*taps microphone*
Is this thing on?

I was making my way to the car park a while ago, headphones on, enjoying the rush of people around me as the Scissor Sisters played tunes in my head.

I love the feeling of having a personal soundtrack to what I’m doing. It allows you to feel disconnected, yet still *there*, if you get my drift.

Everybody wants the same thing
No trading places on the chain gang
It doesn’t matter how you swing it
Everybody wants the same thing

So, there I am, heading over the bridge when I notice the guy in front of me. Youngish, smartly dressed. Staggering. He falls to the left, corrects, straightens, keeps going and staggers to the right. Rinse and repeat. He almost collides with half a dozen people while I gradually catch up with him. He seems quite jolly though – I can hear him talking away to himself and anyone who’ll listen.

When the hammer comes down it never makes no sense
Chaos is not a virtue, paranoia loads the bases

Not that anyone will. Who’d talk to a staggering, crazy drunk dude on a cold dark night such as this?

I bide my time, gauging the flow of people, waiting for the moment when I can step up my pace and slip past him on the narrow pavement. Cars whiz by, inches from the side of the road, cutting off the option of using that as a space. Ah well, there’s no great rush.

What is it that you want?
What is it that you give?
Where do you plan on finding it?
How do you want to live?

There. A gap. I increase my stride, timing my move to his stagger. He goes left, I pause, he goes right, I go past.

We’re now a hundred yards further on. I sense a presence behind me. A staggering presence, moving erratically. I tune out the words to the song and realise that he’s talking to me. A hand catches the arm of my coat and I remove the headphones, tinny voices spilling out into the cold night.

“Mate,” he says, eyes wide. “I have a question.”

“Yeah?” I reply. Sharp, huh?

“Mate,” he repeats, gesturing at the stream of traffic and people as his stagger comes to a halt.

“Why? Why is Leeds… mechanical?”

This last word is spat out, loaded with venom and bile. His eyes dance in the sodium glare of the streetlights.

“No idea mate, ” I offer. Weak, but true.

He drops to his knees, arms raised to the heavens, face turned to the sky. “WHY? Someone must know! Someone *must* know!”

I shrug. The only possible answer to such a question. Whatever this guy is on, he’s flying. Good luck with your quest, mate. I hope you find an answer.

Love is what I want
Love is what I give
Right here’s where I’m finding it
That’s how I’m gonna live…

lyrics courtesy (and copyright, no doubt) The Scissor Sisters, Everybody Wants The Same Thing, from their album, Ta Dah!

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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