The Exception to the Rule

They told us in school to study and ‘be someone’ in this great free and fair society.

After playing illiteracy’s game for ten years, I ended up on the road starving with my friend Nigel. We stole food to stay alive, and worked the rich farmers fields for cash in hand dirt wages. We broke the rules, the rules didn’t work for us, we were invisible.

We could not write our names, we never signed on the dole, we lived as honestly as we could, but, not really living.

A Vicar gave us two sandwiches but they were full of gristle, we got sick.
They told us to, “Be Honest” and “Keep the rules” but, we were the exception to the rules, even though we wanted to keep them.

Nigel got a job as a Toilet cleaner, dirty old pervert men spat at him, we hitched to the Cornish seaside and found some friends living in rusting caravans. We cared for each other, and for two long summers we found peace.

Nigel and I lost contact with each other; news of his death came to me recently, I don’t ask the question, “Why?” anymore, I have no place for tears.

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