There are worlds of broken things beneath the realms that we witness.
The broken things – men, creatures, bodies – shuffle listlessly with eyes downcast.
Staring at the city streets, daring them to present us with treasures untold – we march the high streets and back alleys of this city of grim passion.
Although the sadness of decades of guilt weigh down the brows of the city, there are still promising signs of loot to be found amongst it’s beer-stained paths and alleyways.
These are the streets that I patrol on a daily basis, hunting – searching – for a thing of beauty trapped between the drops of rain that smatter the sticky streets, reviving the age-old scents forever baked into the cobbles.
Sunday mornings are the best time to go looking for discoveries.
During the height of the Christmas season, when the icy cold and the moisture wakes me beneath the bridge at the crack of dawn. When I wrap and encase myself in woollen goods pilfered from black bags outside of Oxfam.
That is when I can walk the streets unmolested. Around 6am, the streets have emptied of drinkers. All that is left of their adventures, lies glittering on the dew-soaked streets – just waiting for me to find it.
If I’m lucky, Sandra at Greggs gives me a Steak Bake when I pass by the shop at 7. For a while I assumed she simply gave me off-cuts, or out of date pastries, but that was never the case. For two years, whenever she is working the morning shift, she has brought me out a fresh Steak Bake, paid for out of her own pocket. One day, I hope to pay her back. For now, though, I must continue searching for discoveries.
With my belly full of bits of beef I return, reinvigorated. Filled with the warmth of gravy and pastry, I am exalted. Churning with strength from the remaining crumbs, I am reborn.
The streets of Norwich are home to my echoing footsteps, as I stalk the hunting grounds of the Drinking District, inspecting bins for forgotten cigarette ends and bits of chicken. An urban survivor always does what he can, to consume all important protein. The realms of taste and class are mere objects of fantasy, to one such as myself. A far off mirage that is not worth chasing.
I begin my walk home at around 9:30am, to avoid the walking dead of drunkards, rolling out of their sleeping arrangements. Groggy and bleary eyed from their Jaeger Bombs, Sour Shots and Vodka Fizzlers – the partying hard population of Norwich are quick to anger and disappointed. Disappointed that the hundreds of pounds that they have spent, have left them with nothing more than a headache and a questionable rash.