Another grey day.
I wake to another grey dismal day and a pounding head.
The greyness of my mood matches the one remaining dirty grey curtain I use to wipe the damp from what's left of the broken window.
I make a mental note to have a word with the landlord about a repair and the slimy turd that someone left fresh on the landing.
For the last two weeks each day has been a never ending grey, the weather forecaster's had predicated sunshine today.
' ...Two weeks of glorious sunshine and blue skies, an end to the relentless grey, no more rain, no more fog...and...!'
I have a little cash job to do for Charlie, the cash incentive will clear the sinus better than any pill popping.
He wants a few lights fixed, a socket resited for a game machine, then breakfast in front of the fire and hope Marlene is on this morning serving up the hash browns.
I'm in love with Marlene, I need to freshen up for her, she'll see I'm making an effort and throw in an extra egg with a smile.
Clean denim and the shirt from Oxfam should impress, plus the pair of brogues courtesy of Flimflams, a borrowed jacket from bedsit three and my tools wrapped in a towel.
My head still aches, the street down to Charlie's arcade seems never ending, I feel sick and want to throw up.
Passing through the town square the mist swirls thick, shrouding all it catches in a cape of despair.
Silent figures slip past in slow motion, their colour sucked grey and spat into the dark bowels of the decaying precinct.
For the third time I glance at the frail rake thin figure slumped against the window.
It is her, I'm sure of it...yes it's her, how could I forget.
I recall when I saw her for the first time, about a year ago down at the pier waiting for punters.
Tatty white dress, dark glasses, lips smeared in fluorescent red and perched in crazy high heels.
She swayed in the sea breeze, fragile like a delicate wafer of priceless crystal.
He was standing in front of her shouting, punching her in the head, kicking her as she fell over screaming.
I remember my head ached when I stabbed him in the arm, and in the leg with a small bradawl.
She said a lot to me that day.
All her hurt poured out unchecked, bursting through the cracks of an emotional dam that held back years of grief.
The beatings, cuts, and burns to her body,nearly lost an eye, a fork she whispered.
Then the time when he returned unexpectedly and found her in the shower.
Her brief moments of peace and tranquillity brought abruptly to an end.
' ...I liked to squat on a tiny chair whenever he was out ...' she sobbed.
Sit in a gentle flow of hot water, a soothing waterfall of sweet perfumed soaps easing her aches and pains, dreaming and hoping for something better.
'.. .You bitch...wasting hot water...you stupid...!'
He slapped her, kicked her, turned the shower up to full heat scolding her beaten body.
Dragged out by the hair, and beaten for wasting hot water.
I watch her as she brings the large cup close to her eyes as if bathing them in the warm vapours of the drink.
Head twitching like a nervous bird, she shakes despite the warmth from the fire and leans her trembling head back against the wall.
A clatter sounding like a sudden burst of hail stones against glass jerks her upright like a broken puppet.
I recognise him...from the pier.
He stands staring down at her, arms stretched out over the window, his hands gleam, each finger swollen with rings.
The glass rattles and shakes as he beats a devils tattoo.
Mouthing obscenities he head butts the glass.
I move over to sit with her as he marches through the door.
'It's OK' I tell her. 'Nothing will happen to you...'
'Hey you, bastard...don't I know you from somewhere...?'
He shouts at me, reaching over to grab her.
I catch hold of his wrist.
' Yes...we met some time ago in the mist...'
My head aches as I bring the bradawl up from under the table.