Thursday, 27 January 2011

Quick-Talking Homeless Stars

My red and white shoes flash in circles, faster and faster as I move across the canal upside-down and gunning it. Will can’t keep up. In and out and in and out, across, over, around and down and up and through, past all the magnificent sinking and bent brickwork buildings, with wide windows and never-the-same faces. I speed up, and the clicks grow louder, the buildings bigger and the mouths wider, I speed and speed until I reach the city square where, I hit a little fence, and the bike and I smash right into the floor.
‘Are you alright?’ a redheaded woman says.
I satisfy her qualms with a bloodied grin for I can't begin to vocalize how much fun I'm having. I survey as the hipsters play their cards and read Kafka and smoke cigarettes or spliffs, whilst the juggling unicyclists hassle bystanders with talk and tricks and kids play amongst the pigeons’ shit. At one side the national monument protrudes, in all its phallic glory, to commemorate this or that and some Great European War. The quick-talking homeless stars assemble at its foot, giving sexual health advice in exchange for change, or a minute of your time- they’re modest folk really, and stylish too, they give the square that resonant air of wisdom lacking from so many city centres.

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