A story written a while ago, originally published in The Walker and Other Stories
I used to be like you, leaning on a counter of my shop and staring out of the window at me walking by. You were not normal – I was. I didn’t see me in my eyes like you don’t now. You will come to understand that we are one, one day. In your world where everything has a place even me, I am the madman walking by, I am your future, you are mine. At the end of this street I will turn left and make my way home at last. I have thought it through, it is good again. I’ll sleep tonight.
It is 7 am, I am awake, it is still good. Time for breakfast: a cup of tea and a couple of slices of toast. I slept last night for at least five hours, that is a good night – five blissful hours of unconsciousness. Today I’ll walk to the shops again: I’ll go in to that one near the station where they sell the strong smelling tobacco, and I’ll ask the price of the chrome Zippo cigarette lighter in the window. I won’t buy it of course, how can I? Besides – I don’t smoke, any more. First stop – the bathroom – that’s a satisfying piss, the first one of the day always is, that’s when I really need to empty my bladder; no need to stand there and shake it about nonchalantly waiting. God – I hate public toilets, always some pratt trying to see over your shoulder, as if to compare dicks. Is it a natural consequence of man’s evolution, to stand, shoulders rubbing, next to complete strangers and stare at pastel coloured walls, while down below, your urine and theirs mix together before rushing on a journey that ultimately leads to the ocean and complete amalgamation?
On to the kitchen: such a complicated sequence of actions to co-ordinate this morning. Items required: tea bag, cup (must be clean), milk (must be fresh(ish)), sugar, kettle, kettle lead, water, bread (not too stale), margarine, grill, peanut butter, jam, big plate, small plate, butter (or margarine) knife, another knife for peanut butter, yet another for jam, tea spoon. Will the toast burn while I’m washing the knives? What now? Turn the grill off. Shit! It’s all getting cold now. Radio on, get something to read – what’s this? Last week’s free paper – that’ll do.
Chomp, chomp, delicious. ‘Test Drive the New Rover’. ‘First team lose by two goals.’ ‘Gang of shoplifters hit town.’ That’s an interesting headline. ‘Gangs of professional shoplifters are targeting stores in the town centre.’ Read on. Bullshit! Sensationalism! We’re all alone really. No such thing as a gang. Christmas soon – the adverts tell me, I like Christmas; more people about and the shopkeepers are too busy to notice me; I can just walk all day – walk and observe, watch you in your hamster cages.
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