The Insane Guy From Upstairs (Doesn’t Quite Ride Again?) – Excerpt From ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ by Paul Tristram

Well, I came in yesterday and I could hear the insane guy
upstairs calling for help, so off up the stairs I went.
When I got to his door, it was open, so in I walked to find
him sitting in his armchair, looking more than a wee bit drunk.
“Thank fuck you’re here!” he said painfully.
“What’s up motherfucker?” I asked with concern.
“One of my plastic knees has slipped out of place and it’s
hurting me more than my ex-wife ever did!” he explained.
“Well, what the fuck happened?” I asked looking around the
room (With my eyes which change colour from green to blue
to grey to black, eh, Hi Girls!) for any sign of a disturbance.
But everything looked the same as normal, I mean there was
a television set face down on the floor but that had been there
before (I think?)
“Are you pulling my pisser?” I asked with a frown.
“No, honestly, its fucking killing me, I’ve been sitting here
for an hour and a half calling for help, but no fuckers in, it’s
giro day and everybody’s at the pub!” he said wearily.
“Well, how did you do it?” I asked
“I know that this is going to sound stupid, but I just stood up
to go and piss out of the window, and bang, my knee gave!”
he said with a grimace.
“This would never have happened at sea!” he carried on.
“No, at sea I would have been found in less than ten minutes!”
“Alright, what do you want me to do, shall I get the navy, I
mean an ambulance on the phone?” I asked.
Fuck that!” he responded wisely.
“I still owe them Bastards for the ambulance I had two weeks
ago (Oh, I forgot to tell you about that one, didn’t I, well tough
shit!) go and phone my father up, he’ll drive me up to the
“Right you are homey!” I replied in an American accent.
“Oh, don’t go all fucking Scottish on me now, I need help!”
he said with an edge of despair to his, you know.
“Right, what’s your father’s number?” I asked.
“I’ll write it down for you, look pass me that bit of bog roll
off the floor, shit, I haven’t got a friggin’ pen!” he hissed.
“It’s alright; I’ll go down to my room and get one!” I offered.
“There’s no time for that now, open up that yellow paint tin
in the corner, I’ve been saving it for a special occasion, its
just that I’d always imagined that it would be a happy one.”
he said almost tearfully.
I was on that motherfucking tin in seconds, wallop, it was open.
I was down the God Damned stairs, straight out the door, across
the road and over to the phone box faster than you could, Oh
never mind that’s disgusting.
(Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that he dipped his left forefinger
into the afore mentioned tin of paint and scribbled his father’s
phone number in quite a fine number of digits!)
I entered the phone box from the front (Yeah, that’s right it
wasn’t one of those side door Bastards!)
Phoned his father and told him the business.
As I pulled back into my street (Pulled? Eh? What the fuck
am I on about, pulled? What the fuck do I think I was riding?
for Christ Sake?) I ran up the steps only to find the front door
open and the insane guy sitting at the bottom of the stairs, by
his side was the guy who likes fishing (It then transpired that
the fishing guy had returned from seeing the tall boats or big
ships in Falmouth and had just returned in time to witness the
insane guy from upstairs hopping down the fucking stairs!)
“What the fuck are you doing downstairs, asshole?”
I demanded without my usual compassion.
“Couldn’t stay up on deck Captain, I had to come down to the
steam room and wait it out with the crew, sir!???” he answered.
“Right, well your father’s on his way, he said that he’ll be here
in a few minutes!” I replied to the invalid.
The fishing guy (Who’s really starting to get on my tit lately!)
and I just stood around for a few minutes watching the insane
guy from upstairs grimace.
Then his father turned up in a blue car (Don’t ask me what
fucking type of car it was, because I know absolutely fuck
all about cars, but it had wheels, four of the fuckers, and it was
blue!)”All hands on deck!” shouted the insane guy.
I stood to attention, then suddenly realized what a twat I was
making of myself and walked over to the wall and started to
peel a tangerine instead.
The fishing guy was still standing there giving the salute, he had
his outstretched hand up to his right eye and he was showing off
his one good tooth.
“Listen; do you want a hand down the steps?” I enquired of the
insane guy.
“No, I’ll manage!” he replied.
His father approached and handed him a walking stick, he was
going good until the last but one step, then he slipped, it was
only momentary for his foot was up in the air and then back upon
the step in a second, but fuck me what a scream he let rip.
Then he was in the car and off to hospital.


He returned home around 11:30, I saw him in the hall as he came
in the front door, his father was trying desperately to get him to go
home with him, so that he and his mother could look after him but
the insane guy was having none of it.
“I’ve got my friends here to help me!” he said nodding towards me
and another couple of people standing around.
His father left not long after we had got his son up to his room and
into his armchair.
“So they managed to get the knee back in place then? I said with
a smile.
“No!” he replied.
“It wasn’t the knee after all; it was the tendons in the leg!”
he replied with a smile.
“Jesus, ain’t that motherfucker hurting?” I asked.
“It was but they pumped me full of painkillers and I was drunk
when it happened, so it doesn’t feel that bad at the moment!” he
replied calmly.
He pulled out a bottle of VODKA from down the side of his chair
and poured some into his glass which had been sitting on the table
waiting for his return.
He drank that down and poured another one, he drank that one
down as well and then tried talking to me and the other guy who
was in his room.
He was not making much sense, he was very confused, he started
mumbling about this and that and then he started drooling, it was
at this point that me and the other guy decided to pick him up and
lay him on the bed, so we did.
We left him on the bed, turned out the light and went off to our
own rooms, it had been a crazy night, that insane guy was getting
just a little bit too insane lately. I was starting to get worried, much
more of this and he was really going to hurt himself. Now I didn’t
want to see that but I didn’t know what to do about it?


The next morning there was a loud knocking on my door, I shouted
“Fuck Off!” once but the knocking continued so I got up to
answer it.
It was the insane guy, he had his father with him, it turned out
that when he had awoken and the VODKA had worn off, he had
realized that he could not move about quite so easily as he had
thought he would be able to the night before.
So he had knocked on the door of the guy next door and had him
to give his father a phone.
So here he was telling me that he was going up to his parent’s
house for the next ten weeks, I didn’t know what to say so
I said,
“Look after yourself, Captain!”
And he smiled.
“Who am I going to drink with now?” I asked.
He just shrugged his shoulders and looked embarrassed, it was
almost as if he thought that he was doing something wrong, it
was as if he felt guilty.
“Just hurry up and get yourself well, motherfucker!” I ordered
with a smile.
Then I grabbed hold of his arm and helped him down the steps
and over to his father’s car.
As we were doing this, I looked at him and he no longer looked
insane, he looked like a tired man who was trying to put on a
brave face, I felt proud of him.
Then he got into the car and off they drove, I don’t really know
what else to say? because it may be the last time that I see him?
for I plan to move soon, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

© Paul Tristram 2014

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet. Buy his book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.
Buy his book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at

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