Barefoot On Shit Street


Newton Heath, Manchester

 
I am riding a pink, girls bike along the dogshit minefield pavements, slowly swerving to avoid them. Up Seabrook Road, into Culcheth Lane, and back along the dirt track behind the Soapbox pub. My bike is hard to steer. On the dirt track I meet a woman called Idris. Or was it Indrid? She has two jobs, kids, and is preparing to study at university. I tell her that I’m amazed. We walk and talk, passing a blonde couple. 
 
At the end of the track is a concrete hut. Music comes from inside. Dr Matthew Watkins plays saz, sat under a floating surface, accompanied by a pianist. The blonde woman improvises blues guitar chords on the open piano strings. Indrid sings, and I filter the bandwidth of her voice with a finger up her nose. I wish I had my midi guitar. 
 
I leave and bump into Keith Hunter, the other original member of Children of the Drone. We go for coffee. I find a scrap of paper in my pocket. Henry wants to transfer over £7k into my account, for a community project. 
 
I continue my journey. I am walking home from school barefoot. Avoiding shit. I worry that other people will see how poor I am. I look down. I’m wearing boots. The road ahead is flooded. Shit flows across the pavement. Blocks of pavement move, and ahead, the road become a 3d patchwork of disassembled blocks. I walk through the confusing landscape. A car follows my lead. I sit on the edge of a hole, bright sunlight streams through a nearby window, I want to take a photo, but my phone isn’t working properly. I chat to Keith and head back home. 
 
I am in bed. At the foot of the bed, a shower curtain moves, and an alien plant reaches through to grab me. I hit it and say “Really, is that the best you can do?”
 
I wake. 
 
 
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