when i first came to escotilha8 there was a czech guy living in a tent in the garden. vlad. 20 years old, had lived on the street since he was 15. troubled, angry, had one of those personalities that made him easy to make fun of. and we all did.

every morning he would get dressed up in an old suit jacket that he had found, take out his piercings and hide his mohawk under a cap. he'd walk to the airport and ask for change. he told me he was saving to buy his mother a birthday present, but i don't know how true this was.
he came to me one morning after i'd known him a couple of days.
"is it possible... is it possible that you borrow me one or two socks?... my feet..."
he had been wearing old boots every day and his feet were all covered in blisters
"of course, here you go"
"thanks! i give them back tonight"
"no it's cool, you keep them"
he hands me his half eaten toast and cold coffee
"we look after each other, yeah? like friends?"

friday night at the squat, L came home and asked P
"is it true about vlad?"
without turning away from his movie...
"yeah, he's dead"

and that was it.

"how can you back to watching the fucking matrix? what happened to vlad?"
they look at me like i'm crazy
"just another overdose, ash. he's a stupid kid, responsible for his own choices. it's... what... are you crying? you can't get attached to junkies. you'll be crying all the time. he's not our problem."

i wasn't attached to vlad, i won't miss him. i probably never would have seen him again. but when does the death of a 20 year old kid become "just another overdose"? does the way that he died affect the value of the life he had?

it's true, he was responsible for his own death, he made stupid choices. but we all come into the world and are dealt varying amounts of shit. sometimes the kid who was raped and thrown out at 14 lives a functional, happy life, and sometimes the rich girl with the perfect childhood commits suicide. i don't know vlad's story, but should a person's ability to deal with the shit they're given, to make the right choices and live a productive life, affect the value that we attach to that life? i don't think so.

why is somebody's value so linked to their intellect, charisma, social status? vlad wasn't smart, or funny, or popular, but had he been, i believe that people would have responded very differently to his death.

"not our problem"?
this guy came into our lives needing far more than a bed and something to eat, and he was ignored. it was too difficult. too fucking hard to care about someone who needs more than a litre of bad wine and a free punk show to make them happy.

i would rather suffer over the death of a kid i hardly knew than to be so desensitised to this. vlad potentially had another 80 years ahead of him to turn his life into something beautiful. i'm not religious, i don't think there's anything to come after this life. this is the only chance we get to find beauty, meaning, love - maybe i'm wrong, but i don't think vlad found that.

i tried to explain all of this, but in the end we all went back to champagne and the matrix. just another friday night.
just another overdose.


  1. Sometimes life in general makes us this selfish creatures we aren't meant to be, sometimes it's hard to avoid this transformation... You touched me with this :/ it's such a big reality today.
    We build holes around us, becoming so evolved but alone...

  2. I mean... no life is more valuable then others... People just grown globally selfish, excluding people that may enter in a kind of pattern…

  3. alex(geminiteam)7/5/10 10:51

    never let the world turn you to be blunt !!
    then you died as well while living...!!
    like a zombie ...


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