shameful 05 Nov 2015 09:14 am

I cried for him

Facebook post from 5 November 2015 09:14

I got into a slight spat last night with a Greek state official here on Facebook. He is something like an Ombudsman for business owners – It began with his comment about an incovenience with runners closing streets down while marathons and half marathons are bing run – I responded that there were more serious problems he could tackle. Like drug dealing – after a few comments he called me “Narcophobic” – This is my response: (It’s a true story, it happened yesterday)

Vasilis Sotiropoulos: ???? ????? ????????????. ? ????????? ??? ????? ????. [You’re simply narcophobic, policing drug use is not the solution]

Stavros Messinis: Vassili, With respect, I’m sorry but you’re appearing as if you too are out of touch with reality.?’m as progressive as you my friend, probably more but I cannot not be narcophobic. I work in and around the results of narcotics every day. Being narcophilic just doesn’t fit in my mind given that at least 1 person per day dies in this city from an overdose or narcotics related fatigue or organ failure. Today, was a terrible day for me. I lost control of my emotions on the square. Walking through it I noticed man in a wheelchair. I thought he looked familiar but I was too far away to be sure. I squinted as I approached and suddenly realised it was Spyros, an addict I knew. Spyros is an addict who six months ago had asked me to help as I walked past. “Sir”, he said, “I was unconscious last night and someone stole my shoes, look, I have no shoes and it’s cold. Do you have some shoes to give me? ” I went to the Cube and took a pair of shoes I had there and gave them to him. He was so grateful and we got talking about his situation, how he had started using and all of his failed attempts to escape the illness and his need for heroin. We talked about the things this drug will make you do about how it controls you and how it keeps you warm in the winter. We talked about the levels you will decay into if you get hooked on it, about the day he was diagnosed HIV positive and how each day is a struggle, about how he doesn’t care about taking his medication because his only mission every day is to beg for as much money as he can so he can buy his dose as often as he can. We talked about how his illnesses have led to cancerous growths in his coccix but that the pain is “manageable with heroin”. Vassili, yesterday I lost control of my emotions because I saw Spyro. Spyro was a shadow of his previous self. At least 25 kg lighter, a weak skeleton with darkened eyes sunken into his skull. He was in a wheelchair. At deaths door. I have seen this death so many times. I estimate he has less than two weeks to live. I asked, astounded “?? ?????? ????!! ?? ?????!” [What happened to you? We lost you!”] – “????????? ? ???????? ???? ?????????? ?????” [The cancer progressed to my Spine] he said with around 5 other addicts around him. I asked him full of emotion “Please! Please tell your friends here what will happen to them – show them their future in yourself if they do not stop – Why must this happen, Why!” At that point I completely lost it and started sobbing like a child at the injustice. I cried for this poor man. I ran away crying. He shouted as I ran “??? ????? ?????? ??? ?????” [Don’t cry father, don’t cry] – I walked from Kannigos to Iera Odos and back before I could return to normal function. Im crying now as I write this. I mourned his looming death and I cried for my part in it and your part in it. I cried for the injustice. For allowing the dealers to do this to him. All I did was give him shoes and offer some comfort through conversation with the hope that he might pick himself up and do what needed to be done. I can do more. Can you? Vassili, Your comment that I am narcophobic is blatantly innapropriate. You are out of touch my friend. ? ????????? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ???? [The policing of drug use isnt a solution], I agree. ???? ??? ??? ?????? ??? ????????? ??? ???????? [but here, not even dealing is being policed].??? ?? ?????? ??? ????? ??? ??? ???? ????????. ??? ?? ???????? ?? ???? ??????? ??? ???? ??????????????? ??? ?????????????? ??? ????? ??????? ?? ???????????. [ Come visit here and in the Academy, come talk to the addicts, the shopkeepers and business owners you have a duty to represent]

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