): the house
across the road is being raided for drugs.