The last 3 weeks have been slightly different in regards to my work environment. I’ve moved from the rural settings of Dunshauglin, Co. Meath to a small lane just off Talbot Street. For those not familiar with Dublin, it’s hard to explain what a strange city it is sometimes, and even harder to describe the variations of colourful people that inhabit it. Talbot street seems like one of the favourite hangouts for all the weirdo’s and junkies – and there are many of them.
Mind, Dunshaughlin had a weird dude too. (Yes, One!). He used to hang out on the bench around from the school where I worked. He was drunk most of the time, looked dirty and smelled funny. He also loved to have a chat with me when I was having a ciggie on said bench. He was harmless but slightly scary, but he’s nothing in comparison to the Talbot street locals.
Now, on a daily basis, I see junkies everywhere. No matter what time of the day, they’re off their frigging heads. I had my first experience of seeing someone shoot heroin up their arm only last week, on the doorsteps of my office. What do you do? Nothing. The guards can’t do anything, the shelters are full. You blissfully ignore it and carry on. That is off course, until something really fucked up happens.
We had a party in our offices on Friday (the punch was divine). About an hour before kick-off, a man and a woman get into a fight outside our doorstep. He hammered the crap out of her, she scratched his eyes out. The guards showed up, chased the fella away and tried to talk to the woman, with little success. After a while, the guards went on to their other duties. The woman, battered quite heavily and not really able to walk, stayed laying on the steps.
As the party people starting trickling in, the fella returned. They argued a little more as he was trying to get her up. He gave up on that and joined her on the doorstep. No more beating. Then he took out his needle and started prepping it. Rolled up his jumper and injected it into his tummy. Then he injected it into the woman, who was asleep by now, after which he started caressing her, kissing her and putting his hands in places not man should touch a sleeping woman. This is when we rang the guards to come back.
Which they did.It took them took several efforts to wake the two of them up but they managed to do so. And then, they moved them on to somewhere else. It’s all they can do.
It’s a sad affair this city – sometimes – certainly when you witness it from its dirty underbelly.