Gish's Journal

I'm 27 years old and have lived on the streets since I was 6 years old.

Three months ago I moved into Rebeccas Community 'Hospitality House.'

This website chronicles my life journey through foster care, homelessness, drug addiction, prison and my new life off drugs and off the streets.

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You have to understand, Gary was a big man and his mates weren't small either and I got a real kick out of seeing the way most of the other people who Gary associated with all respected him and his crew and to be part of that made me feel like I was someone.

I lost count of the amount of times Gary punched people for some thing they said or did to me. He would call me his 'china' and while I was with him no one would hurt me.

With my background it was the best feeling to know that I was safe from pain, my biggest fear. So back around the building I went with Gary to find out the reason I was needed was they had removed the air conditioning unit from the side of the building so they could get in, problem was they were to big to fit into the opening which was why they needed me.

To cut a long story short, after loosing a fare bit of skin I managed to fit myself into the hole and go and open the back door so Gary and the boys could get in, they made twenty thousand that night, my cut, a hundred dollars which I spent mainly on lollies and at the games arcade.

Not bad for a ten year old. In a lot of ways I think it was the money more than anything else that drew me into the scene, I don't know of many other ten year olds who would walk around with a couple of hundred dollars in there pocket and have nothing better to spend it on then lollies and games.

But then I don't know of many ten year olds who were committing the kind of crimes I was, so it's all relative in the end.

I was doing this sought of thing for about three years and life was great, I didn't think I had a problem in the world at that time figuratively speaking, I was as happy as a pig in mud. I had good mates who needed me and appreciated my skills, mainly that I was small and very skinny and I always had money in my pocket, what more could you ask for! I thought there wasn't anything else in life that mattered.

I never understood that the life I had started would ultimately lead me into the life that I live.

After Gary and most of his mates got locked up for one thing or another I was kind of on my own for a while before I met another streetie called Opium. Opium was a Graffa (graffiti artist) who was one of the best artists I have ever seen "burn a wall."

By day me and him would sleep and watch the world go by from the Botanical Gardens and at night we would cruise the train lines putting up pieces or tagging as it is commonly known. I guess we were just bored or something because we started breaking in to cars and stealing them when we didn't want to tag, an occupation which would get me into more trouble then anything else before or since.

I can remember Opium telling me that stealing a car and cruising around in it was the only thing that made his life feel worth living, he got off on it in a big way. I just wanted to see if I could get into the car itself.

In a twelve month period I must have broken into at least ***** cars if not more, I was so bad the cops set up a special task force to catch me, two detectives whose only job was to find out who I was and stop me. I can remember getting chased all over inner city Brisbane night after night and not realising that the odds were against me, they would eventually catch me.

I didn't care, I was forever telling myself I was smarter then the police and they would never get me. I was making a lot of money by doing this which I was spending over half on "Gunja", that's marijuana which I had started smoking when I met Opium.

I know a lot of people say you can't get addicted to Gunja but I can remember waking up in the mornings and craving a bong, if that isn't an addict then I don't know what is.

I don't think I realised that I was becoming just like Gary and his mates, only I wasn't doing crime to support a habit, I was doing crime for the excitement of it, which is just as addictive in it's own way.

Crime to me was my way of fighting the realities of my life. While I was out at night thinking about how I was going to make money to buy Gunja I wasn't thinking about how fucked up my life was, it was my way of escaping the fact that no one cared about me and I was all alone.


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