The mayor of Aberystwyth is a cat which likes to sit upon a wall opposite of my friends’ house. But the Kings of Aber and the whole of Ceredigion, I suppose, are the seagulls. They rule the city. They’re above of it all. Above you, too. They can shit on you, if they want. They try to steal your food, your water bottles they use as weapons against you, and if you don’t do what they tell you to, they start picking at you. They chase you till they get what they want or at least till they have driven you out of your mind.
One day back in April, I was visiting my friends, I woke up really early. So I went downstairs to the kitchen and poured myself a cup of hot coffee. I wanted to smoke and left the house to have a cigarette outside. I like the atmosphere of Aberystwyth mornings. They are calm and it truly feels like a whole new day is about to begin. The air is crisp, and if there is no drizzle, the sky is clear. I was not completely awake yet, and it took me a while to take in my surroundings.
Across from my friends’ house, there is a narrow alley. People put their trash cans outside there to be picked up. That morning, the garbage collection hadn’t taken place yet, so the cans were still outside, still not emptied. I noticed unrest and some rustling from out of the alley before I saw what was going on. Seagulls had taken apart the contents of all the trash cans completely. They were picking through the junk, eating some leftovers, choosing toys to play with.
It looked incredible. They had made a mess of the alley. And they were so confident and not hectic at all. They knew nobody could catch and punish them. If someone came along, they’d simply raise into the sky and shit on them. Nobody could stop them. I guess the seagulls are not only the Kings, but they also make up the mob of Ceredigion – waste management probably being their primary source of income.