Thursday, 23 September 2010

The man with the tartan Thermos, the pea-coat and the all-year-round woolly hat...

Cowlersley from Kevin Boniface on Vimeo.

The man with the tartan Thermos, the pea-coat and the all-year-round woolly hat has started crossing the road when he sees me. We pass each other at 6am every morning, he’s often the only other person I see as I walk into work.
After a few weeks of ignoring each other I let on and said “‘Morning”. He didn’t reply.
As time went by and I persisted, he started to respond but never seemed very comfortable with it. His eyes would start flickering nervously at me from about twenty yards away, I’d say “‘Morning” and he’d emit an awkward choking sound accompanied by a twitchy sideways glance. Now he crosses the road and keeps his eyes fixed on the pavement.

A man in a hooded North Face jacket, elaborately top-stitched jeans and Nike trainers was smoking a cigarette and fiddling with a Blackberry on the steps at the entrance to the flats. He was blocking my way and so I said hello as I approached. He didn’t even glance up. As I squeezed past, my bag brushing against his knee, he still didn’t move.
When I came out of the flats the man was still there, smoking another cigarette and thumbing his Blackberry. I said hello again, he looked up, squinted, pulled on his cigarette and looked down again.

Two overweight men in their thirties were talking as they walked past me on Meadow Way:
“I bet I fucking could”, said one.
“I bet you fucking couldn’t”, said the other.
“I bet I fucking could”.
“You fucking couldn’t”.
“I fucking could”.
“You fucking couldn’t”.
“I bet I fucking could...”

A women in flat shoes and a very full skirt stopped me in the street to tell me she’d been to the 90th birthday party of her pianist “I’m in the choir at the methodist... the cake was in the shape of a grand piano. It was sponge but it was lovely and moist”.