The past two weeks it was very hard for me to put the past onto paper.
I didn’t expect such a shitty outcome. To be honest I didn’t know what I was expecting.
I know what I wanted but what you want and what you get are usually two very different things.
It also would be a lot more of a positive influence if my former teacher and I had met for coffee and found a middle ground.
I think in hindsight that is pure fantasy as the British legal system is based around an offender admitting their offence and this is what is used to secure a guilty verdict in a court of law.
If anything was admitted to me then that is an admission of guilt and then she would be liable.
Either way, it felt good, to tell the truth, and it’s good to have so much support especially from multiple classmates who have seen these violent outbursts first hand.
We broke up from school and it was great to be away from the classroom but things at home were growing incredibly toxic.
My mum while this was going on had started dating a guy called Lenny Wolfson.
They were only dating about 8 months before it fell apart.
I think by today’s standards Lenny would be classed as mentally ill.
His personality was very extreme so it was a series of highs and lows but primarily lows.
I had finished school for the summer and Lenny was not a stranger as he was married to my mum’s friend Jill several years ago.
As it was a big circle of friends that had known each other for years it wasn’t an issue for Jill and Lenny and mum started going out.
Lenny was an antique dealer for years but seemed to be able to turn his hand to most things.
When I knew him he was making his money selling cars.
I have to give him his due he could put together a deal in about 5 minutes and he could sell ice to Eskimos he was a very intelligent man.
Lenny had the potential to be a millionaire about 10 times over but as good as he was putting things together he was just as quick to destroy them.
He had a serious dark side which was fuelled primarily by alcohol.
He was a raging alcoholic the only difference between him and the guy at the bus stop outside bargain booze was Lenny was a genius.
It seemed to be a curse as well as a blessing and as fast as he could make friends he would alienate them to the point of no return.
When mum and I used to go to his flat in Allerton he would always be nice to me.
This was all so fake he just wanted to get his feet under the table and there is no better way to do that than to be nice to someone’s kid.
Lenny may have been crazy but the last thing he was is stupid and he was initially playing the game well and he and mum seemed to be happy.
After a couple of months, he ended up moving into our house, and at first, he was still very nice but the mask he was always wearing began to slip.
When you only see somebody a few times a week it’s easy to pretend everything is fine and you’re a great person.
When you spend 24 hours with someone you can quickly see what they are like and what they are really about.
Lenny would smoke about 100 cigarettes a day and always seemed to have a drink in his hand.
He would always be talking business with someone he would very rarely be alone.
He also always had a Joey running round after him doing work for him.
He would have them doing all sorts from picking up his dry cleaning, shining his shoes, washing cars, or go to auctions and pick up cars.
He would have them for a couple of months and they would fall out with him tell him to fuck off and then he would get another Joey.
The two he had for the longest were called Bernie and Ray and those fellas earned every penny of their wages.
Now he had his feet under the table and it would be harder to kick him out he started being a proper arsehole towards me in many ways.
I would have to be in bed early and he would always be screaming at me to get in the bath.
There is nothing wrong with making sure I was clean but he only had two baths a week himself.
He also gave me a hard time over my schoolwork which I’ve touched upon greatly in the other episodes and why it wasn’t up to standard.
To be fair I can’t fault him on that because he was born in a different world from me.
He meant well but he was wired up all wrong and when you mix alcohol, stress, and mental illness into it then it’s a ticking time bomb.
It started in the morning where either Lenny had stayed up all night drinking or he was up early and he would always have a task for me to do as I’m on the way out the door to school.
It was usually along the lines of that he needed cigarettes and he couldn’t be arsed going to the shop.
I would be explaining to him that I would be late for school but that was never an issue for him and he would insist that he would write me a note for school and the shop because I was 9.
When I refused as this was happening at least three times a week he would be fuming with me.
I was already getting screamed at every day in school over nothing so why give them more ammunition.
I was well aware I was being given a dog’s life in school and even at 9 knew it was unjust.
So imagine if I had done something wrong I would likely be suspended. Don’t forget Mr. Owen didn’t give a shit about solving any problems just about having a quiet life.
So I went to school and you all know what was happening there.
Some good had happened at school we had gone into the third year of juniors.
We had our unstable crazy second year and this year we were to have a permanent teacher. Mr. Peter Gribbon was given to our class.
Peter Gribbon wasn’t a bad guy at all. To be honest all he cared about was football and the football team but he wasn’t nasty about it.
I’m terrible at football and that will never change so I wasn’t one of his favourites.
He was still a good guy overall. He took the time to mark your work and tell you what you could do better.
You could have a laugh and a joke with him as well. I remember telling him a joke which by modern standards was very inappropriate.
He laughed at the joke and told me to be careful as if I said that to the wrong teacher they may get angry.
I apologised and he said there’s no need to be sorry to me just be careful.
The only time he kicked off is we had a long-running joke that he was in love with Miss Hughes.
She came to the class one day and we locked them both in the store cupboard and we were all laughing saying ha ha ha I bet he kisses her on the lips.
It was funny for a few minutes but when he came out he went ballistic.
You could hear a pin drop in the room and it was an uncomfortable silence.
Then we were saved by the bell and went on lunch. We walked back into the class like it was the scene of a crime we were all shitting ourselves.
He had lunch and forgotten about it he wasn’t arsed and seemed in a good mood.
Maybe he got a bit of finger pie in the store cupboard.
There were no grudges no bad blood he did what any normal teacher would do and dealt with it at the moment it happened then forgotten about it.
Miss Hughes left about 6 months later when she got married and I’m not sure what happened to her or even if she is still alive.
There was an old Miss Hughes and a young Miss Hughes.
Just to make it clear young Miss Hughes was in the cupboard. I’m pretty sure old Miss Hughes is dead as she was very old back then but young Miss Hughes I hope she’s well and did well for herself after being a teacher.
I never heard anything about Peter Gribbon after he retired but I hope everything worked out for him.
So I came home from school one day and we all ended up in town to buy wallpaper as Lenny had to spend any money he made as soon as he got it.
He would always either have loads of money or none at all. There was never an in-between.
The fridge and freezer were always full and we were constantly throwing food out as it wasn’t eaten.
There would be times when Lenny didn’t have twenty pence to his name but then there he and mum would be drinking champagne an hour later it was quite surreal looking back.
We went to town for wallpaper and we got it and Lenny did the most logical thing about bought a thousand pounds worth of garden furniture.
He then bought my mum a brand new Fiat which was beautiful to look at.
Lenny needed everyone to see how much money he had and we had a barbecue and invited about 40 people.
He was in his element he could show off, cook meat and play the part of the good boyfriend who was smashing life.
Many people only saw this side of Lenny they didn’t see the nasty drunk side of him always causing arguments when rotten drunk or shitting all over him employees until they broke and hated him.
Living this fast life he was always robbing Peter to pay Paul in one way or another. He would always be having murder with somebody over money.
There would always be a story and he would always have an answer to everything.
He would not pay someone for something or not give the agreed amount and always have a technicality and he made himself a lot of enemies.
He had an Irish friend called James who was around a lot who was always really nice to me.
He took an interest and always took the time out to say hello or even play video games. He was always very smart in a suit and was extremely charming.
I found out a few years later James was a gangster and an absolute psychopath. He would be out drinking with someone then suddenly he would change and he would beat the fuck out of someone for the slightest thing.
Everyone was scared of James but he didn’t look like your stereotype tough guy he looked more look a young businessman which made him scarier.
I found out he was stabbed a few years later then he was shot on another occasion. The last I hear about James was about twenty years ago when I heard he was run over and he is back in Ireland confined to a wheelchair.
As James had alienated so many people nobody knows where he is or even if he’s still alive.
It was a surprise to hear this as when he was in our house he conducted himself like a gentleman and was always good to me.
I’ve seen so many people ruin their lives in that world and even though I’m not surprised this happened to him it’s still very unfortunate.
The barbecue was a big hit and everyone had a good time. Lenny was spinning a lot of plates but at the moment he was keeping them all in line.
He kept overextended himself in his pursuit of money and when he lost he told people to go fuck themselves when it came to payment.
He did business with plenty of people honestly but as his drinking got heavier he became more reckless and he was constantly bringing that bad energy back into the house.
One day he came home with two Great Dane puppies. I was over the moon because I had always wanted a dog and now I had two and they were huge.
We named them Wills and Harry after the two royal princes.
I loved those dogs and even though it was like sharing a house with two horses they were really pleasant and very loving from the day we brought them home.
Lenny bought them in good faith but it was also a distraction so he could keep wheeling and dealing and play catch up with his finances.
if dogs were needing constant attention it took eyes off him so it was a smart move on his part.
We also nearly got into trouble with the landlord as there were always loads of cars parked up the street all belonging to Lenny and residents started to complain and we almost got into trouble as we were not allowed to use the house as a business.
Lenny ignored this and we ended up on our final warning so Lenny was forced to get an office away from the house.
This resulted in him coming home really drunk all the time and there would be big shouting matches between him and Carol.
This only got worse as time went on and things got to a breaking point at home.
Everyone was really unhappy and Lenny had upset so many people and now was in one of his spirals where everything he touched turned to shit.
The more this happened the more he drank and the more arguments happened.
It got to the point where enough was enough and Carol and Lenny had a very heated breakup.
He took his stuff and left and for a while was sleeping on people’s couches.
This was typical of Lenny he moved in cycles and this was his down cycle.
He would be making money, doing business deals, networking, putting people together, starting new projects in his good cycle.
In his bad cycle, he would be drinking heavily, ripping people off, making stupid decisions, alienating friends well you have read about it so you get the idea.
For all his brilliance he was deeply flawed and the main thing which stopped him from hitting the big time was Lenny. The saying could not be more apt he was his own worst enemy.
When he left there was a couple of months of angry phone calls of people he owed money to screaming for blood. Nothing ever came of this when they knew he wasn’t living with us anymore.
Then the inevitable happened we found out that he had not finished paying for the car and we had to give it back.
As he was borrowing money from everyone to keep afloat he got the car in some crazy finance program.
There was no way we could continue the payments so we gave it back before they came and took it away.
We also couldn’t afford to feed two Great Danes so they had to go as well.
Both me and mum were heartbroken in the six months they lived with us they had become a huge part of the family.
No kid ever wants to give up his dog and it’s a rude awakening to how skint we were when we couldn’t afford to buy dog food.
Luckily they were snapped up quickly by a family and got to stay together.
I’ll never forget seeing them drive off in this blue van together looking out the window confused and upset.
I never knew what happened to them but I hope they lived a long happy life.
They were my buddies and when I was going through some horrible shit in school or at home they would always be there to cheer me up.
It’s amazing how animals can have such a huge impact on your life and ill never forget those two boys.
Lenny on the other hand his life was all kinds of crazy after he left us.
He was dating a model for a while whose name I will change as she’s still around.
They were all in love and then suddenly Lenny went into one of his cycles and it ended.
I remember asking mum why would Cindy go out with Lenny as he’s 20 years older than her?
I found out that she was also deeply flawed with a horrendous back story and was a serious heroin user for many years.
Once again the saying is very apt when they say birds of a feather flock together.
I met Cindy a few times as he appeared in the same circle of friends from time to time and she was lovely. She another person I don’t know what happened too but she didn’t get her happy ever after with Lenny that’s for sure.
Lenny was then involved in this huge nursery project which was worth about three million quid.
He managed to get a seat at the table and get a slice of the business all without putting in any capital but this was typical Lenny.
It was only when he had spent thousands and refused to put in expenses forms that there was a huge bust-up and Lenny once again fucked himself out of serious money.
I can’t name the nursery as it opened a couple of years later and is still operating to this day and making huge profits.
He then started dating a city councilwoman. She was besotted with him and he was using her big time.
I can’t name her as she has is still working in politics and is very active in Liverpool.
She had a huge flat in the Albert Dock and when I went there years later it was like something out of a movie.
Lenny rinsed her for all of her money. She was so besotted with him and whatever he asked for he got.
It was shitty as Sharon was a nice woman.
Obviously, that’s, not her real name but as a kid, I met her multiple times and she was always nice to me and had a smile on her face.
Then Lenny got involved in another huge business venture which was a nursing home for 100 long-term residents.
He used Sharon as a cash cow and used her influence to get the required permits from the city council.
She kept bending the rules and she was eventually caught and the venture was dead in the water.
This was in the Liverpool echo but as it was so long ago I could not find a link for the story.
Sharon had to resign her position on the council and Lenny narrowly escaped jail even with all the newspaper coverage.
Lenny had multiple scares with his health and it was amazing that he lived as long as he did.
His liver finally gave up on him about 12 years ago and he died. He had surgery a few years earlier on his liver and the surgeon told him he had the lungs of a 20-year-old.
The human body can endure so much damage it’s scary. It’s also scary that there are many people just like Lenny who are mentally ill not getting the required treatment they need.
I don’t miss Lenny nor do I think about him but he did have a nice side its just a shame though as in my mind he’s just another casualty of addiction.