I have to admit to more than a little caution when I walked through the war zone this morning. Every time I saw a tramp I scurried past as quickly as I could, keeping my eyes on the pavement and all but holding my breath. It’s when they catch your eye they ask you for money. On the corner by the shops the woman who is a permanent fixture was already so drunk she was unconscious, make up running down her face, legs akimbo, no dignity whatsoever. Not for the first time I wondered what led her to this life?
Outside the security guard was watching people come in and scanning the street. Aiden was just in front of me.
“Move along,” the guard said to him, “no tramps allowed on the premises.”
“Very funny mate,” Aiden said, flashing his pass. “How long did it take you to think that one up?”
“Why do you think I’m standing out here?” The guard laughed. “Couldn’t pass up a gold plated opportunity now could I?”
There was an accident on the Main Road this morning, not far from the office. A young girl who works at the fire station across the road from the office was knocked off her bike by an articulated lorry. The lorry was turning left at a busy junction, one I cross every morning. Vision is restricted and often cars turn without indicating so it always feels as if you take your life in your hands.
“She probably didn’t realise the lorry was turning,” Commando said. “They have to swing out so wide there it looks like they’re in the other lane. I’ve seen a few near misses myself.”
The sad thing is, I kind of knew her. Not to talk to or anything. I only realised when they mentioned on the news that she rode her bike that way every morning and always sang as she pedalled. Some people would call that a little nutty but she used to make me smile when she passed me singing at the top of her voice. Walking to work will never be the same. It makes all the jumping about punching the air yesterday morning because I’d lost two pounds and was back in the elevens again seem rather irrelevant really.