And there was something else I hadn't noticed, too. Above that window was another one ' much smaller, set into what seemed to be a half-size upper storey beneath the roof space. Instead of having a blind or a curtain, though, it was completely vacant ' its panes as dark as if they'd been blacked out. "What's in the top room, Ron? I asked. He puffed on his fag, creasing up his eyes against the sting of smoke. "Good question, he said. "I've never been up there."
Tuesday Night at The Hippodrome. By invitation only. Me, Sherlock, Yoyo, Billy, a 4-pack apiece, Billy's cock-eyed snooker table, a couple of Sherlock's funny fags, Bruce's Lucky Town in good crackly vinyl on one of Billy's old stereograms¦ ¦tonight I'm steppin' lightly and feelin' no pain¦ Cookin'.
I've got enough reasons not to like this place, as I've already said. But there are some things in its favour, too. The people I know here ' those I can turn to for a chat, a joke, a listening ear. The connections I've got. The places where I can make a few bob if I'm short. A geography that's familiar. Some sense of belonging.
Sherlock. Yoyo. Denise. Billy. Suzy and Trina. Lemon. Mole. Jinni and Fee. These are the people who make it worthwhile for me. Living here, I mean. The folks who dance to a jazzier beat ' who play out their lives in a different key. The folks who, in a population of over 30,000, have faces .