Friday, 13 October 2017

6 a.m.: It’s been a windy night.



6 a.m.: It’s been a windy night. There are leaves swirling around the fallen apples on the pavement. In the park, two young men are unable to resist the child’s scooter which has been abandoned against a litter bin. After a couple of failed attempts at bunny-hops, they lose interest and prop it back where they'd found it. They are in conversation as they walk up the path towards me: 
“The thing is, right, she’s said a few things recently that have made me feel a bit, hmm.”
“What? Like it’s kind of getting a bit more serious than you’d like?”


I follow the man in head-to-toe hi-vis who is smoking strong weed. He’s walking slower than I am and, as I catch him up, he emits a loud belch. When I overtake him and he realises that I’d have been within earshot, he clears his throat several times perhaps thinking I’d assume that what I’d taken to be a noisy eructation was just another attempt at clearing his passages.

the five-year-old plastic lawn at number twelve is really starting to fade now. It has bleached to quite a pale green and is now far more realistic than when it was installed.

The woman in the trouser suit whose long blonde hair is tied back in a black scrunchie is on the phone: “Hiya, can you do us a favour? Can you see if I’ve got a bag of Cheetos in the third drawer down?"

On the new estate, three boys are playing football in the road. A girl asks if she can join in, “Yes,” says the boy in the Chelsea kit, “You can pretend you’re watching us on the TV.”

The vicar has installed a lurid 3D picture of a blond haired Christ adjacent to the front door of the vicarage.

It’s a bit rough around here; the landlords have attached advertisements for boarding-up services to the front windows and, at the cash machine outside the post office, an elderly woman wearing Superman pyjamas is withdrawing a tenner.

In town, it’s gloomy, wet and windy. I move aside for the three drunks and their free-range bow-legged Staffy. They are owning the space like their lives depend on it—which they probably do. They gob on the floor and ostentatiously impart their observations on life: "She were a right big lass for a girl." 

Robbie Williams spews out over ‘The Piazza’ on the rubbish PA system: "I got too much life running through my veins” he sings with no bottom-end to all the old women as they hobble past Poundworld with their bags-for-life and their hoods up against the pissing horizontal rain.