Sunday, April 01, 2007

He walks with a sense of purpose

Down Great Darkgate Street in Aberystwyth. It's Friday evening and everyone is doing their last minute shopping before heading for home or pub.

This chap has the look of an incomer, perhaps one of the many who drifted west in the seventies and eighties, finding themselves stuck in Ceredigion, bound in by the sea. Thin, with long legs and arms, he's dressed well enough, yet somehow comes over as scruffy. His angular face is frizzed with a few days grey stubble, lined around the eyes from a lifetime spent out of doors. Lank hair tumbles from the back of his head beyond his shoulders, but it's hard to see how much of it still lies on top, as he is wearing a hat.

Not any hat, mind you. This is a dark blue and purple velvet jester's hat, complete with bells on the two tips. They jingle quietly as he strides past, like loose change in the pocket of a rich man.

On his back he wears the tiniest of ruck-sacks; the sort of thing a young child might take to school slung nonchalantly over one shoulder. His left hand is looped into the strap, but his right dangles down at his side, carrying a twelve pack of discount toilet paper rolls.

I wonder what his story is.

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