It started as a bit of a joke, with that drugs campaign. “Talk to Frank” it said. I never found out why they chose to use Frank but I’ve had 10 years of being talked to. At first only friends though, not anyone else until later. Well, I say friends. Used-to-be friends I think of them as now, all of them.
Sometimes they would talk to me about drugs and what did I know? I like a bit of a drink and I know some of my mates do have a joint at parties but that’s about it for me and drugs. I tried to remember Zammo and advised ‘just don't do it.’ Then Gary pointed out it was ‘just say no’ so I just said that as advice if anyone ever asked.
For a while everyone wanted to know who my dealer was, could they get something off him. I don't think anyone really believed me when I said I didn’t have a dealer and no I didn't know anyone else either. They looked suspicious, like I was trying to keep them from something, from my own special supply maybe.
After a while it wasn’t just my friends any more. People at work had started popping by my desk to talk to me about things, hardly ever actually about work. Sometimes it was about drugs too but mostly it was just about random stuff they wanted to say. Some of it was really weird, saying odd things about me or about someone else in the office. For some reason a lot of people wanted to talk about Marina in the post room.
Then one day it started outside work too, out on the street. I was sat at the bus stop and people walking past started talking to me. They didn't usually stop and talk, just say things as they walked past and then hurry on by. I tried not to react because if one person saw me answering or maybe thought I’d have time to engage with them, I found that would encourage the others.
I mostly don't mind it but sometimes they won't stop and I want a rest. I don't always have something to say and when two or three start talking together my head starts to hurt. I even scream to drown it out but they carry on and on.
What’s it like? Maybe like your own voice, telling you a story inside your head, one you don't always want to listen to but can’t do anything about. I’d like it to be quiet and I’d like to know why. Is it really just because I’m called Frank?