Wednesday, 28 January 2009

After work

Long day at work. On the bus at 9.45pm couldn't face going home and cooking. Dropped into Pizza Express instead. Table for one. Got my book out to while away the time between the order and arrival of the food. The waitress chatted about books. She suggested reading Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres, encouraging me to get through the first 2/3 chapters (boring bits of history apparently). She was studenty and excitable. Not sure if she just didn't want me to feel lonely. It was nice. She forgot to add my water (bottled) to the bill of £5.75, so I gave her a £2 tip. I hoped she didn't get into trouble with her boss for talking too much. A French woman was talking too loudly to her boyfriend. As the customers thinned out, the background hubbub died down, she became more instrusive.

I sat behind a man whose hair was purposefully greasy. It stank. When he got off I almost expected him to be a tramp but he wasn't - a respectable wool coat, nice jeans, sweater and shirt.

We can't call a tramp a tramp anymore in our PC work world (we need to be inclusive rather than judgemental and derogative). But in writing it down I wonder if it evokes the same imagery if we say homeless person. Homeless people makes me think of body shapes sleeping in doorways in damp sleeping bags on flattened cardboard boxes. Tramp seems to be more characterful. Or something.

A man comes out of the chicken shop and hands the plastic bag carrying his box of chicken and chips into the mouth of his black labrador. The labrador takes the bag obentiently, doesn't tuck into the box or anything, just holds it off the ground and jogs along side his owner. Eager to please, dogs are.

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