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Around The Sun: Suicidal Tendencies

Steve Harrison, having been abandoned by the girl he loved, went through a turbulent and frightening time.

Please lock me away, And don’t allow the day here inside, where I hide with my loneliness, I don’t care what they say, I won’t stay, In a world without love – Peter & Gordon.

After Linda left me I thought my world had ended. A song at the time was “World Without Love” by Peter and Gordon. I became self destructive, drank constantly and drove recklessly. I didn’t give a damn what happened to me. I wrecked one car, then another. My life was a series of accidents.

One night I was driving my Mini Minor along the road between Brighouse and Mirfield. I knew that road like the back of my hand. I’d driven it a thousand times. It was late on a moonless night, I was drunk as a skunk. I got down low in my seat. I could barely see over the bonnet, I knew the road so well I thought I could drive it in the dark, so I switched the headlights off, continuing at my usual break-neck speed.

I thought I was doing fine. A left hand bend, then a tight right hand bend coming up... I was pretending to be a racing driver.

Suddenly there was a huge stone in front of me. A very huge stone. I braked hard and swung to the right, but I hit the stone broadside on. The car went into the air and came down on its roof. I fell out of my seat, landing upside down on my right shoulder. The tool chest which I carried in the car rained down spanners, screwdrivers and hammers upon me.

The car had stalled. When I eventually managed to get my door open I saw that the front and back wheels on my side of the vehicle had been torn away. The impact had squashed in the roof, and the vehicle was teetering on the edge of a 20 ft deep hole.

Unbeknown to me, the Government had decided that a motorway should be built over the Pennines, linking Yorkshire and Lancashire. The place where I had crashed had been chosen as the location of a huge roundabout and a flyover. A huge hole had been dug, some 100 yards in diameter. Pylons were to be sunk there. Huge stones marked the outline of the roundabout, and it was one of these which I had hit.

A close thing, I said to myself as I leaned into the car to collect a change of clothes.

Soon I bought another car, but it didn't last long. I was driving away from Leeds in broad daylight. I had been drinking at Whitelocks, a famous pub in the city centre. I was belting along at a rate of knots, singing along to David Bowie's Young American.

Some guy was coming towards, overtaking another motorist. He was on my side of the road...

Time slowed almost to a stop. The man coming towards me was grimacing, looking me in the eye...

I swerved hard left. There was the screech of metal on metal. I straightened up my car and carried on as though nothing had happened. When I looked in my rear-view mirror I saw debris and smoke.

When I got home I couldn’t open my car door. The impact had welded it shut. There was not much paint on the right hand side of the car. Just shiny metal.

A mate of mine, a dodgy car dealer, took the damaged vehicle off my hands and supplied me with another in its stead.

Friends. We all need them.


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