While Richmond’s at a complete standstill, a blockage of fire engines where Red Lion St meets Hill, I might as well blog this:
You’ll remember I was beaten up about 2 am on 25th February and afterwards knocked on my neighbour’s door for him to phone the police and he didn’t but shut his door on me and followed through, after the police had interviewed him and obviously made clear they found his conduct deplorable, with a threat to me he’d withdraw his statement to them if bothered by them again as if it was my fault, as in a sense it was since by being beaten up I’d inconvenienced him and the world exists to suit his convenience. His moral dereliction was also deplored by my other neighbour on the other side the stairwell quite emotionally. I myself thought it despicable and the subsequent intimidation outraged me. I told him I did not want to engage in conversation with him. That was that.
Diana, downstairs, thought we should talk it out. Words wouldn’t help since it was his action that was bad and couldn’t be got round. His saying sorry wouldn’t convert him into a good neighbour. Sally, Ian’s girlfriend upstairs, also tried excusing his conduct, saying he was a good guy. I said he was not. She back-pedalled at once.
Last week I thought the girl’s voice from Leslie’s flat might be Gina’s though of course I couldn’t be sure. She’d been his girlfriend but he’d kicked her out on the grounds her drinking made it difficult for him to curtail his. That and the bookies are his occupation in life.
This weekend Gina stopped outside my kitchen window and through my open door addressed me: “John, will you make sure I leave safely from that man,” and she pointed at a peripherally seen, all but naked Leslie. Gina’s Greek. Very good-looking. “Yes Gina.” It was a face-saving gesture on her part. I looked out the window on her leaving and she was already on the phone to secure another place to stay. She’s homeless.
Leslie came to the door. “I know you don’t want to engage in conversation but…,” he needed to exonerate himself from the idea he was violent. I couldn’t not engage in conversation. I tried exacting a specific example how she riled him as she had done continually over her five days’ stay but he couldn’t substantiate his charge and I had to let go what momentarily interested me to know. He assured me he had nothing against me. It wasn’t me who’d acted against him, I didn’t say, but did go over the whole indictment before drawing a line under it. Gina, I pointed out, had been a catalyst to our making up.