Terrance Gonzo’s on the rock ‘n’ roll in N17 (or How a trip to the shop was almost exciting)

‘There’s four quid there. I promise you that. It’s not all two p’s.’

‘Nah, there’s one p’s too.’

We laughed.

I left the shop clutching milk, hummus and bread, paid for with scratty coppers found in a drawer. I walked home from the shop, gliding through the myriad schoolchildren. I always went to the shop at kicking out time. It was weird.

Still. A life on the dole isn’t an early morning kind of affair. Or it never used to be. The hoops these days.

I felt bleak and sexless and had a desire for an older woman. A bored, curvy neighbour. (I had nowt to do but read Bukowski).

As I turned onto my street, walking on the opposite side of the road to my usual route (you have to get your kicks how you can when you’re broke) I saw a curvy, middle-aged, melancholic-looking woman smoking by her front door. I liked melancholic-looking women. They looked intelligent, as though they’d come to understand a thing or two about life. She lingered a look at me and turned to go in. As she did she flicked her cigarette, gave me a final look, and walked into the house, leaving the door open. Fantasy was all about context.

Of course I approached.

I had just set my foot in the door when a burly, hairy-armed man appeared. His vibe was more angry than melancholy.

‘Yeah?’

‘Er. I live across the road. I think you have a parcel for me.’

‘I’ll check.’

The melancholic-looking woman walked up the stairs, giving me no further look. The hairy man came back. There was no parcel.

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