Outside Seven Sisters the other day I was approached by a dishevelled man. He had one tooth and he wasn’t that old. Can you buy me a coffee? He asked. I shook my head and moved away. I watched as he went from person to person outside the tube station. Each one had the same reaction. I felt really bad so I went up to him and beckoned him to follow me to the coffee shop which was steps away.
Actually, I don’t want coffee, can I have tea. Actually, tea in Costa costs about £2.00. I can get an all-day breakfast for £3.99 up there. He beckoned towards West Green Road.
As I started to walk with him towards West Green Road he said: that place is closed but there’s another place further up the road. My patience started to wear thin when he said the other place was 10 minutes up the road. I’d already missed one bus and my murder mystery head took over. People have vanished in more innocuous circumstances. You can have a drink from Costa and that’s it, I said. Can’t you go 10 minutes up the road? I told him I was not going anywhere and he could have a drink in Costa or nothing at all.
I walked away.
As I got on my bus I noticed he was asking everyone around the bus stop for a cup of tea or coffee.