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People-watching Diary - Vol 1

10:03

Happy couple jogging in the park. They’re drunk on a cocktail of oxytocin and protein shakes. They share a penchant for leisurewear. I bet they have a joint Instagram account, where they post pictures with caption such as: “Couples who run together, stay together”. I hope they keep running. Away from me, if possible.

10:09

Man who is shorter than me (this doesn’t happen often). He is dressed in black from head to toe. He is sporting a suspiciously fresh haircut and he’s clearly feeling himself. That makes one of us.

10:15

Man walking three French pugs (they’re all identical). He has a face tattoo (who did you kill while in jail?), tracksuit bottoms tucked into ankle-length sponge socks and a rolled-up beanie hat. I am sure there’s an interesting backstory somewhere there.

10:21

Mother of two accompanied by her ageing single friend. She is forced to push a buggy and engage in a conversation about poo-stained nappies. Her eyes are soulless, a permanently sorrowful grim is stamped on her face - she’s clearly wishing she had stayed in bed watching reruns of Frasier on Channel 4. Motherhood is a burden, especially when you don’t have kids. 

10:26

Woman walking a genetically modified Pomeranian squeezed into a leopard print gilet. The dog looks at me, defeated. I look at him, concerned. Bark twice if you’re being held hostage. 

10:34

Very blonde woman in black leggings having a passionate argument on the phone about a suspicious rash - “I want to die”. Be careful what you wish for (and who you sleep with).

10:39

Two bros running ridiculously close to each other, their hips move synchronically, their perfectly conditioned hair bounces rhythmically. They obviously love each other - they just don’t know it yet. 

10:41

The leopard print dog walks past me again. I look at him. He looks at me. He barks twice.

10:46

My duck friend Patricia is in a mood. Consuelo the Swan is being a dick (no surprise there). I know this is a story about people watching - ducks are not people. They’re better.

10:50

Man with man bun and faux leather trench coat and a New Yorker tote bag. He doesn’t know it – but today is trash collection day. You in danger, girl.  

10:55

Woman wearing a fancy coat and high heels on a Thursday morning. I look at her, she looks at me. It’s Versace, not Versachee.

10:57

Woman wearing an 'Is It Friday Yet' t-shirt. Omg Linda, you cray cray.

11:01

Park employee in yellow vest. We make eye contact - a blank stare, a stark warning. I’m not here to exercise – and she knows it. She’s drunk with power. I think about my history of conflict with figures of authority. I stand up and leave.

Victoria Park, Thursday, 25 February

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