There was some lunatic in the park this morning, around the time of the school’s first bell. He was shouting his head off and making all kinds of hand gestures as if he was having a ruckus with an invisible man. It’s standard procedure to give these nutters a wide berth but nowadays I can’t resist getting an insight into characters like this, so I went over and asked him if he was alright. “I AM NOT, NOT, A MORON!” he shouted. I burst out laughing, because the word moron is a private joke between me and my mate Daz* (we amuse ourselves by calling people odd insults, like melon, plum, spanner, doorknob, etc).
I kept my distance of course but I was intrigued. Plus I was doing my bit for the community. A school mum and an elderly lady had already took detours to avoid him. If he started hacking someone to death I might be too late getting over there. “YEAH, I’M FINE,” he said, “I’M CHALKY. EVERYONE ON THIS MANOR OVER 18 KNOWS ME.” Funny, as I'd never clapped eyes on him. After exchanging pleasantries I left him to it. He said he wasn’t drunk. He was sharp as a fox. I forgot to ask him what he was on and if he had any spare. Damn it.
Ten minutes later he was shouting again. I could hear him from the bathroom. He was quite lyrical actually, a latent performance poet perhaps. This is why the morning is the most important segment of the Earth’s spin. It’s imperative to hear the birds and the sirens before the harsh wash of plain day gets into busy flow. This is why you can’t beat the ghetto, the slum, the streets, the estate, or, according to Chalky, the manor. They’re simply more interesting. Cul-de-sacs and gated communities may be the safest place to raise kids, but there’s a predictability about the same folk passing through every day. First sniff of a stranger and they’re on the blower to the five 0.
*Here’s the link for Daz’s poignant history: http://jonsjailjournal.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-friend-darren-by-guest-blogger.html