Shelley Day Sclater

A NOTE from Edinburgh at the time of various International Festivals and an international refugee crisis summer 2015

I saw a man dive into the General Waste. It was an extra-large bin they put there at festival time. I watched as the man dived in head-first and disappeared into the trash.

No-one else saw.

Now there are many tourists in this city at this time of year. In the frenzy and bubble of festivals and ice cream and big wheels and life-on-sticks and acrobats and dancers and people standing still, and a giant trampoline that goes bounce bounce bounce, mostly the tourists don’t pay attention to people trashing themselves, don’t pay attention to anyone except themselves.

There are travellers and travellers and the best travellers are the ones with the passports the ones with the logos on teeshirts or logos on luggage or preferably both, logos on everything. The best ones are the ones with the money to buy the logos and the rest, the rest can go beg.

Beg beg beg go the other ones, begging like dogs, lying on pavements, lying low like dogs. Put your heads down, be invisible, we don’t want to see you, we want you invisible. We want you to skulk, skulk away like dogs, bellies low to the floor.

You crouch so small behind your squashed cardboard Starbuck cup. Your hand is shaking. You’re not used to this. You don’t want this. You didn’t expect this. You don’t know what you expected, but it wasn’t this.

You keep your head low, head down, hang dog, hang low, hang the dogs. You let the people pass, let the good people pass, let them float by facing forwards always forwards, let them glide uninterrupted.

I saw a man dive into the General Waste. It was an extra-large bin they put there at festival time. I watched as he dived in head-first and disappeared into the trash.

No-one was looking.

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