Gram Seed (2008) One Step Beyond: One Man’s Journey From Near Death to Life.


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An epiphany is a moment of sudden insight or understanding. Gram Seed, the bad seed, died and came back to life. You know how the story goes. He was lost and now he was found. He was drunk on the Lord Jesus.

This was one of Robert’s books. For a reader like me – a short read of a few hours. The park bench were Gram Seed decided was the best spot to drink himself to death, I know it well. It’s there on Dumbarton Road. On the square, across from the corner shop and Macs. A busy thoroughfare. Robert’s flat, 8f Dunswin was near the station and entry to Dalmuir Park. He didn’t stay in the house. He could never be himself. Haunted by demons as Seed was. Hail, rain, wind or snow, Robert could be found on that bench.

He got lifted by the police a few times. They even jailed his dog, Max. I had to go up to the station and get Max out. Robert went back to the bench, in the same way that Seed did. No earthly power could stop him.  

Drink was Seed’s thing, just the same as it was Robert’s and so many more lost souls. He tried but he couldn’t give it up. Then he gave up trying to try. Bad Seed knows that story well, he lived it. Died it.

The consultant said to his mum they wanted to switch the life support off. Her son was brain dead and if he lived he’d be a vegetable and paralysed for life.

I’d have turned the machine off, no question. Any of my relatives, any of my loved ones, turn the machine off. DO NOT RESUCITATE is what a protocol I’d hope was written into the end of life stuff.

Seed’s mum wouldn’t agree. He’s only thirty-three, she argued, give him a chance.

Robert was black with death the last time I saw him and I hope he’s resting in Jesus.

Religion is a bit like our first attempts at sex, we’ve grown ashamed of it. Biblical references like a waterless cloud blown by ill wind nail pretty much what I think about the moron’s moron, or any Tory, especially the new-old breed of liar (and odd-on to be elected for an extended stay) Boris. I have heard, as Balaak heard, a donkey speak and it was hee-haw, hee-haw.

Do I believe in God? The answer is yes and no. It’s an embarrassing question that Gram Seed is only too happy to answer. His mission is to convert prisoners, those people like him that didn’t give a fuck about today or tomorrow or the next day. I wish him well and many blessings as the thirty-two physical marks of Buddha.

Robert flirted with religion. AA meetings and the higher power. The Big Book. The Bible. He chatted with Jehovah Witnesses. Promised to visit their Kingdom Hall, but never did. He talked to all kinds of people that passed everyday on that bench. People liked him. One of them gave him this book. I don’t know if he ever read it. I’m reading it for him. He spoke to the woman that does the ground in St Stephen’s, asked if he could go inside and sit a while. A shrine of The Crucifixion, Jesus on his Cross, is in an island arbour of plants in one of the walls. He noticed that it had been painted or newly varnished. Who knows what he was thinking? Certainly, not me. RIP.   

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