16 – Cairnbrook

I thought I would recount a moment a wee bit different this time. I was going out with a girl, (for a very short time) that lived in another gang’s area. As I walked her home up Cairnbrook Road one night, a guy from that area drove by in a car and started shouting abuse out of the car window. This was normal behaviour when guys from one area, passed anyone from another. I thought nothing more about it. The following evening, as I was once again walking her home, events took a different turn. On reflecting on this moment, it seemed that a few lines of poetry would maybe sum up better what actually could have ended very badly.

Here goes…

Walking up Cairnbrook with the girlfriend on my arm
It’s a beautiful night, I'm not thinking of harm
When out of the darkness comes a car screaming by
They had it all planned, caught me on the fly
Grabbed by the head and kicked to the ground
A few guys getting angry cos I was around
Poor Maggie just standing, nothing she could do
But watch me get battered up and down, black and blue
The crime of the night, I’m on a street of their own
At midnight with Maggie, guys IM WALKING HER HOME
They did not feel I should be here on their turf
I'm punched, kicked, bricks to the head, this is rough

So covered in blood, bruised battered and sore
But I still think my pride is hurting much more
With me crawling away, they shout out their threat
My call to one on one, none of them met
I’m not a fighter, I’m not brave I’m not strong
Man, this is too much, it went on for too long
All because I did what mama said was right,
I walked Maggie home in the dead of the night

Then strange things happen when drugs are involved
And within a short time, I was friends with them all
A common goal - to get high and make some ready cash
Meant their hatred for me wasn't destined to last
Ready and willing to let it all go
For the sake of some acid, and other peoples dough
Up to Baldragon, soon a very normal sight
As I scored gear for others, night after night
I stayed friends with some long into the future
Even the one that caused all my sutures

So if you are caught up in the violence of gangs
Give thought to morrow that in the present hangs
Let go of the hold those guys have on you
It might seem so cool, but the joke is on you
The guy you are beating, might just be your friend
in the future, in who you might just need to depend
The fighting, the gangs the hatred and ire
Burns up you’re insides like Dante’s cruel fire
Think of the wee guy, walking his girlfriend that night
Caught up in a fracas, could've switched off life’s light.
Thirty years later, it’s but a tale for a post
But that night, in Cairnbrook, I could have been toast

©Stuart Patterson 2018


This blog is part of a wider collection to show the journey that would eventually lead me to the cross of Jesus Christ, my personal redemption, and my journey of faith afterwards. If you would like to know more of my story, please click on my “About” page and take it from there.

If you would like to know more about the Christian response to addiction, or just need hope please click on one of the links below.

The Haven
Teen Challenge Strathclyde
Teen Challenge UK
Teen Challenge Global
Street Connect
Bethany Christian Trust
Cornerstone Assemblies of God, Maryland
Broken Chains Ayr
Easterhouse Community Church
Stuart Patterson