The surface is flat and dark, with a beard of frothy scum where the river-bed drops. I sit on a tired bench between bird shit and an empty rizla packet, trying not to look at the puddle of sputum someone's coughed up on the pavement. Across the river an old black man is jerking his way along the path, his skin the same colour as his suede cap. Maybe he's drunk, or maybe he's stopping every so often to take in the morning. The reflections of red brick buildings shimmer but hold their places. The water is moving.