Wednesday, 11 August 2010


There's a guy across the road. Thankfully, he's not about every night, but when he is, you don't half notice it. He stands in some unseen walkway of the sprawling block of flats near my house smoking and expectorating. Loudly. At intervals of between 5 and 10 seconds, he sucks in what sound like large quantities of mucus and flobs them on to the small patch of grass beneath his hidden perch, like a repulsive metronomic bird thing.

Unsuspecting people (some of them occasionally reasonably attractive-looking) are often surprised by the noise, flicking a quick glance upwards as they walk by, and then directing their gaze towards the ground where the large green object has just slapped itself.

My own feelings are of a creeping nausea, slowly turning to revulsion and anger. I like to sleep with the window open - even on chillier nights - and this utterly disgusting soundtrack turns my stomach. What can I do?

I am amazed that somebody could have reached this point in their life, and almost harbour a sneaking sense of admiration for the invisible phlegm producer. It must, after all, have taken some effort to reach this point in the man's life - to find it somehow acceptable to stand on a concrete walkway repeatedly spitting on the floor throughout the night. This is a special kind of dedication.

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