Typing this entry out one-handed, so it might be a bit shaky. Why? Read on…
Here in Leicester there are two universities; The University of Leicester (which I went to) and DeMontfort University. The latter used to be a polytechnic and was upgraded to uni status, so there’s a healthy mock/hate rivalry between the two.
The house I live in is deep, deep inside enemy territory; with the DM campus itself only five minutes down the road, the surrounding area consists almost entirely of DeMontfort students, so whenever the inter-uni events start and the ‘Leicester Uni is scum’ posters start going up in the windows of surrounding houses, it always feels prudent to keep one’s head down. I’ll leave the ‘your dad works for my dad’ chants to the people attending the rugby matches.
Anyhow, the nearest cash point to the house is outside their student union, so every now and again an expedition into the belly of the beast has to be made. Today was one such day.
Or evening, to be precise. The DeMontfort campus is not a pretty sight once the sun sets, and the ‘Demon’ part of its name begins to come into effect. Rabbles of students emerge from the murkier corners, perhaps even dragging themselves out of the cracks in the pavement itself, to roam the streets outside their student union.
In the midst of this horde is the cash machine.
As I paced towards it however, something caught my eye. Sitting on the concrete steps that lead up to the union was a blonde girl, hunched over, with a puddle of nasty looking vomit upon the ground in front of her.
Lovely, I thought, having skirted past, and keyed in my pin-number. Ten pounds.
As I waited for the growling machine to produce my grocery money, I cast another look at the girl. She was mumbling to herself, and did look in a bit of a bad way. I folded the note, shoved it and my card into my pocket, and went over.
“Are you alright?” I asked.
No response. Her head hung low so I couldn’t make eye-contact, instead having to make do with staring at the poorly-dyed roots of her hair. I reached down to pat her on the shoulder and ask if she had any friends nearby.
The girl snarled angrily, swatting my hand away, and I felt a sharp scratch across the palm of my hand. Shocked, I took a step back and noticed, to my disgust, that her long, fake nails were caked with reddish vomit.
Well; that was enough of that. Maybe she could tell that I was not one of ‘her kind’, so to speak. In any case, I wasn’t about to risk getting clawed at again so, unsettled, I left her to it and came back home. Next time I’m definitely going to the cash machine in town.
And those damn scratches are really starting to itch.