A woman answered the door in Heights Road. "Forty-four today!" she exclaimed as I handed over her parcel. "I'm behaving very irresponsibly for a Grandma – well, I will be later, I'm gonna get hammered!" She glanced up at my hat and her eyes widened in surprise as she took in a sharp breath; "Oh my God!" she said, "I don't believe it! Cool hat!" and she dropped the parcel and ran back inside the house. "Wait there!" She shouted, "This is such an amazing coincidence, I've got one exactly like it!" I could hear her rummaging around in the front room, "It's here somewhere! Wait there!" I waited on the step for a few seconds until the woman shouted again "Here it is! Here it is!" and came running back to the door. "Tada!" She exclaimed, jazz hands either side of her face. On her head was a hat that resembled mine in so much as it was a hat but apart from that it couldn't have been more different. Mine is a structured cap in light blue/green check with a rigid peak and an adjustable band and hers was a floppy, plain brown beret type with a row of five metal studs around the front of the small, soft peak. I feigned amazement, wished her a happy birthday and went back to my van. On the other side of the road, a hefty teen girl with dyed red hair, black satin tracksuit top, black tights, black jersey skirt that didn't entirely cover her backside and a pair of disintegrating grey Ugg boots was violently shoving a spotty teen boy outside the newsagents shop, "You gave me one-pound-fucking-twenty. Fuck off!" she yelled.
Mr Barton has fixed a hook adjacent to his back door on which he hangs the fully loaded super-soaker he uses to dissuade cats from fouling his borders. He has also been shooting squirrels with an air rifle. I've counted seven dead in his back garden in the last few days. When I asked him about it earlier in the week he claimed they'd all "died of old age" but yesterday he admitted to having shot them. He said, "they don't understand death like we do" and he made a fist with his right hand and beat his chest above his heart; "We are the only ones who know we're going to die".