“There’s no hope for people like us, I tell you, the only hope we have is if we all just rebelled”
9:30pm in the pub on a Friday night is a sight to see. The corners are full of those who just wish to unwind from a long week, those who are starting their weekend and those who wish to randomly rattle on about the political situation in the country. The local at the Lion’s Head who was part of the latter crowd was Tom McDonald.
Tom stumbled over to a crowd of young professional men after leaving the young women ordering gin and tonics at the bar. The 3 young professional men had just finished ordering their round and headed outside when Tom decided to announce himself into their conversation
“They’re planning on raising taxes again guys, do you know that? Can’t win in this life, probably can’t win the next either” Tom laughed heartily
The group turned to see him. He was in an old leather jacket, a band t-shirt, Wrangler jeans and a pair of leather boots, his hair was jet black and gelled into position showing others that he took pride in his hair. Tom had missing teeth and permanent red cheeks. They laughed along meekly with his statement and turned away from him.
“I see how it is lads, you don’t care about the taxes going up as you’re probably for the taxes going up. Tory scum! Blue party have never done fuck all for me – then again, the other parties haven’t done anything either, they’re all corrupt to the core. Every last one of them!”
The young men nodded to his comments and spoke quietly to each other. The sun was setting above them and the noise of the inside of the pub was growing.
“I told you we shouldn’t have come to this pub” said one of them to which the others agreed
“Quickly finish the round then get out of here?”
The three of them quickly downed their pints and left as soon as. Tom was leaning up against the wall smoking a cigarette as they left.
“Yeah that’s it, fuck off the lot of you. Young bastards taking all the work, keeping the powers that be in power! I’m a rebel I am, viva la revolution!”
The barman came out to collect the pint glasses the young men had left on the table outside.
“Come on Tom,” he said, “you’ve had enough. Time to get home. Do you want me to call you a taxi?”
“I’m ok Brian, I’m ok. I’m alright – yeah, I’m alright. I’ll walk, I’ll walk.”
“Ok then Tom, I’ll see you soon then ok?”
“Yes, yes Brian. You have a goodnight mate, here you go – have this from me. A personal gift for your constant kindness towards me. Power to the people!”
Tom gave the barman the change in his pocket. It came to £4.57
“Many thanks Tom, now you get home safe!”
The barman went back inside and watched Tom leave as more punters flooded into the premises. Tom began walking into the alleys surrounding them on his usual walk home. He began singing Dixieland to pass the time between his steps. The concrete was his stage for him to perform the song as patriotically as possible, despite the fact he had never left the country, never mind visiting the Southern States of the USA.
He was around the corner from his home when he fell. His shoelace was untied and it finally caught up to him. Tom landed face first onto the edge of the pathway. His right arm went into the road and he rolled over onto the double yellow lines which were there.
His neighbour, June, happened to be walking by. She was an old aged pensioner and was happy to see Tom in his young spirit.
“Come on Mr McDonald. You’ve fell over again. Shall I call you some help?” as she leant over to him
Tom was face-first on the road and turned his face to speak, slurring his words, “Hello June, how are you darling, no no no, I’m fine… thanks… I’ll be getting up in a second, I’m fine. I’m fine”
“This is the third time this week I’ve seen you out here. Come on now. Let me help you up. I was just on my way back from my daughter’s but I’ll help you up. Come, come.”
Tom slowly rose up from the ground with the help of June
“Thank you June, you’re always so nice to me”
They walked round the corner to their respective residences. June lived across the road and went home first
“Have yourself a good night Mr McDonald. And stay out of trouble!” she said as she went indoors.
Tom stood outside his door and searched his pockets.
“My keys… where the fuck are my keys?! Don’t tell me I’ve lost my keys!”
Tom found his keys after 30 seconds of searching; they were in his right hand the entire time. He had grabbed them from his pocket before he got to his door.
Tom went inside, closed his door and sat down, leaning his back onto his door.
“Oh glory, what a hell of a way to die. With a…. up your jacksie and a bullet in your eye”
Tom looked around and saw the photos of his late girlfriend scattered amongst the house. He started sobbing while staring at the stairs before passing out at the door. He remembered how he had carried her up them when they first moved in. The steps were a reminder of the highs in his life, and since her passing, they represented his fall from grace.