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.
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.
Teen Challenge Strathclyde
Teen Challenge UK
Teen Challenge Global
Bethany Christian Trust
Cornerstone Assemblies of God, Maryland
Broken Chains Ayr
Easterhouse Community Church