An installation, ignored by constant thudding of footsteps. Sea of uncaring, self-involved faces, desperately avoiding contact with their fellows. Shopping, working, running to catch time, avoiding eye contact at all costs. Nobody saw him. He saw, leather, plastic, canvas, boots and shoes and all-too-severe heels. He sees, that which selective vision disregards, as he is disregarded. They cannot, a collective loss in the great stream of humanity.
He doesn’t ask, there’s no bowl, sign. Yet, his separation inspires the occasional patter of coppers, unwanted coins. His ruined clothes even attract rubbish, refuse, revulsion. One young man, callous and unthinking, he can’t be much younger than him, spits. Vile but ignored as he passes again into the great mass. Cigarette ends, crisp packets, cast-off crap matching rusting coins at his calloused feet. Stepped over, avoided, little notice taken of this single spurned street sleeper.
Sitting apart from them, he is no longer part of this great pouring of life. As a rock in this tributary of deadpan faces, he is simply passed by, another obstacle in the eternal race. They dissipate, eventually, as they do every night, making way for leering drunks and other outcasts. Screaming hen parties and groups of men who have just come out to fight and fuck. The race becomes more animal, more dangerous, yet he still watches. Some of them even see him, stop and slur, abuse or pity.
But, they care, for a second. The heavy buzz of alcohol forgets their inhibitions, conditioning, separates them briefly from the path.
Even they pass, eventually. He moves on, along empty streets that belong to him, as they always have. In the quiet, dead spaces, he is truly alone, apart.