I’ve always identified with Carrie Bradshaw- for one thing we both love to write, and for another we both have quite big noses- let’s just say she’s been a bit of an inspirational figure to me over the years. I often think of her and how eerily similar our lives are when I make my fortnightly trip to the Job Centre. It normally starts as soon as I step out of my front door. Out of nowhere, the same tune always starts up- this jazzy, cheeky little riff that takes off as soon as I swing the door open. It puzzled me at first; if I opened and shut the door the quickly the music would start and stop in time with my actions. In contrast, if I shut the door slowly, the music would gradually get quieter and quieter until it faded out to the closing of the door. This began to frighten me. I searched the front garden for a hidden orchestra but there was no-one to be seen. I called the police crying that an entire band of secretive musicians were stalking me but when I tried to show them it seemed that only I could hear them. In the end, I just accepted it; it’s quite a jaunty little tune really.
As I walk along to my merry theme music, I normally slow my pace to a pleasant stroll in order to take in the many awe-inspiring sights of Dagenham. There are just so many off-licenses and petrol stations, I can barely take it all in. We truly live in an amazing place. One of my favourite sights is the row of high rise flats on the estate, although recently something weird has been happening there too. Whenever I look up to admire the flats now, my name appears in the sky! At first I thought it was a coincidence- “they’re just oddly shaped clouds,” I reasoned to myself. And yet every time I take this walk my name appears again, silver letters against the dark grey mist. Now, am I over-reacting or is that just a little bit unusual?
I was thinking of calling the police about this incident too but after the whole stalking musician saga I decided against it. Sometimes it’s just better to accept these things. I just ignore it now, although I tend to run past the flats now in case the letters of my name rain down on me in some kind of ironic death where I am killed by my own title.
My least favourite part of the journey is crossing paths with the 103 bus. I hate that bus. Like an unhappy marriage, we are stuck together by a mutual seething rage and resentment and yet we need each other too, we both know that we could not survive without the other. The bus driver knows this too and takes great pleasure in depriving me of my bus when I cannot afford the fare. As it comes crawling up the road, I catch a glimpse of the driver and he shakes his fist at me. I give him the finger. I am just poncing off with a satisfied grin on my face, my theme tune bouncing along happily when-oh bollocks- the bus drenches me in the puddle as it drives past me. I stand there in shock as the laughter of the bus driver echoes in my ears. My Primark onesie is covered in muddy water and my Tesco bag full of all my Job Seekers forms is soaked. “Shit!” I scowl. Enraged, I glare up at the sky only to see more words in the same font but slightly bigger: “Loser in Dagenham” it says. Funny that isn’t it. Happens every single fortnight.