Approaching a bus stop. 12.30am.
I had spent four and a half hours on a train, delayed and delayed on a flooded Oxfordshire line. (Aside from the enormous hassle, this was actually quite a beautiful experience; the view from my window gave the impression that the train was really a canal boat, its gliding bulk reflected in a silent, glittering lake. [Ahem!] Anyway enough about the train…)
I had been spat out at my local Tube station [ahem!] and was walking home along a very dark street that had a bus stop halfway up it. A dark figure was standing at the stop. Then a curious thing happened.
Imagine you are walking, quite quickly, towards a pigeon. When you get to about eight metres away, what happens? The bird suddenly spooks and flies away.
When I got to about eight metres away from the figure, it became a man, who became a bird, who flapped his human wings as he skipped past me, shrieking, ‘Do the cock! Squaaaawk!’