Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Lure of the Street (postscript)

I caught up with W for a second time this week, when we reconvened our regular Tuesday afternoon hockey matches with the kids.

After three weeks of detox at the rescue house, there he was sucking on a bottle of thinner. Feet that I had laboriously scrubbed clean, now filthy again. I am reminded of C.S. Lewis, who wrote that we can often be "like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

But was W pleased to be back on the street? When asked where his older brother was - the reason he gave for his return to the street - he replied that his brother had been arrested and was in the children's prison. Pointing to the top of his head, he showed me a think crust of dried blood. "He did this" he said, with a wry grin.

What bitter irony.

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