Saturday 26 August 2017

Leaves are stuck fast to the roofs of cars with condensation

Leaves are stuck fast with condensation to the roofs of cars. More leaves and a couple of energy drink cans line the gutter. I can hear a police siren, the noise of a train going through the cutting, a jangle of keys as a man unlocks the community centre and the wood pigeons calling from the beech on the edge of the wood. There are some more old mattresses in the front garden of the flats and a burst bin bag outside A-Z Tyres where the fuchsia had dropped its flowers in a neat purple stripe. In the park, a flock of gulls swoops low over the narrow gauge railway and the Canada geese by the pond stare at me as I walk past.

In town, the tail-lifts creak, the pallet trucks squeak and the drunks in the church gardens argue about which of them understands dogs the most. Above them, a fourth-floor window opens and two men lean out. One of them launches a paper dart made from a pizza menu. “What the fuck was that?” the other exclaims as it spiral dives straight down and crashes onto the pavement below.

Later, on the estate, a learner driver cautiously passes the boy of about eight who jumps from a four-foot high garden wall using a Morrison’s bag as a parachute and then rolls histrionically across the pavement.

I pass two untidy looking men with several missing teeth. They are leaning on the bins and drinking strong cider. “You look nothing like Postman Pat!” one of them shouts to me in a slightly camp accent.
“Do you not like my look?” I ask, "This high-vis is brand new.”
“It’s not so bad, you just don’t look like Postman Pat, that’s all," the man says before his attention is drawn to the tall woman in her seventies with the full-length woollen overcoat who has just come round the corner and is trying to avoid eye contact. “I love your coat!” he shouts after her. 
“Thanks, love,” says the woman, blushing slightly.