Thursday, February 21, 2008

Disturbing times

Around lunch-time just by the fruit stall next to Wetherspoon's pub on Wood Street - the site of the ancient St Mary's Priory, long disappeared - a young man in a hoodie, seated on a stone cube that serves to restrict parking. He was slumped over on himself, inert in a way that suggested that he was stoned on drugs. It was hardly a comfortable posture for slumber or relaxation. Six feet away, oranges, bananas and apples were being sold to passers by. No attention was being paid to him. Should I take a picture and send it to the 'Post Card from Wales' feature in the Western Mail? Perhaps not. It's not a pretty sight. It speaks volumes about social indifference.

Yesterday a purse was stolen from a customer in the church tea room again, after a respite of several months. The first thought was simply - is our persistent purse thief from last year back in action again? Or does he have an imitator, an apprentice? Is he in prison or not? I'll have to find out and ensure the volunteer teams are alerted.

As I was waiting at the traffic lights on Newport Road, I observed another young man astride a bicycle, just by the lights. At first I thought he was talking into a phone or microphone down on the lapel of his coat inside his outer jacket. When he looked up, his coat swung open, to reveal that he was clutching a blue plastic bag, open at the neck, concealing goodness knows what inside but I'd guess it was something intoxicating from his strange countenance.

It amazes me that people live like these do. It's the poor neighbour of the binge drinking scene, part of the general tolerance of evil and dangerous behaviour in the name of thrills. Alcohol abuse is now beginning to attract serious public health concern, but not nearly enough attention is given to the drugs and solvent abuse problems - nor - to uncovering the deep spiritual and moral malaise that gives rise to such behaviour.


Respectable Citizen said...

Interesting blog, Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Is it apathy or fear, or even contempt. Its hard to judge. It is fair to pass judgment? What would Jesus do? Be honest Keith would you have picked him up? would I? Probably not. I did not see this in Dodge. The Churches had free lunches for all! City worker rubbed shoulders with the homeless and druggies. The Churches built homes for the poor, that's Jesus. Is it moral for a cathedral to ask for a million and half for a bloody organ.?