womens tights

Not a "Who done it", more of an "I done it".


1. Women’s Tights

~~Women’s Tights
Tony Coote


Women’s tights. That’s the thing you need on a night like this. I wear them under my trousers. Keep me warm too. Especially at night, when I’m working on the streets. My streets. It’s a wet one tonight, coming down in lumps it is, and bloody cold too. I’m OK, I’ve found a spot under the bridge where I can keep out of the wet and still do my job.
Not like him over there, poking around in the hotel bins, looking for food I shouldn’t wonder. You see a lot of his type in my line of work. “Poor homeless people” they call ‘em. Tramps is what we always called ‘em. Filthy vermin is closer to the mark though. Him there, long, greasy hair, dirty trousers. God, I can smell him from here. Like stale piss. It’s far more than just not having bathed for a while. He actually smells like he’s dead. Filth. And he’s only a youngster too. Mind you, we get all sorts, young, old, black and white. Women too, and they can be the worst of the lot of them. It’s the girls that are the saddest. Most of them are on some drug or the other, on the game too most times. Heart breaking, it is. All types of foreigner too, Irish, Polish, Aussies and Jocks. Sweaty socks we used to call them. Don’t remember any Indians. No chinks either now I come to think about it. Not in their culture I suppose. Look at him now, he’s found something and he’s just standing there eating it. Hasn’t even got the sense to come in out of the rain. Scum. And on My streets too.
What a bloody nerve. Didn’t used to be like this on My streets, not when I first started. We could go to bed and leave the doors unlocked. Old women were safe on the streets. Little kiddies too. The likes of matey over there would be told to bugger off in no uncertain terms. And if he didn’t, well, he was persuaded by some of the boys. Reggie and Ronnie, Charlie and Frankie, oh, I know what you might think now but them boys kept the manor safe. They wasn’t angels, I’m old – not bloody stupid, but they were respected and that went a long way back then. I miss them days. Now there’s too much carrot and not enough stick. Little kids getting killed and worse. And life used to mean life back then. Now they’re out in five years. And probably doing it all again. Six feet of rope would sort out a lot of good boys, if I had my way. But those days are long gone. Now it’s all social workers and care in the community. Like him there, I’ll bet he’s got a social worker somewhere. Waste of time, I say. He’s back at the bins now, leaning right in to grab whatever he can get. Just like life. Grab what you can and I’m alright Jack. I can see where his filthy trousers have ridden up leaving his ankles bare. Worn out shoes up on tiptoe as he scavenges in the hotel dustbins.

Good, big bins these. Got wheels on and a swinging lid too. Always good pickings round the back of the hotel. Too much waste, you see? If he had any brains he’d get under cover. He should get down to Cardboard city. That’s what they call it. Down under the railway arches, like bloody cockroaches they are. Or rats. Funny, they got no money to feed themselves but there’s always booze and fags down there in cardboard city. Not that I get down there much nowadays, I prefer the streets. My streets. Anyway, they run a mile if they see me coming. It’s the clothes.
The rains getting heavier now, bouncing up of the street. I’m ok though, I’ve got my good heavy waterproof coat on and my waterproof shoes too. And my women’s tights. I’m all wrapped up and dry. Not like him there, he’s soaked to the skin. He must be freezing. I like the rain, washes the streets clean. Like me in a way. Well, I suppose I’d better get to work. I help the likes of him to better themselves. I make sure they don’t have to be on the streets. My streets. He hasn’t got a clue yet but this is his lucky night. I’m going to set things up so that he never has to spend another night eating out of a dust bin, or sleeping on the streets.
Won’t need to worry his little head about being cold, wet and filthy. Or smelling like piss. No need to go begging for change down the tube. No, I’m going to look after this one.
He’s moved on to the next bin now, pushing up the lid and looking in. He must have seen something good in there ‘cos he’s leaning right in, his feet right off the floor. One shoe has come right off and sits there, filling with rain. No socks, just a black, dirty foot hanging in the air. In the distance I can hear the dustbin waggon, they do the bins at night round here so’s not to upset the tourist. Now I’m behind him. He’s so interested in the bin he hasn’t heard me coming. Think I’ll put my gloves on now, it’s colder out from under the bridge. Now I reach forward and get hold of him. A good firm grip. Pull back his head and bring the other hand quickly across his throat. The Stanley knife cuts very clean, only jarring a bit as it gets to the gristly bit, at the front. Then around the other side making sure to get all the pipes first time. I’ve got good at this over the years. He hasn’t made a sound, just tries to look at me over his shoulder. But I push his head down into the bin. He starts to shake so I need to hold on tight, but not for long. He soon goes limp and I let go of him. He hangs there on the edge of the bin, half in and half out. All I’ve got to do now is grab his ankles and lift the rest of him in, nice and gentle like. I pop his shoe in as well, though he won’t need it where he’s off to.  No mess, no fuss and another piece of filth that no one will miss is off the streets. My streets. I move back out of the rain, under the bridge.
 A kitchen porter comes out of the hotel with a trolley full of bin bags. He heaves them into the bins and when he’s done he wipes his hands on the dishcloth hanging at his waist and pulls out a fag. He lights up and has a crafty drag or two then he squeezes the end off and puts the dog end back in his pocket. He pushes his trolley back into the hotel and it’s just me and the bins out here now.  The truck reverses into the road, stops and a man comes round to push the bins onto the lifting rig on the back. Up they go and swing back down empty. Then it’s off to the landfill site. Anything in those bins will be under a few tons of rubbish this time tomorrow. And good riddance I say. Time for me to get back now, just a short stroll. As I come into the warm station one of the youngsters is coming out. He holds the door for me. As I pass he says “Blimey, it’s a wet one out there tonight, bloody cold too. You should work the desk on nights like this Sarge not walking the beat. Don’t know how you old coppers do it”.  I laugh and tell him about women’s tights.

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