High Street

There are trees on the High Street. And people too. The trees stand still, although high up, where they reach for the sun, where they hold up the birds, they wave. And the people move, always moving, from shop to shop. Coffee, shoes, knickers, books, watches, cd’s, shirts. Where the trees trunks enter the ground, through the bulging paving, creatures live lives. There’s a small oasis in the concrete, reeking from the weekend’s piss, from the fag butts and from onion flicked out of burgers; a perfect place for insects to call home, to battle in, to die in. And the people pass by, daily tasks in mind, not seeing the trees, not seeing the death at their feet. The trunks continue downward for some distance before dividing into many tendrils, to suck what nourishment they can from the tired earth, to support the towers that rise above them. And the people know little of this life underground, with it’s worms and centipedes and larvae, and they don’t want to know. For the earth is their realm of darkness, a place to be devoured in when their time has come. The trees monitor the passing of time, slowly gaining mass, growing in stature, always aware of the bustle about them. Aware of the man. The man. He’s been there a while now, the only one listening. The only one absorbing the slogan’s of the preaching men who stand beside banners unfurled. They are like trees, rooted in the sanctity of their belief, unshakable, waving leaves from the book at creation. They can’t see the man. No one can. The man is out-of-place and their perception disowns him. But the birds know he’s there, the insects, the trees. But then, she sees the man. One singular female who, sat at her desk against a wall of glass, coffee in hand and papers about her, she sees the man. She was contemplating eating a sophisticated sandwich, goats cheese and rocket. She was searching the cityscape to ease her lunchtime torpor. She is special. She saw the wood for the trees. She saw the man. High up. Dangling from a branch. At first washing drying in the breeze. Taking form. Hanging. Hanged. She chokes. Focuses. Screams. Ten minutes later and the trunk of the tree is cleared of the righteous, cleared of the shoppers and day-trippers, of the drunks and buskers. The ground shakes ever so slightly, heavy with the footfall of police. All windows are packed full with faces, all side streets are crowded with those gazing at the man. And the tree’s trunk is cordoned off. And siren’s can be heard approaching, fast. Fire Service, Police Service, Ambulance Service. And the preachers, away down the street now, pray for the man. And he hears. And he laughs. And the insects want him. And the tree holds him. And the firemen free him. And the people question each other. How did we not see him? And in the newspaper a day later, City Centre Suicide – Man Hangs In Tree For 2 Days.