sloping into the hallway, the tops of my thighs chafe beneath the sagging, encrusted cloth of the tracksuit bottoms that serve as my bedclothes. Did I shower yesterday? The day before that? I can't remember. Well, today will be the day! Great things are afoot; I feel a surge of optimism for the first time in weeks at the thought of this major decision and force a demi-lungful of air in through my shrunken nostrils. I'm even sure some of it makes it past my saturated sinuses and into my brain, for fuck me if it hasn't summoned a vision into my stinking world: there on the floorboards, mere inches from the bathroom door, lies a man, curled up in a simian coma, bare legged and single socked, top half covered with my best duffle coat. Have I killed him? What does he want? Who is this terrible cunt, barring the way to soapy destiny? The machine sounds from beyond the windows grind on, become doubled, and my temples throb to the rhythm, inciting dizziness. I reach out to the wall for balance - this demands thought, and I am hardly ready for such a thing this early in my day. Such is the misery of my lot.