It seemed that the hoardings were just captions on whatever happened below. On the other side of the street a woman sat down awkwardly on the pavement, pulling cardigans and shawls around herself before arranging her children around her feet like baskets of fruit at a market stall, her hands held outstretched to each passer by. The hoardings around her read "Go where people sleep and see if they're safe" and, further up the street, on a cinema with old wooden boards nailed across its doors "Mothers shouldn't make to many sacrifices".
The road between us held four lanes of yellow taxis, each jostling for fares. A stretch limousine glided serenely past, its shaded windows hiding the passengers from the world, or vice versa, or perhaps there were no passengers at all and the world would stare enviously at no one at all. The car seemed to ignore the taunts on the hoardings as it passed below "People who don't work with their hands are parasites" or "Any surplus is immoral" and then the car, like its occupants, disappeared from view. Now a new sign caught my view, not a hoarding this time but a string of fourteen flashing digits representing the national debt at that precise moment, the last four digits were a blur of climbing figures. I stood there staring at a number so large that it seemed to have life of its own.
"WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN?"
A tramp stood in front of me, his wild eyes staring into mine, his beard exploding from around his mouth and merging with the fibers of an ancient jumper. He wore a raincoat that flapped in the wind around him, I felt he could of flown away if he hadn't been holding quite so tightly to the bag that contained his life. He grew impatient for an answer and shuffled off, shouting back over his shoulder "Believe in life itself".
I looked up at the signs above us and found "Alienation produces eccentrics or revolutionaries" and, more worryingly, "Deviants are sacrificed to increase our solidarity". I wondered if he ever read the signs himself.