This past week, I have had much more contact with those frequently forgotten members of society than is usual for me. H1 pointed them out first. "There are homeless people having a little party in the park", he said casually, as I walked into the lounge, looking for I don't know what. I followed his gaze to the window, to see, sure enough, several men, almost certainly homeless, sitting in the park across the road, enjoying a quiet, decorous social occasion. "Hmmm, how 'bout that", was my deeply intelligent, analytical comment, before I turned my attention to more pressing matters (I'm fairly certain it was my lip balm that invoked the search).
I didn't give it a second thought, until I saw them again at the weekend. This time I sat and watched them for a while, entertained by their presence to a huge degree really, considering they weren't actually doing anything particularly amusing. They sat on a grassy knoll, four of them, talking, laughing, and knocking back the cans of cider, just like any group of friends who enjoy a drink or seven on a sunny Saturday morning, and aren't so keen on washing.
Haven't seen them since then - it is possible that I'm hideously misjudging them, and they haven't been around because they've been working their highly stressful jobs in the City the last couple of days. Maybe that's their routine - a fast paced high flying job Monday through Friday, drinking with smelly friends on Saturday morning, then Sunday for washing and doing the hoovering, ready for the weekly grind again. Just as mine involves a shower every day, a bit of work from time to time, and sleep ins on days beginning with S. And M, and usually T.
And then another encounter today, this time with teenage boys, probably aged between 13-15, working the 'stabby hoodie' look we all know and love. I'm sad to say, before launching into this intrepid tale, that I did not see this with my own eyes. I heard it with my own ears though - a rat-a-tat-tat on the giant glass windows that make up our office. Engrossed in my work (perhaps) I didn't look up, until hysterical laughter from the other end of the room forced me to. One of the stabby children had flashed us! Not only had he flashed us, but he had run right up to our windows, and used his man-bits to bang on our window - the feeble noise I had heard. And the best part of it - in an office of about 15, all sitting by the windows, one person had seen it, and she could hardly stop laughing long enough to tell us all.
We tore to the windows to see the teenage boys walking away, shoulders hunched, severe disappointment hanging over them. I can only imagine that perhaps, for a male, it is not ideal to reveal your manhood to a grouping of females, only to have it first ignored, and then laughed at. It must have hurt deeply, but it truly made my Tuesday.