I’m not going to let this one get away. I like to have fun. I approach with an inane grin on my face.
I know he recognises me from school, but he certainly won’t remember my name.
Uncomfortably he slowly stretches out his hand to shake mine. I limply grip his fore-finger in an attempt to seem feeble, forcing a little bit of spittle from the right side of my mouth.
“Hey, it’s Paul, right?” he struggles to feign sincerity. I don’t make eye contact for any length of time.
“No, it’s Pete, we went to school together.” My voice is monotone and suitably unwelcoming in contrast with my asinine grin.
“Yeah, yeah, Pete, right. What you doing with yourself now Pete?”
I respond, at great length, about how I decided to come off the medication with a hope in becoming a ‘real’ person, but living with my mother and aunt only causes me more anxiety, so I have to walk about at night to avoid their criticisms and hurtful scorn. I tell him that I’ve stopped all that with the cats, and that he ought to come to the house one day to meet mother. He shifts his feet uncomfortably. I’m still holding his fore-finger.
“Anyhow Pete.” He pulls his finger away. “I best get… going… you take care pal…” I let the spittle drop from my mouth onto my muddy shoe without replying.
When he turns the corner, I slip my hand into my trouser pocket and remove his wallet, phone and and a comb. On my way home I drop each item into a storm drain.