Its the sound a disposable rubber glove makes as you try and slip it over your fingers on a humid day in Clarkson.
It was around 2pm. I had finished work for the day and just done the banking. I left ANZ and began to head up the street for an end of work-week coffee. As I walked I sensed something was going on, a small crowd gathering, a man striding off in disgust, shaking his head and then two police arrived on the scene to sort things out.
Just between Rivers and the library I saw the ‘problem’, a man standing there barefoot in tatty brown trakky daks drooping so low as to expose the fact he didn’t have any underwear. His top was a hoody opened up to expose a hairy gut and chest. His beard and long straggly hair didn’t look like it had seen a wash in a while and he stood there – not so much cornered, but in surrender as he wasn’t likely to escape any time soon.
As the police approached they asked him to make himself decent – to pull his pants up over his crotch. He consented, seemingly oblivious to the problem this may have presented. He looked weary, beaten, but also like this was a regular event for him – to be fronted by police, stared at by strangers, to be dishevelled and naked in public.
It was a sad scene, but the moment that struck a note deep in my soul was the application of rubber gloves to deal with the man. It gave a whole new meaning to untouchable.
Still pondering and wondering what this says about who we are now…