One of the first people we met when we came here was Mr P or Paggy who lives in the end flat of our block. I’ve probably already mentioned him. However, he was the first to invite us in, offer a beer and chat to us. He’s had a stroke and subsequently lost his life of hunting and travelling. In the first few months he alternatively was helpful and really got on our nerves. He was right that our floors would take ages to dry but very often when the builders were here he’d butt right in and interfere. Apparently he has fallen out with most of the neighbours and is rude about them and not many people have a good thing to say baout him. At one stage we even took to sneaking in around the corner when we came home so he couldn’t see us, but often by some sixth sense he would see us and yell. It did seem that maybe in some ways we were sent here to help him with the chores we can do to help, such as shopping. In these past couple of months I’ve realised I’ve got a problem with his drinking. You can’t see him without being offered a drink and his house is becoming steadily more filled with crates of empties. He can’t go a day without one. One Sunday he came over, was rude about most of our garden then insisted that we go and have a beer as his brother had brought him a special crate. I was just so annoyed as we were about to go walking. I refused as I was the driver.
The problem lies in my childhood. I see I’m rejecting him in a way I could never do my mother. I couldnt voice a comment on her nightly drinking herself to oblivion – I was a child. And there were a couple of times I tried to no avail. Now don’t get me wrong, I like a glass of wine on a Friday or Saturday night as a way of starting the weekend, or when we’re out with friends. But its on my terms and I don’t always do it, I don’t have to. I can take it or leave it. Paggy now recreates in me this feeling of frustration I had as a child. I want to lash out. The result is I’m avoiding him. What if God does want us to help him? I don’t know how to deal with this. I refuse to drink when we go round which results in a barrage of abuse, which he finds funny. Then I think, maybe he just doesn’t see the change in himself and is unaware of his habit. Then at 8 am he’ll yell at me out the window if I want a beer, he knows.