Kings Cross – Why?
Ever since my experience with the shop sign dude I’ve been looking into why it is Kings Cross sucks, and why any pigeon in their right mind would want to live there. As it happens, turns out most of them aren’t, which is why they do.
I met Jim a while back. This is Jim:
Jim suffered terribly from depression until a few years ago when he found happiness with Janet. He also spent a brief spell living in ‘The Cross’ as he calls it. I asked him how he ended up there in the first place, and why he stayed as long as he did…
“Dunno. Life just went from bad to worse. Everything happened at once. Lost a ledge in Covent Garden to a couple from Penge. Really got me down, ya know? I’d been there for years. They just turned up one day. He was bigger than me. A lot bigger. So was she. Anyway, before I knew it, I was ledgeless wandering around Kings Cross with nowhere to go sniffing up leftovers and chewing on fag butts. Some of my darkest moments were on the pavements of Kings Cross.”
So, what it was like?
“Rough, man. Really rough. I’d say most pigeons who live there are at the end of their string, if you get my drift. Had enough of it all. Every one of them’s got some sort of mental shit going on. Depression. Confusion. All sorts. One time, I remember I’d found a dry spot just outside St Pancras Station, pissing down with rain it was. Some pigeon comes up to me. Right in me face. Thought he was a mountain lion. Just opening his beak going ‘roar’ over and over again. Well sad. That was a bit of a turning point for me.”
How did you escape?
“I met Janet. Simple as that. Dunno why she picked me, but she did, and everyday I say ‘Thank you for that’. Something she really wants me to stop doing as it goes.”
How did you meet?
“I flew into her. Literally. Bang. It was love at first sight.”
How long after that did you leave?
“Almost straight away. Janet was with the MPB. Sorted me right out, in loads of ways. Ways I never thought possible, or legal!” It was good to see him laugh, even though I had no idea why.
Janet – who wanted to remain anonymous – is part of a group called Make Pigeons Better. The MPB, based in Camden, another haven for the mentally ill, specialise in helping pigeons with ‘issues’.
Nuts Nora is another now in the care of the MPB.
This is Nuts Nora threatening to jump. Course she never did:
So, Jim, how’s it going now you’re out?
“Magic, mate. Never felt better. Still do the odd fag butt. Apart from that, life is sweet.”
A happy ending indeed, but what I don’t know is: Why Kings Cross? Why not Stoke Newington or Battersea or Dulwich? I guess this is a question that can only be answered by talking to a few more pigeons, maybe even some existing Kings Cross residents, if I can find any able to string a sentence… We’ll see.