Wednesday 12 July 2017

#202 Friends you haven't met

Met a guy called Paddy earlier. You can guess where he comes from. I'm there munching on my moussaka outside Dulwich Cafe and he offers to swap seats as his table's better for eating. It's the most sensible thing that's come out of his mouth since I got there.

Fucking bellowing HELLO at the customers in a half friendly, half aggressive tone, which inadvertantly warns them that he's had a troubled past involving drugs and alcohol. Threw himself off a roof several years ago, broke half the bones in his body and hasn't touched a drop since.

Said he was planning on going on holiday next weekend. Do you have a valid passport? Lit me till yer abowt di toime I... ok, through you go Sir.

Old Paddy seemed to know half of East Dulwich. Little back and forths with the other daytime dragglers, including his ever so pretty lady friend, who he pays to "look after his cat". I couldn't tell what the hell that was code for. It could have been an actual cat.

The second "friend" I made was a lady trying to get to Stratford. Good old Dan knows the way but then how does she get down the escalator with her pram? I think out loud about this one. Well I'm going to offer to help carry the pram but you're going to say no because it has your baby in it, so I'll tell you to take the baby out of the pram and carry it yourself and I'll carry the pram. I've always liked carrying things. BLESS YOU! She cries. I couldn't believe it. I'm getting thanked for doing something I actually like? What kind of messed up world is this?

The good Samaritan was the craziest of the bunch. A lot of people abuse substances or don't know where the fuck they're going but when you see a group of guys setting fire to a bench in an East London churchyard there are numbers you can call.

This dorky, Mormon lookalike decides to walk up to the group and announce that they shouldn't be doing that. No shit. Why doesn't he just knife himself and save us all some time?

I couldn't resist tagging along next to him. There aren't really that many opportunities in a life like mine to pretend to be "the muscle". I stayed silent, of course. Turns out they actually listened to him and walked away. It was like the power of Christ compelled them or something. The bench was pretty well singed by that point. If you fancy reading book while sitting on some charcoal, head to Limehouse.

"You're braver than me" I told him once we were out of earshot. Either that or the man just really liked benches.


Unknown said...

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy reading you?

Running on empty said...

Ditto. City life sure throws up some real characters.

Profound Familiarity said...

Obrigado amável amigo maravilhoso

Profound Familiarity said...

I was thinking about your post on the buskers.

Jonathan Copping said...

A great read, more interesting than TV!

Profound Familiarity said...

and fewer adverts. I tried to get some but Google Adsense are, it seems, quite choosy.

Running on empty said...

Be my guest.