Tristan Hazell lives and works in the shadow of the Westway on Portobello Road. What follows is a collection of observations, reviews, social comment, fiction, poetry, art criticism and more. Much of it is fiction and some of it will offend someone somewhere, I hope.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Erratic behaviour.

Since the 14th of last month I have lived in the shadow, real and metaphorical, of Grenfell Tower. It  is, at times, unbearable. The monolith silently screams at me.

I am not surprised at my erratic behaviour.

I am told I need help. I have asked for help.

The paramedic who came to my aid during a COPD flare up, having finished the ECG and other tests offered to take me to hospital but advised me that I would probably have to sit in A&E for hours, which might not be the best thing. He left me the ECG print out and a copy of his report and told me to see my GP as soon as possible. He arranged by telephone for a doctor to speak to me there and then who arranged for medication to be available the following day.

I phoned my GP in order to make an appointment, after being telephonically triaged by a receptionist my GP called back some hours later. I was refused an appointment but prescribed anti-depressants. I was asked if I was having suicidal thoughts to which I, honestly, replied: It has certainly crossed my mind of late. She then informed me that I would be referred to the Mental Health service and I would be contacted by them at some future date.

At no time did she want to address the fact that I was struggling to breathe.

On several occasions this doctor has advised me not to call the surgery in the event of symptoms worsening but to dial 999. I have, in essence, been written off because my disease is incurable.

I have been advised by concerned friends that I should get away from here, perhaps to the sea side.

I am penniless and therefore cannot consider this option.

RBKC have advised me that the only way I can get emergency housing, i.e. a hostel place anywhere in the country, is by being found on the street, in the same place, by an outreach team two nights running.

I could present myself at the housing office and request assistance but in light of what is happening here at Grenfell and the local community I should not expect priority status.

I have been advised by well meaning friends to think about other things, read a book perhaps....

There are no quiet corners in my head right now in which to retreat for peaceful contemplation.


I am forbidden from seeing the one person who holds a light.

I am no longer in control for much of the time.

So yes, I am behaving erratically.






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