On the way into work, I followed a man who was wrapped in a pink Winnie the Pooh duvet along Heaton Road. Further down, where the KIA Shuma with “Driven by one seriously mad bitch” written across its boot usually parks, I passed two young men in hooded tops. They were in animated conversation relating to one another their parts in a violent altercation.
Arranged on the pavement outside the roller-shutter doors of the open market, were six candles burning in highball glasses where a victim of the “mass brawl” on Bank Holiday Monday had been found.
On the bus, I’d assumed the old woman next to me was talking to herself, but it turned out she was commenting on the weather to me. I apologised and agreed that it had felt a bit cooler of late. Suddenly, the man wearing the tracksuit and holding a half-length mirror a few seats in front of us started ranting at nobody in particular. Most of what he was shouting was incoherent, but the phrases “Make an appointment to see yourself!” and “Have a fucking word with yourself!” were conspicuous. I exchanged a glance with the old woman and she raised her eyebrows and bit her bottom lip. When the man got off a few stops later, the old woman said she’d seen it all now.