The coffee shops play the saddest music of moaning but hopeful men. Like this will be your last coffee. You will leave an obscure note in whipped cream on the round little table. And with a knapsack and no money you will set of on that Forest Gump adventure to rekindle love.
The man before me in the line has the same name as my twin brother who I have not seen or really heard from for two years. I think two years. I here scraps of news from my mother. He works yards from this coffee shop along side the station. And so I squint hard in the carab bean light and wonder if it could be him.
Suddenly the music says none of us are Forest Gump, strangers won’t talk here but convey their presence through sniffs over flat whites and intrepid business calls.
I have been trying to find a dog knowing it is futile to find a rescue animal that will happily walk alongside a white cane. Most days I am in bed, well a condensation covered futon sunk in the middle, until midday. This morning a child shouted ‘no’ by the front door by my futon and then a group of them started chanted high pitched ‘woo-oo-ooo’s’ the whole way up the road. I sleep and am shocked awake like doing cartwheels down a hill.
Someone knocked on the front door and I hid in the back smear with yesterdays make up and a saggy pyjama top declaring ‘I HATE MORNINGS’. Not the best look for Brackenbury neighbours with a problem for me. They never give up around here, they linger and call through letter boxes. She has left a note a few days earlier that was almost inept to my eyesight. I had to photograph it and stretch it to get the thread of it. Surely she knows it’s a building for visually impaired tenants? I fear the problem in the house that’s up for sale for over a million if you can put up with me swearing and loudly peeing the other side of the wall and all the traffic and millionaire drunk students.
The dog I had my hopes on, missed my bus stop day dreaming about has been reserved by someone else. It was a sad but young looking English Bulldog. And I am told again that abused and abandoned dogs may not get along with my cane.
The flat with its brick walls, concrete floor and zero insulation is only 15 degrees at most with four radiators on. No idea what the costs are. I only turn the heating on before bed not having a gas bill before. Letters have gone out to the charity that own it but considering they have left tenants in the past to kill themselves and struggle alone with dementia and addiction I doubt I’m going anywhere soon.
Meanwhile the ‘everyone will be moved in 6 weeks’ estate for the blind still has most of it’s neighbours from hell I tried to get away from thinking Hammersmith would be the fresh start. They have pets and holidays, sky tv (a TV!). bathtubs with a set heating bill every month. They have a view of Richmond Park they can’t see and a garden and support workers. They never have to work again while I still fail to sell anything and my tax credits will stop soon.
The music has changed to some young pretence at country and western, a bit ‘Nashville’ and my drink in it’s plastic cup without a name on the side is half gone, or half full.