Sunday 1 November 2015

Storm Drains Are Overflowing

Storm drains are overflowing. An empty packet of Lambert & Butler and an energy drink can overtake me in the swollen run-off channel at the side of the road.

In the big yellow cherry tree, starlings make noises like excited children on a coach trip.

A Jack Russell terrier escapes from the woman with the mid-calf length floral print pleated skirt and the summer wine perm, and chases the Land Rover as it reverses into the driveway. “Stupid bloody dog!” says the woman, “It’s his boss that’s come back. That’s what’s done it!” she explains.

The flats with the pretentious name smell like a swimming pool today.

The man in the long overcoat is reading a book and drinking White Star cider inside the phone box.

The man in the white 7.5-ton truck blows his horn at the man in the bright orange fleece jacket.

The boy of about eight in the passenger seat of a Ford Focus shouts “You fat bastard!” to the fat man at the cash machine.

The teenage boy with lots of tattoos and no shirt in late October scowls and sticks out his tongue at the little girl in the back seat of the brand new Audi.

Two young girls are in conversation. Girl on a pink Barbie bike with snot in her hair: “I’m going to my nan’s and granddad’s and me dad’s tekkin me”. Slightly older girl with bed head and pyjamas at one in the afternoon: “No you’re not cos he’s going scrap yard”.

Two women are in conversation. Woman with dyed black crop and striped jumper: “You off up to t’church?” Slouching woman with cigarette: “Not yet.” Woman with dyed black crop and striped jumper: “I thought you were off up now, I were getting stressed!”

The woman with the yellow teeth who wears her anorak indoors is shouting at her children. She doesn’t get on with the man next door who sits chain-smoking in his garden all day.