12 – The Arsehole

A few days after my visit, I was sat in the car ( surprise !) and saw another guy in a similar hi-vis making his way up the pavement.

Expecting another ‘are you ok?‘, Ryan and I had decided to keep to the general answer of

‘ this is only temporary. I am ok.’
So no authorities would be called or further attention brought to us.
We were just down on our luck is all, things would be fine soon – and we would be out of the car, and out of their business soon enough.

I wound the window down, preempting his conversation.

‘Excuse me…’

‘Hello, are you ok?‘ I asked, trying to sound polite.

Yeah. I just want you to know that you’re being watched.’

The second his words left his mouth, I felt a sinister turn to his intentions. He spat the words out, and I was shocked. It was not how I was expecting the chat to go at all.

What ?’
You’ve been here two weeks. And you are being watched.

Oh god.
My mind raced backwards, I thought about having to wee in those effing bottles, had people SEEN that ?
My face flushed red.
This is so embarrassing. Iv never felt shame like it. I just wanted to grab the duvet and hide under it.

People have seen me eating from tins. Sleeping in the morning. Wet wiping myself when I woke up…
The Arsehole interrupted me.

‘You’ve got no tax on your car either. And it’s not fucking on !!’ He was getting quite aggressive now.    ‘-we’ve paid our way, and you’re… You’re breaking the law !’

Oh fuck it.
Alright, I knew about the tax on the car. I had frisbeed the old disc out the day it ran out, and we didn’t have internet access, or enough money to get more. So we just.. didn’t.

I glanced at the empty tax disc holder and thought about lying. I could play ignorant and –

‘ I could ring the Police right now you know, and they’ll tell you too.’

I must have looked horrified – the thought of everything we owned being taken away like that. Everything I owned in the world was in here. Even my jewellery box with pieces I’d saved from years ago – they weren’t worth anything, but they were precious to me. My duvet and pillow… I’d even grown attached to grubby old car.

Suddenly fury bubbled in me. This Arsehole didn’t know what I had left behind. He didn’t know how it felt to be cooped up in this fucking stinky old car. All he knew was that I was living in it, and clearly he didn’t care. In his eyes, we were law breaking dossers and he was ‘picking up our bill.’

I looked the Arsehole straight in the eye.

‘ Why don’t you keep your fucking old nose out ?’
I was furious. I imagined myself getting out the car and kicking this cunts head in.

He insulted me, and walked off – ranting all the way. I could hear every word but I was just fuming about how biased he was being.
What an unsympathetic arsehole.

How could someone be so spiteful, to another human being. I hadn’t been rude or menacing towards him in anyway. I’d just stayed in the car, out of the way.

It really made me think for hours afterwards. It made me think about how easy it is to be judgemental. Or one sided. Or to assume someone has it easy ‘ not paying their tax’ when you are grafting trying to pay yours. You don’t know what other battles they are fighting, you don’t know that actually – it might be you that has it easier.
I’d never been on the receiving end of a strangers abuse before, not like this anyway. ( usually I’d deserve it !) but that was it – I really didn’t feel I deserved that.

I was so lost in thought about how he was so ready for us to lose everything, in a twisted justice type way – that I didn’t notice the white van pull up behind the car.

 

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