Lean against wall, hands in pockets. Cough into chest. Cough again, louder.

Fold canvas over and over. Stamp flat with right foot. Put arms above head and stretch back. Look around.

Shift from foot to foot. Spit into drain and walk up alleyway, swaying from side to side.

Bend over rail, holding stomach. Spew up. Wipe mouth with forearm. Spit and wipe mouth again.

Pick up cigarette end from gutter. Cross square. Pause in front of supermarket and ask men for money.

Slide zigzagging along deck. Grab and hold rail. Pick splinter from palm.

Stop outside off-licence, jingling coins in pocket. Take out coins and look at them.

Lick wound. Take rag from pocket and dab at blood. Throw rag into sea. Go below.

Enter off-licence and come out carrying can of beer. Cross road, drinking from can.

Ease line through fingers, counting. Curse loudly and jump to one side.

Sit down in doorway. Take packet of biscuits from carrier-bag and eat one after the other, chewing hard.

Untie knot. Wrap twine round and round thumb and forefinger. Drop down onto right knee.

Get up from doorway, waving stick at pigeons. Walk round in circles on pavement, picking at teeth.

Climb up ladder, rung by rung. Pause and brush spray from front of jacket. Continue ascent.

Take cigarette packet from litter-bin and drop it back in again. Walk through square, looking into every bin.

Tug at bits of old rope, slowly untangling. Look up at sky. Blow into clenched fists.

Pull newspaper from litter-bin. Glance at headlines and read back page. Fold and put into coat pocket.

Haul on rope, hand over hand. Stagger against wind. Trip over plank and fall down. Lie groaning.

Stand staring in middle of road. Hitch up trousers. Scratch inside shirt. Shake head up and down.

Run down steps. Empty contents of bucket over rail. Look down at waves. Walk astern.

Place carrier-bag against bus stop. Hold out hand to passer-by. Shout out something.

Scrape at deck, back and forth. Sit back on heels and rub sweat from forehead.

Look into shop window and stamp foot. Talk to woman sweeping steps. Walk away, laughing.

Stand on tiptoes, holding hand up before face. Screw up eyes. Point at horizon. Run to starboard.

Tony Rickaby