Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Green Socks

Green Socks jigs and jostles her way back and forth from Manor House tube station to Colina Road with her hands on her sides and her elbows thrusting in and out with crazed poultrific abandon. “Lonely, dahlin’, is ya?” asking as I pass. “Lonely? Loneliness I can help you with, dahlin, aw yes - thirty notes a time or twenty if you only wanna hand job, yeah? Come on then whassamattah?”

Green Socks grins and winks and twiddles her hair round her finger and taps an imaginary cane off the concrete like the ghost of some long-dead vaudevillian half-glimpsed midst the murk on a detuned telly.

The Quiet Man watches her from the window of the kebab shop across the street, smiling to himself, shaking his head, muttering incoherently. So too the fellas in the pool room next the internet cafĂ©. They spill out onto the street of occasion in groups of three or four shouting and jeering and cajoling. “Go home, love! Quit embarrassing yourself! No-one wants it! No one wants t’tap that ‘tang, yeah?”

Green Socks flips the fingers and carries on her march.

In a dream I bring Green Socks round the flat for to watch some Fulci, maybe City Of The Living Dead or The Psychic since it’s Halloween time and all that. I make her a cup of coffee and she holds the mug in shivering hands, the sleeves of her cardigan pulled up to the ends of her fingers. “Thank you Travis” she says.

Travis?” says I, jerking the head back. “No, no. No that’s not it at all.”

“What? You don’t wanna save me?”

Save you? Christ no. I want you to save me!”

She holds my gaze for a moment, then sets the mug on the windowsill and rises, pulling her green socks back up to the knees. “Fuckin’ hell” she says. “Always I'm saving or being saved.”

Sighing, she descends the stairway and heads back out onto the street. The tangerine sprawl of the streetlight glow ripples and splits for a moment, and she thanks it with a nod of the head, clip-clopping on through the dark.

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