From my window, sipping on a mug of apple juice, I watched the people standing in the street. One of them was wearing a t-shirt which tightly embraced her stomach, which was fortunately large enough to provide ample insulation in the cold relentlessness of November. Her companion was sporting bright white trainers and a tracksuit which I assumed was designed to attract even the most colour blind of people, the violent pink delightfully exaggerating her orange face, lank dark hair framing an entertaining snarl, and eyebrows akin to the likes of the African mongoose. My judgement stemmed not from their hilarious appearance, myself also guilty of frequenting the local KFC in orange Muppets lounge pants, but from the enjoyable discussion which was echoing throughout the street, reverberating from their mouths.
‘If you’re not back at Keith’s,’ yelled the one in the t-shirt, whom I also had noticed was holding the hand of a corpulent child, it’s mouth permanently sucking on the delights of a chicken nugget, ‘… if you’re not back at Keith’s for nine tonight, I am calling the police, and I mean it this time!’ I took the liberty of opening the window to listen more closely, but all of a sudden they dispersed into the night, taking their fat child with them. My heart yearned for more information- who was Keith? – how many times had this happened before? – and how in God’s name was the poor chicken nugget still resisting such an onslaught of saliva and nose-based goo? The apple juice began to taste of disappointment, and I thought at some point I should probably do some washing up, so I could stop drinking beverages from a Doctor Who mug.
I had been hesitant with people watching at first, wondering intently, could they see me? Though apparently not. My desk by the window was three levels up; no one ever really chose to look up, more distracted by their fat children and shopping bags filled with ketchup and alcohol, the general currency of life.
Most days I would sit and watch the people, popcorn and Cadbury’s Fingers playing the role of the perfect accompaniment. Though sometimes the scenes I would watch became repetitive and distant, as when you say a word too frequently and it begins to feel unreal, like floor or moustache. Sometimes I could feel a presence behind me, though I could never quite find the energy to look up at the ceiling.