Extraordinary Ordinary Cardiff Day

Throbbing over broken paving, a short ride on a slow machine, Cardiff City bound.
The dead are safe inside the railings meant to keep the living out at night.
Once I passed in winter, night at six o’clock, and saw a young man shadow me. He laughed, assuming he had frightened me. No, I was laughing too. I knew that he was trapped. He,
on his phone, describing to his friend the twit that he had been, while I encouraged him to throw his jacket over least lethal spikes so he could clamber out. Past the graveyard
(no BBC dramas filming there today ) and down the hill to town. The filth protrudes
from plastic bags. The stupid sods had mixed up clean recyclables with dirty food containers so the scavengers had ripped its entrails out and muck and debris rolled along the street. More grew between the stones of genteel forecourts. I well understand why locals hate
the students who can’t be arsed to bloody do it right, the greedy landlords who don’t
give a shit. Trees along the pavement grow too large. Their roots force up the tarmac, wrench open sewage pipes and gas mains, expose electric cables so the stench runs free with water, leaves and leavings. Once, the combination, water, gas and wires
blew hole the size of Giant Haystacks halfway cross the road.
I curse aloud as one more selfish git has parked his flashy car beside the kerb
where lowered for the likes of me to cross, seek vainly traffic warden to enlist for retribution.
Over bridge that straddles Valleys’ rail track, down the alleyway behind the Students’ Union, trying to avoid the beggars by the footbridge as they skulk with outstretched hands
for ‘spare change, please.’ Not likely, mate. You’ll only get an ASBO, and I to blame.
Supposedly summer, but now I feel the need to find the gloves, the ones for skiers.
Least I can look sporty covering bloodless fingers. Dodging walkers, ones who hog
the centre of the pavement so I cannot overtake, ones that weave from left to right, oblivious of my presence, choosing not to sound the horn that sounds more like a children’s toy. Entitled to be here but still not quite belonging. I shake my head and tut at dopey Doras
who can’t wait for the Green Man and forget that traffic comes three ways, rebuke the cyclist speeding on the pavement. I’ve heard all the excuses: ‘Time is money. I’m a busy man.’ ‘I’m frightened of the cars.’ ‘I didn’t know it was illegal.’ You should still have known it was a selfish bloody thing to do, and dangerous. Once, a man was killed. Safe on Queen Street,
I dodge Big Issue sellers, just in case my regular should happen to hear that I betrayed her for another, though her English is not good, and I speak not one word of Romanian.
I buy my lunch and take it to the bench outside the church. The others on the seat, two women, gladly shuffle up. My neighbour and I simultaneous laugh as Ninjah, beating out a rhythm on the bin beside us, can’t quite play in sync with violinist and accordion player
just along the way. We strike up conversation and my non-PC agenda tells me she’s a dyke and PC slaps my face. Her hair is cropped, she’s sporting pin-striped trousers and a pair of DM shoes. She tells me he has claimed to be a shamen, says he can change the flights of birds to different directions. He’s quite a case, is Ninjah. Tall and beautiful and blonde and black, he strides the streets of Cardiff with his preaching and his dreadlocks and his beats. She says she has two bibles in her bag. Saint or scholar? Neither. Conceptual artist. Now another black man sings a (Gospel?) song. Assumptions! No, an old show-tune. He tells me death is just an option; he will live to be a thousand. I believe it possible and that one day I will walk again on such an ordinary, extraordinary, crazy Cardiff day.