Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Scary Looking Man

I had business at Tinkerton today and while I was there I bumped into the Scary Looking Man. The SLM is about my own age and has spent the last three decades in some institution or another, from prison to psychiatric units to hostels. He still suffers from psychiatric problems but mainly he would have what is described as 'behavioural issues' which, roughly translated, means he is very hard to work with. He's his own worst enemy etc. etc.

He is the kindest person and lives to help people out. It is a form of attention seeking and can be quite exhausting for the person or persons he wants to help. He's repetitive and obsessive and his language is appalling - and he gives it all out in a thick Glasgow accent.

So I took him for a walk to the Ecos park. For his pleasure, my own and to give the staff on duty some respite. He had his task which was to manage Bonnie on her lead. We all had a lovely time, took plenty of bread to feed the swans and ducks and of course the SLM had to engage everyone we met in conversation. This chat mostly went the way of him reassuring them that Bonnie 'wouldn't touch them' but if anything I'd say his appearance unnerved our fellow walkers more than the big shaggy dog.

I wish I'd had my camera with me when he was feeding the swans for his grizzled old face was a picture of pleasure and concentration. The swans were hissing and beating their wings warning Bonnie and me not to get too near but they were tolerant enough with the SLM who was dishing out the bread and stale cake.

On our way back to the car he said,

"I enjoyed that - giving bread to the ducks. But they fucking swans are fucking, scary cunts."

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