Sunday, August 19, 2012

I never actually met Cedric

I never actually met Cedric.

On Sunday just gone, I had to travel down to town under my own steam because the inestimable Patricia quite simply wasn't able to collect me as per. She has a trapped nerve in her neck which, amongst other things, is making sleep very difficult for her at the minute. Anyway, she couldn't pick me up at the gate as usual so I went down to town on the prison van with half a dozen other fellows heading for a day of wanderings around that huge metropolis which serves as the nerve centre for absolutely nowhere.

Got there and debussed (a great word, debussed - it should be given National Treasure status). So - I debussed at the railway station and wandered off into the haze to find the town centre.

It's a sleepy little place at the best of times and on Sundays it is practically comatose.

I finally found the market square - me, three pigeons and a couple of drunks sitting on the benches near the church there. That was it! That was my day more or less complete. There isn't a great lot to occupy an active mind in this town.

Then I saw that a charity shop had opened its doors for business so I went in there and perused the books - not to buy any, dosh is at a premium these days. I can only take a certain amount out with me - I think they must be Puritans who run the prison.

What is a Puritan? Someone who is frightened that somewhere, someone might be having a good time.

Anyway, once I had done that, I sat on the bench in the market place to blow smoke at the pigeons and to listen to a very entertaining slanging match between several drunks and junkies sitting inside the railings surrounding the church grounds. From what I could gather, one had taken more than his fair share of something or other and it had brought about a rude, crude and very acrimonious exchange which, while it entertained me, clearly caused those of a more genteel aspect to feel uncomfortable.

After a while, I even got tired of that, so I wandered about for a while and wondered about going back to the jail early when the phone in my pocket rang.

"Where are you?" she asked.

"Wandering about like a little lost lamb," said I.

"I will be there in an hour," said she. "Just let me put my gladrags on and wake Sara from her drunken sleep."

All right, okay, maybe those things weren't actually said, but the result was the same - they were coming to spend the day with me, so I went back to sit on the  bench to listen  to part two of the row, which now included three youngsters who had appeared on bikes.

Then my phone rang and, as I was sitting with my head down talking to Herman the Big Mug, a pair of feet passed - black, built-up shoes covered in pretty white pearl buttons. I obviously looked up to see who the feet belonged to - and it was a  bloke!

Then, across the road, dismounting from a bicycle, was a tall person, dressed in white with long red hair who turned as I watched - and revealed a ginger beard too!
By this time I was starting to feel that I had been transported to a scene from the Village People. Was it just me or could others see these weird and wonderful sights?

Thankfully, not long after that the rescue party arrived and they were three females - real ones too! You can never be sure these days, apparently.

Later, after a meal at our riverside bistro and sitting in the car in the market place, we all saw (so it wasn't just me) a person pass wearing a skirt and blouse, court shoes with hair in a pony tail but the face of an anorexic man.

Later I found out that this is Cedric, a famous figure around the area who minces about wearing ladies' stuff. He doesn't bother anyone apparently, just goes about doing his own thing.

"Jesus!" somebody said.

"Nah," said I. "He didn't have court shoes."

So, then we drove off to have some tea.

I never actually met Cedric, but I saw him in passing - just like ships that pass in the night.

The Voice In The Wilderness

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