So i’ve been rather ill over the past few days, not really able to concentrate on anything but the cramp in my neck, while the wool in my head blocks almost anything useful. I didn’t want to sit and whine, so I decided to head off to the city, and buy a few things.
Outside of the arndale stood an old man, with a befuddled look on his face. He came over to me and started talking to me like we were old friends. He warned me about the pressure bags have on your back, and then I had to stop in my tracks as I realised this man wasn’t your typical friendly city-dweller, mainly because there aren’t typical friendly city-dwellers.
I think he suffers from Schizophrenia judging by his repeated phrase “Them trying to get him”, and the rollercoaster of moments in life where someone was trying to get the better of him. It seemed like his life was one huge conspiracy, but he seemed harmless enough. I wanted to leave him to his devises, but there was something about his friendly and honest nature that exposed a very vulnerable person.
He told me he had travelled fairly far, and that he wanted to go to the pound shop, which we did. He bought some sponges, and then I walked him back to the tram. He told me he was 68, and he was being stalked by his Aunty in various wigs and disguises. It wasn’t my usual day out, I can tell you that.
I offered to buy him some coffee or tea, but he told me that he didn’t like coffee, and tea had a habit of going straight through him. He suggested that he would like to go home now, so I walked him to the tram, and waited till he got on. He smiled at me and told me he would see me soon, and I told him that it would be nice, and to watch out for his Aunty.
The man broke my heart, and I can’t help but worry what will happen to him, but i’d be lying if I said these sorts of things never happen to me. I think it’s because I look at people while i’m walking about, as a writer I like to steal as I stroll, and sometimes uninhibited people can’t help but come over and talk.
I hope he’s safe, and that his Aunty really isn’t out to get him, with a bag full of cheap nylon wigs. I hope that if he has a home or family that he does this kind of thing every other week, and I really hope that he actually came on the tram like he said he did, otherwise I may have just gotten him arrested for fair dodging.
Once he was gone I went back into the city and bought my partner Holly some honey soap, a little body-butter bee, and an orange Lindt easter-egg (Because you have to keep traditions alive).
Some days are just weird, but that’s why I love life.