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Urban Paranoia

Have you ever thought about what your last words will be before you die? A man’s dying words are
his most important. It's what the living will remember him by. Maybe you should think about yours.
I can't quite recall when my life spiralled out of control. But I clearly remember the day that I had the
grim realisation that my life was in the fucking toilet pan. Depression is a curse. I wouldn't wish on
my worst enemy. It robbed me of everything: My happiness, mental stability, dignity and almost my
On a hot day in August 2012 I found myself truly lost in the gruesome city of London, a city that had
been my home all my life, a city that was slowly squeezing the life out of me, like a snake killing a rat.
I had only slept for a couple of hours and after an argument with my wife, I had left my home and
jumped on a bus. There was no destination in mind, I just jumped onto the first bus that swung by as
I was walking.
I found shelter in The Earl of Lonsdale pub in Notting hill gate. I bought a drink and went to a
secluded booth for privacy.
The heat was sweltering that day. I felt like a ghost. It wouldn't take a lot to make me cry and it
didn't. I was shaking from the lack of sleep and my stomach felt sickly because I hadn’t eaten. I saw
an image in the paper that I had bought that destroyed what was left of my fragile soul. It was an
image of a mother crying over the murder of her son. The young man had been murdered brutally in
a phone box. The mother’s pain captured in that bleak photograph was the tipping point. It was her
pain. So much fucking pain! I sobbed uncontrollably in that oak booth. I sobbed for the mother. I
sobbed for the child who had lost his life. I sobbed for humanity. I sobbed for myself. Nobody could
see me, but I didn't care if they did. I had nothing to hide. My life was broken. People mocking me for
crying would be the least of my problems that day.
As I began to compose myself, the girl from behind the bar came over to see if everything was ok. As
I wiped my wet face with my polo shirt, I gestured that I was heading to the bar to order another
drink. She could obviously see my pain. With one hand she took the money I had gripped in my
sweaty palm and with the other hand she pushed my shoulder to sit back down. She returned with
my beer and laid my change on the table. It was the milk of human kindness that I sorely needed at
that precise moment. I will never forget that gesture. I drained my drink to a bubble stained glass and
got up and left.
Walking into the street, the sunlight was way too strong for me to take in my shaky state. Across the
road from the pub was a phone box. I darted across and hid inside it. Inside that phone box I
completely unravelled. I started crying uncontrollably. I cried for myself. I cried for the grieving
mother in the newspaper. I cried for the dead son. I cried for my wasted life. I cried for my damaged