Sunday, June 11, 2006

Street Encounters in the Last 10 Days

1. He was thrashing a derelict building. I said Hi. He dropped his head so that his baseball cap peak hid his face. I haven't had that done to me before. It would have been ingenious had I not already known who it was.

2. She appeared on the platform, possibly with her boyfriend. We acknowledged each other. He asked her (supposedly out of my ear shot) who I was. I didn't hear what she said, but there was no avoiding each other as the train pulled in. She wore a summery smock dress. I looked at her and on my mind was - u look pregnant, I said: You look lovely. She beamed and breathed out, saying thanks for that, that's sweet of you and continued onto the train smiling. Whyever she was wearing that dress, she did look lovely.

3. On a bike he circled the 3 community police around his mate. I asked if his mate needed back-up. He told me no that they were questioning him about something he didn't do, so he should be ok. Around the corner I saw two girls trying to look casual in a neighbours front garden. We smiled at each other. A male voice from behind them calls my name and says hello. I see him half hidden. I didn't need to wonder why.

4. She called my name from across the road. She told me of her trip to Rome with her partner. They retraced the trip we had done years previously when she was a young person on one of our clubs residentials, even staying at the same youth hostel. As well as being a club member she used to also be a volunteer working with the younger children and now her full time job is still working with young people.

5. He stopped me in the street asking, can I have a word. He asked me what he should do if he is worried about how a child is being treated. I tell him what I think. He listens. His friend listens. We are all saddened by the world together. We all want it to be a better place and they want to do something about it.

6. She bumped into me in the market and said I hope you don't mind I put your name as a reference. I replied, not to worry, that she could use my name anytime she needed it. She was concerned to hear club was moving, when I said that we weren't she was relieved, despite the fact she hadn't been in years. She seemed to just need to know it was still there.

7. He says Hi while waiting for a train and rings me later saying that seeing me reminded him that he wanted to ask me if I would sign his photos again for his passport as he had lost the ones I had already signed. We arranged to meet twice before I did and after he realised he had given me a blue pen instead of the required black. He expected me to be at club every time he called there. I told him that despite some evidence to the contrary I didn't live there, I had a life outside club and arranged for him to come when I was there. He did and gave me the photo with the blue writing as a memento.

Sometimes it can take me an hour to walk the 7 minute walk from the club home. Sometimes I see things I don't want to or hear things I shouldn't. Whether they are young people who are current or past members of the club they are all part of my community and we are linked together even if only in terms of geography. We travel the same streets. And as Tennyson said:
I am a part of all that I have met.

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