Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Margins of society

I’d relished the return to hostelling. Back living amongst real people. Fellow travellers. And longer term residents. For most the only affordable accommodation. Or just plain convenient. Some down on their luck. Others victims of circumstances. Troubled. Sometimes of their own making. Teetering on the margins of society. But interesting people. Individuals. With depth. Colour. Once you get to know them.

A few alcoholics. Incoherent under the influence. But when sober. Invariably good humoured. If a little dark. Very aware of their destruction they’re waging on their own bodies. The brave ones facing up to their demons. Seeking professional help. Path to recovery. Probably longer, tougher than my own journey. Maybe.

Others beyond redemption. Intravenous drug addicts. A rarity. Their invariably secretive nature making them difficult to spot. Quickly exhausting the tolerance I might show for those partaking of less addictive substances. Those that don’t normally draw users into criminal behaviour. Feeding their habit. Law enforcement issue. No exceptions.

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