Outside this window #44

Outside this window they giggle and shuffle so they can hide in the long limbed shadows cast by our row of houses. When necessary — when I dig in my pen and refuse to continue — they sacrifice one. Just one. No arguments or silly whispering or begging; in thick silence one is offered up ensuring we do not grind to a halt. Selection is simple. An organic step to the side by those half dressed and a step back from those enjoying life on the run, expose one or two who have not moved for a variety of reasons, all of which I hear about when they arrive. Name? Age? Male? Female? Creature? We pin point their desires, debate their outcome and flesh them out with behaviours, vices, secrets and the thing they would die for; renders each as vulnerable as a dog lying on its back. Depending on their nature this act of submission encourages snarling, whining, devotion or paranoia. They hide in the shadows and I call them to the page one by one. On a good day I am a jubilant magpie; on a bad a disgruntled pigeon. Today the jewels outweigh each lump of coal. Outside this window is our quiet bank holiday Monday street and a collective of characters, each of them like all of us simultaneously seeking and evading capture.