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Friday night and I’ve finished my shift; I’m at the bus stop, waiting for the number 93, me and a lady in a green sari with a raincoat on top who’s got even more bags than I have. I’ve picked up a few bits for his dinner, the rain is coming down in bullets and I haven’t got a coat on myself, cos they all make me look fat.
On the other side of the road a door bangs and a couple of blokes shoulder out of the Blind Drummer Boy. One of them huddles into his collar, there’s no let up with the rain, the other balls his fists and shoves them in his trouser pockets, then he leans on the pub wall getting flakes of paint on his shirt. Collars has his index finger up. He might take the other guy’s eye out with it. Point, stab, point, stab and fucking this and fucking that and getting louder all the time. The other one, Fists, clenches himself, holds steady, back to the wall. He’s not going to rise to it.
I stick my head out into the rain beyond the glass shelter, look up the road for the bus. Nothing coming. Me and sari lady settle our shopping bags down and ignore the show.
Next thing, a girl comes out of the pub, hugging herself because of the rain. She’s got sky high stilettos on, three quarter-length leggings and a ruched mini skirt. Bubble Butt. Her hair is slick on her head. I can see her roots from here.
Shut the fuck up, says Collars, pointing the finger again. Bubble Butt makes to stroke his back. She wants to tell him something, maybe she loves him, but her teeth chatter too much. She fishes out a damp fag from somewhere and tries to light it in the rain, moving from foot to foot. The shoes look as though they’re killing her. The men keep at it – Fists chafing the paint off the pub wall, Collars effing and pointing.
The number 93 drifts out of the rain into the orange light we are standing in. I smile at the lady in the sari just as Fists smacks Collars with a right to the temple. Bubble butt lets off a torrent and starts up with the finger.
You coming or what? The bus driver doesn’t look at us, he stares straight ahead. Sari lady and me, we get our bags together and get out of the rain.