So, every Tuesday and Friday around 11am, I’ll post here a sketch from a character I’ve met. Identifying features, or my own questions and comments have been cut out. Just my impression remains.

Extraordinary insights are available from any person one chooses to speak freely and inquisitively with, who has the time to talk. Recently, I’ve thrown myself into a line of questioning like that of my Island Story travels, except it’s rooted in the lives of (mostly) Londoners I talk to. I’m producing these sketches by the dozen and it’s time I did something with them. So here goes the first of many.


ADHD, ADD… There’s a lot of misconceptions around it. You know what it is? I’ve looked at the studies and research. They think that it’s linked to father issues, to not having a relationship with your father. Me and my Dad were always rocky, we didn’t have a relationship. Lots of people I know like that. And girls hardly get it. It’s usually hand in hand with low level autism. And that’s a male/female thing, the right side of the brain dominates… Logic, routine, having things set in a certain way. That’s very male. The left side is emotional, creative.

I have it, low level ADHD. I took Ritalin as a kid. It sent me… Mad. A hundred times worse. It does that in the low level cases. But I’m better now.  Lots of counsellors and people trying to help me think, to get better. I had to revisit a lot. I’m in a much better place now.

I think the best thing with drugs is to legalise them. All of them. Prohibiting it doesn’t take it away. People can order a bag of skunk on the internet. Then you could deal with all the problems that come with it. A mate of mine got shot recently. Well, I hadn’t seen him a while. He attacked someone with a hammer, then they came after him, to his house. Only a few hours later. And that was in the country. The drugs, they’re coming out of town. Dealers from London estates coming out, some of these places are really deprived… Setting up shop in a crack den. They’re there a few days a week, they might get some local kids to oversee business. And drugs brings with it violence. My little brother and his friends, they’re not living in London, the city, but they know people who’ve been stabbed. Legalise it, stop that prohibition, and that goes away.

The thing about drugs is, often the most effective therapeutic interventions are focused on time. Meaningful, positive activities. College, courses, just things to do. When people have nothing to do, they’re just at home, thinking about using. You can see that too when you look at unemployment, the economic crashes. People had nothing. The drugs came in. They were ways to obliterate time, dead time. It’s not just about jobs or money. It’s a structure, a life.

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