My eyes scroll over a small stretch of mould, fingering its way up the peeling paint which is doing everything in its power to escape the dirty window frame.
A step closer to my lonesome window is all that is needed to free the crisp, yellowing paint from its own personal hell: the front row seat to the winding street that lies many feet below my window.
As the small piece of paint stabs the floor I wipe the dust and dirt from one half of the glass. The stretch of road below greets my eyes scornfully, barely visible amongst the thick, unwanted sheet of litter.
Dim and flickering, the street lamps cast their helpless rays down on the mess: very rarely do the bulbs get changed so the streets remain blinking under the dying lamps.
The flash of a face sends needles down my spine as one street lamp manages to grasp a hold on a young man’s face; loitering uneasily he sinks back into the shadows.
The death of night makes it immensely difficult to see the names of shops which crowd the street opposite my own. I can just about make out the gap from missing letter in ‘ESSO’: the second ‘S’ was smashed in by hooded gangs a few weeks ago.
As I prop my unwilling arm up on the moulding window ledge, I notice an old woman perched below the missing ‘S’; hair matted and clothes torn. Squinting my eyes rewards me with the view of a sandwich, diving into her mouth with ease.
A harsh breeze lifts something off the ground and pulls it into the thick mist, revealed only by the strongest street lamp. A whirlwind of dust dances around the paper-like object under the watchful eyes of the street lamp.
The shriek of the old woman pierces my ears and shocks my arm from its stance; she began frantically chasing after the object, sandwich at her unwashed feet, hair even more unkempt than before.
This drove me away from my window, away from the sickening realities that lie beyond the glass.
I picked off a small piece of crisp, yellowing paint from my elbow, held there by damp air, and flicked it away, away to the window where it belonged; and where I would never belong.