a short, factual tale in which nobody says anything but me.
It gets cold in these multi-storey flats. Twenty-two floors up, and this time of year you begin to see your breath steam. Obviously, it is not as cold as Newfoundland in a blizzard; I am not attempting to be macho. But we have no double glazing. The window frames all are rotten, and black with damp. And when the gales sweep up the Clyde valley from the Irish Sea – and the Atlantic beyond – the rain drives inside to collect on the sills even as the glass warps under the pressure.
It is high enough off the ground that the military occasionally sends in CH-47 Chinooks to engage in urban practice.
By this November juncture it is sufficiently cold to warrant dossing in a sleeping bag overnight. That is, seriously, no exaggeration. Under normal circumstances I do not employ curtains or blinds. We are high enough that nobody can see in; unless you are paranoid enough to be concerned by Google satellites. Still. It is only sensible to unfurl some canvas as one approaches those early wintry nights.
By 07:40 AM this morning just enough light crept in to encourage me to open one eye. Breakfast needed prepared. My son needed awakened in time for school.
I am genetically slow to rouse, but no slouch. I unzipped my nylon coccoon to hesitantly unfurl one leg and put my foot down on the bare floor. You are well enough versed in the sound a zipper makes under duress, I will surmise. Man against the elements in the wink of an eye.
Well. The heavy duty zipper – designed for bedding down outdoors – collided and tangled with soft, roll-necked flesh on the way down.
Semi-conscious, I envisaged the bulbous head of my cock flop onto the floor with a wet thud. I opened my mouth and screamed.
Calamity! Reaching down tentatively I discovered things were not quite so bad. I was merely snagged. Compromised, but not severely affected. Or afflicted. I have seldom felt so glad this time of morning.
I snaked out on a pale white limb and poured out some shredded wheat. Life doesn\’t get much better.
All I have to worry about, for now, are those damn safari tourist buses travelling south of this blighted river and hurling fruit in their zest to bag a wayward neanderthal.
On one occasion an open topped bus containing a wedding party rigged out in kilts and highland dress stopped nearby to take photographs of the picturesque rubble of a recent demolition. Two youths with hooded tops ambled out between some unscathed trees to sniff out the intrusion. I was too far removed to hear what words were exchanged, but a bottle was procured and lobbed with precision. One guest clutched his face and howled. The bus pulled away abruptly – scattering sundry parties like skittles – speeding towards normality.
It is ordinarily knives and broken glass. Sometimes a machete.
Marlboro boots, shell suits, and digital cameras.
I kid you not.