Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Mental Images of Paisley

The Arctic wind and rain have finally departed and high temperatures and sun have put a smile on many a Paisley buddy's face*, along with traditional sunburn. 
On my evening walk at the local park, I see bare-chested youths gather in a small huddle around an impromptu camp fire behind the goal posts, drinking from litre bottles of alcohol, with spares in blue carrier bags stored nearby to entice the ladies. Chilling in the evening warmth, they summon the nearby cackle of ladies with guttural obscenities, and it works, as the ladies, wearing inappropriate high heels for a playing field, slink up to the males as a pack and decide who they'll pick to be the absent father for their next child. The mating courtship has begun. I can hear swearing.

Further down the hill at the play park, a teenage girl is having great fun on the swing, much to the disappointment of her young children, who would prefer if mum would push them instead. The other swing has been wrapped around the top bar and is out of reach. They whine and grumble but she's having too much fun, listening to some dance beats on her headphones. One child runs away up the hill to look closer at the fire only to be shooed away by one of the youths. The man isn't showing any paternal concern for the boy's safety, because statistically there's a good chance he might not be the father. He's keeping his fingers crossed, much to the pleasure of his new lady friend, whose name he's decided is now 'Doll'. The boy just stares, images imprinting on his impressionable mind. "That's what I want to be when I grow up".

Further on, an older man stands outside his six-in-a-block tenement, leaning over the railings, reading a paperback book. He looks a lonely figure as he casually turns a page, engrossed. He's probably not allowed to read indoors in case it leads to thinking and a desire to vote Liberal. A social pariah, perhaps he's taunting the youths in the park, holding something which to them would appear to be a large quantity of kindling. A woman (his partner?) shouts down at him from an open third storey window demanding he go buy her more fags from the 'Icy'. He ignores her, possibly wanting to finish the chapter or simply embarrassed but is startled when a metal ash tray narrowly misses his head and bounces off the grass onto the pavement. "And bring that back up when you fetch me my fags". He complies. Compromise is the backbone of a successful relationship and he doesn't have one, which is why they've stayed together so long. He looks at me as we walk past, my tongue lolling as I grip a salivary tennis ball in my mouth, and he smiles. He takes pleasure in my pleasure.

I head home. 

I am content. I've shit in the park. I've wee'd on the grass. I fitted in perfectly. 

* (a smile seen anywhere else would indicate a failure in the belt department).