Thursday, 9 September 2010

The Strip

You get to know, at least by face,
the locals on the street. The strip
as it's known. Sometimes Inventoria
and I would rather bypass the strip
and whiz down Victoria St or cut
through the park and around by Picollo
to avoid the human bricolage.
Other times we choose to walk the
strip, observing the colour and the faces.

We avoid weekends and walk the strip most weekday
mornings. You are assured a high locals content
at this time of the week.
This is when the characters are
about in all their plumage and all their
distortions. At the Fitzroy garden it will start.
A couple of lazy loudmouths perched on
boxes, rolling cigs and following the sun.
Around the corner and into the strip proper we find
the lads with baggy shorts, no socks,
big sneakers and a collar turned upward
proudly standing their ground like cherry eyed
bower birds, ready to do business with a backpack
full of mischief.

We see the usual crowd outside maccas,
slurring and swaying. The early morning
girls with blistered feet from those
way too spikey shoes. Outside number 66
the pressure is on to wait till opening. The needle
exchange .... thanks to this place users have
a safe place to do what they do, maybe get a helping
hand or sympathetic ear
and remain off the street for a while.

...which could be a good thing today ....
you often see people nodding away, perhaps with a
far away look in their eyes ... but today those same people
are slumped in doorways, asleep at chairs or on the footpath
or standing up asleep outside the station.

We say their must be a strong batch in town this week
and are reminded of why the strip has at times
a dark energy. It sits behind the colour of the
characters and the miasma. I guess
that is and always will be ... Kings Cross