I’m starting to become one of those. You know, the dishevelled freaks limping along the pavement, talking to vibrant alcoholic hallucinations, one of those you cross the street to avoid being accosted for your views on the impending apocalypse, or being showered in spittle. Well, maybe not quite that bad. But I’ve definitely started doing the talking out loud part. It’s the beginning. The end is nigh.
It began, as it always does, with a song insidiously sliding into my head with a beat that matches the pace of my walk, and me muttering a few lines (“YOU SHOULD WANNA BAD BITCH LYK DIS”) in the (often incorrect) assumption that I’m alone. Then, trying to cross a road, “TRY INDICATING MATE!”. Doing a crabwalk past siamese twin couples on a narrow part of the pavement going over a bridge, “yeah alright I’ll just walk in the gutter where I belong then, shall I…?” More walking. I don’t do buses. I don’t do bicycles. I’ve been privy to far too many tales of narrow escapes, and I just don’t have the balls for it. I can drive, but who can afford to run a car in Brighton? More walking, more tunes. (“TO ROCK A RHYME IT’S TRICKY”) Helps with the strut, the pretend swagger. Helps me forget the trapped nerve, twisting a wince into a choked lyric. Isn’t all our entertainment just to take our minds off varying degrees of pain?
I don’t listen to any music while perambulating other than that which pops into my head, inspired by an overheard comment or a sale sign in a shop window (“dumb cunts same dumb question…”). This is partly because I don’t wish to be knocked down by a bus I haven’t heard coming. And partly because when I’ve shouted a greeting at a friend with earphones in I know the embarrassment of having everyone else turn to look at you apart from said friend.
Finally, I get to wherever I’m meant to be and remove my coat. Usually to cries of “aren’t you cold?” because I’ll be wearing some sort of sleeveless garment beneath the black duvet with arm holes I’ve valiantly carried on me for miles. No. Uttered bluff and bluster and the adrenaline from catching myself from tripping so many times in my haste has made me quite the hard-boiled egg. I reign in the thoughts, daydreams and lyrics, and try instead to concentrate for eight hours.
Photos taken from my Flickr.