It is without a doubt the messiest room ever; fag-ash, skins, and books, so many books, scattered across the small room. Traversing this room barefoot is probably not a good idea but neither was moving back here. The room is tiny but eight years of junk provided a tricky obstacle-course that had to be crossed in order to open the window and allow fresh(ish) air and dull sunlight in; I made it across unscathed and opened the window allowing the dusty room to breathe.
From the window you can see another window, and in that window you would probably see a room similar to the one behind me; the room stays hidden behind dirt and heavy curtains, except for brief moments when its occupier, a skinny middle-aged hermit, opens it and takes his mental snapshot of life. It was quarter past so he should be taking his snapshot shortly, and, sure enough, the red curtains are drawn back and the vague shape of a man appears, opens the window in soft focus and leans out. He does not see me for a couple of seconds but when he does he immediately says hello in a rather hoarse voice.
How yae doin mate, I ask, putting on the broadest accent I can muster,you got a wee yin coming hame fae school? The four-foot terror from down stairs drowns out the end of my loaded question but the older man gets the gist, and with a sigh looks down the street as the usual cavalcade of kids begin to pour into it. He turns back to me after a minute or so and, with the precession of little horrors whooping and wailing below, looks across the expanse of air dividing us. His eyes glistened red.