market day

January 2005.

It’s market day. I’m wandering through the throng with friends. The girl nexts to me clutches a newly-purchased Cold War camera to her chest, and a pile of Mr Men books. ‘C’ has a rusted fan and Dead Kennedys vinyl that he’s shielding from the heat of the day.

The smell of something dead and rotting infiltrates.

We retire for iced coffee and shelter from the sun. ‘C’ has plans to populate his yard with cacti and odd spotted plants. The man’s momentary dream is of amateur Ed Wood’s infiltrating his harden, making Z-grade sci-fi sagas with handheld cameras.

Later, in the dusty heat of Smith Street. ‘C’ points out a bench outside a supermarket. “there’s always two junkies out there, fighting…” I see the figures, hitting and kicking at each other, one eventually going down under the other’s fists, thick dark smear on the warm cement like an inkblot on paper. Then I blink, and all I see is a large bag lady, pushing her trolley… ‘C’ continues… “except they’re not here today, they must have gotten moved on…”

We delve into stores filled with second hand furniture, medical equipment and sun-faded paperbacks by Terrence Dicks and discuss ‘exuding’ people, people who always seem to be sweating, coughing, laughing, sneezing. I purchase Idoru, by William Gibson, with the author’s preferred artwork.


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