‘Une Grotte Quelque Part en Normandie’ by Zoolon
The little old bloke with the peaked cap walks the main road into town each day. He carries a big bag and picks up all the street rubbish. He never wears gloves. He’s round-shouldered and his trousers are too short. He doesn’t speak to anyone. He just swears to himself. I saw him again this morning. He was mumbling ‘bastards’ on a loop.
A bit further down road is a bus stop. There’s not a lot of call for it. It’s only two short stops away from the depot. Only people with walking sticks or don’t like walking wait there.
The girl with a Swastika tattoo on her neck had an old moped last week. This week she has a brand new Lambretta. It sounds like a swarm of angry bees. Maybe a bit smoother than that. Her moped used to sound like C-3PO with a chesty cough. She doesn’t do crash helmets. If ever people are waiting at the bus stop and there’s a massive puddle kerbside she aims at it and puts two-fingers up as she soaks them on her drive-by. I don’t know how that’s going to pan out now she has a Lambretta.
Opposite the doctors surgery, further down, a double-fronted Victorian lump. It doubles up as a knocking shop. That’s what I was told anyway. I had to ask what one of those was. I should have worked it out myself. It’s probably true that it is a knocking shop. A pretty pissed off girl – I think ‘pretty’ works both ways with this one – in just her dressing down rushed out of the front door, down the steps holding a massive kitchen knife. She shouts in a language I don’t know. The bloke she was chasing was now on the other side of the road. Running. He looked English. Most likely he is. She gave up the chase. I guess he never paid. Odd thing to see at 9am.
Further down, closer to the town centre, there’s the bloke with the two golden retrievers. I see him most days. The dogs each have a newspaper in their mouths. They always do. Makes them feel special. They are.
Just past the railway station there’s a giant horse chestnut tree. The Christian’s, an older bloke in a long black coat and a girl dressed like she’s time travelled here from a hundred years ago, stand under it handing out A5 glossy leaflets. I didn’t take one. They seem happy enough, even though it’s a cold day. A few weeks back when the conkers were falling off the tree they gave handing out leaflets a miss.
When I get to the post office a sweet little old lady is just exiting. I hold the heavy door open for her. She looks up at me, grabs the sleeve of my hoodie. Holds it tight as old hands can. Says, “No one does that anymore.” I say, “What?” thinking I might have done something wrong. She tells me that she likes it when a gentleman holds the door open for her. “Good manners” she says. Then I get what she meant. She gives me a whiter than white dentures Hollywood smile, squeezes the back of my hand like she’s ‘Super Old Lady’ then wanders off. An angel? I reckon so. I’ve never been called a gentleman before. Today’s song, ‘All Winter Long’ is for her. It’s the first track on my Rainbows End album. Hope you enjoy.
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