As everyone who has Windows Messenger will know, it's an easy way to keep in touch with friends & acquaintances & those people who are just in your group of friends but who you don't want to get too friendly with.
I have about half a dozen true friends, a few good friends & a handful of acquaintances on my list.
I was chatting to a friend the other night when somebody who I used to know fairly well popped online & said hello. The reason I say 'used' to know is because I ended up distancing myself from this person.
Now, the reason I distanced myself from him is because I became aware that he did cocaine most weekends in the same way somebody else would have a cigarette & after making it quite clear I wasn't interested in trying it, I distanced myself from him as much as is possible to do when somebody is a close friend of your friend. This became less difficult as a few months later I moved Counties & the only contact I have with him is at most, the odd hello on Messenger so I was very surprised for him to say hello the other night & start up a conversation.
As is usual in conversations that are of the generic 'Hi, how are you?' type I returned the 'how are you?' question to be answered with a message that left me a little bit stunned really. (I'll call my friend Charlie from here on in, if nothing else, it's appropriate).
When I knew Charlie fairly well, he had a nice apartment in London. A secure & well paid job, he didn't go without much & although not by any means well off he had a comfortable standard of living.
So to be told by Charlie that he has lost his girlfriend/fiance, his job & car & (presumably) his home, is £12,000 in debt & as a consequence, is on a Government repayment scheme meaning he pays £100 per month of what he owes for the next 10 years & cannot get credit in any way, shape or form and, in his words, has a 'serious cocaine habit' left me a little stuck for words. Although quite how he is supporting his habit is a bit of a mystery.
I certainly don't disbelieve what he is saying. When I knew him it had graduated from Friday nights, to weekends, to occasional midweek dabblings. I just can't believe he's been so stupid to let it get so far. He surely must have seen what was happening?
I did say to him that if he really wanted to break the habit then there are places & people who help with drug problems. His reply was "Drugs? It's cocaine." Which leads me to believe he doesn't think cocaine is that serious, and that makes help a no go I guess.
I suppose I feel sorry for him in a way & I can also see how he got himself in to this mess but I don't really know what to make of it except to be glad I'm no longer in a social circle that tangles me up in his activities.
I don't want to see or hear any more of this drug.
I've seen too much of the effects, too much of the shitty side of it, too much of the rows & hurt it's caused my family through my two brothers & I am sick to death of the way it's seen as a 'glamorous' accessory by people.