Today it was 200. In the last 6 weeks, all counted, it’s probably in the region of a grand. It’s been worse, but I have to say, that’s a bad trot! Will it stop me? No. Why should it? What I do now is scrape the loose change up from wherever it lies, get down to the offie for 20 more fags and a nice rich red, and spend the rest of the night avoiding the consequences. Easy - done it all before, and I’ll do it all again: Most likely. I can afford to lose whenever I like – those I owe can wait; I’m good at excuses, that won’t be a problem. Not that I’m rich. I wouldn’t take the risks I do if I was – no, far from it. I’m about as badly off as it’s possible to be without being in jail. It’s a choice I’ve made, you could say. And some would say (and they have) that this is offensive; that in a way it’s bordering on sociopathic to have such a disregard for cash…? If I chose to be a part of a cosy, addiction free world, then I’d probably agree. But I haven’t, I’m not and I don’t.
What if I’d won? Would you still have the nerve, from your moral high-ground bubble, to call me a loser? Everyone likes a winner, yeah? To be honest it doesn’t interest me. What interests me is what everyone else thinks they’re saving for? Number crunching, tax paying, building a credit rating – what are these if not different forms of addiction? You strive for the “maybe one day”, I strive for the “all or nothing”! I’m on the roller-coaster, you’re on the gravy train! So give me a break! Tolerance. Isn’t that what’s attractive now? Well, how about tolerating me? Don’t I have a disease? Shouldn’t you sympathise – donate maybe? Yeah: stick a tenner a month on direct debit for me, and when I get it I’ll put it on Worthy Cause, 33/1 at Chepstow! Don’t make me laugh! When I end up selling the Big Issue and you find out why, what are you going to do? You’re gonna move on up the street and give your pound to the crack addict instead, right? Because he’s got real problems and I’m just a chancer. Good for you. Me: I don’t give a pound to anyone – lottery ticket gone to waste, if you ask me.
Last month my daughter – and, no, she doesn’t live with me, actually – needed a new uniform for school. If I didn’t pay for it no one else would. So I did without, took my last score to Hill’s and worked the odds: bill to pay, 180 – quick double, then: 2/1, 2/1. The second came in from on the drift at 9/4! So bonus: little girl gets the kit, I get 15 for my pains! End of the day, everyone happy, five quid spent. Now if I could pull that one off all the time what would I be? A fucking hero, yeah? But in reality I’m on my own. And that’s how I like it: less noise! If everything has gone – no rent, no food, no friends to scab off – what then, you ask? Well then you blag it. You grit your teeth, tell any necessary lies to buy you time and ride it out until you’ve got chips to play with again. It might be a week or a month or whatever, but you’ll always be back for more. That’s the nature of the game.
Sport is in my blood. Two flies crawling up a wall? Yeah, bring it on! I’m an educated man: I’ll take the one without wings – better ground-speed. The point is I don’t give a shit! Or, maybe I do… But if I admit that then you have me at a weakness. And I’m not weaker than you – I’m stronger! It may be in my interest to let you believe I’m a wanker, how would you know? As long as I keep smiling, through whatever cards I get, then I’ve already won. Life, as I judge it, is a four and a half mile chase; it’s the grand national! And I’m putting a ton on me. Because I carry less weight, I know the course, I like the going and I’m not in a rush. I’m coming up to Beecher’s on the second circuit and I’m well down the field, granted. But My sights are set and I will stay all day, baby! And I’ll have my supporters, never fear. You’ll hear them at the elbow: “Go on Megson! Go on, my son!” The question is: when you see me come upsides two out, nostrils flaring, how are you going to deal with me? Will you drop the whip and accept it, or fight me to the line? More important still: win or lose, how will we greet each other after the event? Like rivals or friends? No one’s had it easy and I hope I’ll be man enough to say that. Losing is temporary. And so is winning. Only one thing scares me and that’s a void race!