"Gordon….I won’t be in today I’m by the mosque!" cue for the call to prayer. "I’m not in the pub I’m by the mosque" again cue for the call to prayer.
He came to us every afternoon – washing up after our luncheon club. When he wasn’t you knew that there was an issue. He was an alcoholic of great stature. He’d go months and not drink a drop then a moment’s melancholy, loneliness would see him disappear for months under a sea of cider and special brew.
One hot summer, our community worker and I went to find him. He seemed to be spending a lot of time by the mosque – we weren’t convinced and we went to his flat. We found him drunk, ill and very, very messy. We cleaned him and the flat as best we could sat with him listened to his worries and then eventually left.
We never saw him again. He died. Alcohol his friend saw him to his grave. I miss him, his awful jokes; his cheeky giggle; his stories; his help; his little gadgets like his Islamic call to prayer alarm clock!