When I wake up in the morning sometimes I must smile into my pillow. The feelings of utter emptiness are delayed and I still have the taste of a dream in my mouth. Another day. I check my phone for the time. I’ve got twenty-seven minutes before my alarm’s due to go off. The feeling of empty despair starts to creep in.

She’s still snoring next to me. Her mouth open, her tongue slightly protruding from it. I sit up and put my feet on the floor for the first time today. Really wish I wasn’t here, to be perfectly honest. The sun penetrates the cream coloured curtains. I wish it was raining and cloudy. As I sit staring at the ceiling, that acidic thing sets off in my stomach. It’s like butterflies, apprehension or something. Gaviscon won’t get rid it. Neither will Rennies. Will have to go and see my Gran later for some of her indigestion pills. They sometimes do the trick.

Time to get ready for work. My shirt needs ironing. Hopefully my pants are dry; they’ve been on the radiator all night so they should be. As I head downstairs, I glance into little Ryan’s bedroom. He’s awake watching something on his iPad. Probably one of those ridiculous videos on YouTube. It’s strange how all the young kids seems to follow these absolute bell ends. I give him a thumbs up, he nods his head at me and miles. His toothy grin makes gives me a moment of genuine happiness. Let the kids enjoy being kids while they can.

I ascend the stairs and enter the parlour. The smell of damp washing makes my stomach feel bubblier. I go into the kitchen to get the ironing board from next to the fridge. I glance through the square glass panels of the backdoor into the tiny one-metre-squared back yard. I feel my legs tremble and the rage build in me. Those fucking scruffs who live at the back of us have thrown a nappy and a blue carrier bag of rubbish into our fucking garden, again! I’d best clear it up before she gets up and starts kicking off. I hate the back alley. It’s such a dirty place with hordes of buzzing flies and mounds of bin bags and carrier bags stuffed with rubbish that the feral idiots have thrown over their back wall. Not to mention the graffiti. A big fat swastika used to be there until the old patriot next door painted over it.

When I left the house about ten minutes late I realised I’d forgotten to have breakfast or even make myself lunch for work. Looks like it’s another three pound meal deal from Tesco. I promised myself I’d start eating healthily but what the hell, hate my life anyway.


Fuckin’ ell was havin’ a boss dream then. I was bangin’ the bird who lives at the back of ours while her fella was in work. It’s always the way –  getting’ into it an then I end up wakin’ meself up. Can’t be assed with getting’ out of bed just yet, might as well roll a haze bat an get another hour. Can hear her downstairs on the phone to one of her stupid mates. She never stops moanin’. Swear to god, one of these days am gunna go loopy an end her. If it wasn’t for the baby I’d be long gone.

Love rollin’ a fat haze joint in the mornin’ before I do anythin’ else. It’s the way life should be lived. Might even be able to get her to make me a cuppa tea. In my line of work there’s no point getting’ up too early bud smokers don’t get out of bed before 12. That daft cow’s left a nappy on the bed, wondered what that ‘orrible smell was. Out the window it goes – someone else can deal with that shit. Halfway through me haze one and Con’s flashin’ on the screen of me iPhone. Wonder what that daft **** wants.

“Sappnin lad?”

“Fuck all bro, just outside yours after a sackie.”

“Go ed bro I’ll tell her to let ya in – am just in me room, come up.”

I don’t mind Con – he’s alright but since he’s come out, he’s done nothin’ but tick bags off me and its startin’ to do me head in. He owes me about £120. He’s good for it like just got to wait for him to go out of town on the George.

“Lad it stinks in ere.”

“Lad throw tha’ pizza box out the window for me.”

“Lad your back alley must look like a tip.”

“I know lad. Am not assed though – I don’t have to clean it. The travellers are always out there goin’ through the bins, the scummy bastards.”

“Least their good for somethin’ innit lad.”

He got his weed, paid for it for once and fucked off. Might as well stick the game on an’ see if anyone’s online. She’s gone all quiet – wonder what silly shite she’s found on the Facebook? An hour passes I can hear the baby cryin’.

“Teri, see to him will ya!”

The babies been screamin’ for a good half an hour.


“You cheeky little rat!”

Oh here we go. What’s she found out this time?

“What are you on about now?”

“You’ve been fuckin’ textin’ tha’ Leanne again ya horrible little scumbag!”

“As if girl ya better pipe down now!”

She started screamin’. Couldn’t even understand a word of it. Then things started getting smashed and then more screamin’. I saw red an flew down the stairs. She’s gunna get it now, I’ve told her not to be smashin’ house up. She fled into the kitchen an I put me foot through the door. Thought I was still playin’ for the Liverpool under 21s didn’t I. She was screamin’ herself horse, then in the middle of it all someone tapped on the front door. Right – this divvies getting’ it now, whoever it is!


Back in the old country you’d never find people throwing away such things. One time I found a microwave in a wheelie bin. There was nothing wrong with it. I go out around 6am and by 12, on a bad day, I’ve collected enough cans to get food in for all eight of us. My wife can make a three course meal out of some tinned vegetables, bread and rice. We eat well most days thanks to how much these people throw away. We never eat out of bins like they say we do. We collect things and sell them. Usually cans and tins – we take them to the scrapyard and weigh them in. At home people fight over such things. Here there is enough for us all.

The hot weather bothers me more than the cold. The rats in this city are bigger than cats. It doesn’t surprise me at all! These people throw away enough to fill a whole street in my part of Bucharest. Sometimes I wish we were back there. It is a beautiful place but here the children have a chance to learn, to get an education. I look at the children that walk around the streets here and wonder why they are not in school. My children love school. They feel like they are on top of the world, and sometimes they teach me things I never knew. Imagine coming from a place where you can work yourself to death for barely enough to eat, and arriving in a place where the poor people throw away things we have never owned! I’ll try my luck here until they throw me out. No matter what they say, as long as my children are safe I am happy.

Not all the people hate us. There is one woman down the street who gives us her baby clothes and one time she even gave us a tub of baby milk! Such generosity! She stopped talking to us when her husband found out though. Then there are the animals who live on the next street. They throw things at my wife and her mother. Sometimes, they even throw babies’ underpants with dirt inside. They call us vermin. I think that we are cleaner than them though. They throw food and rubbish all over the back of their house. I tell my wife to stay away from them. Sometimes the children throw rocks at our window but if we ignore them they go away. I do not want to end up like Dardin. He tried to challenge them and was set upon by around ten of them. They beat him until he had no teeth left. The police arrested him and sent him back. They said he was looking at little girls. This is why I look at my feet when I walk. It is a small price to pay for paradise.


Fly-tippers, the bane of my existence. Why don’t people just use the wheelie bin they’ve been given? My life would be so much easier. I don’t like these areas much anymore. When I was in school I had friends who lived around here. It seems to have crashed straight into the ground lately. The bin men won’t even go into the alleys to get the bins. These people live like animals.

This family at number 13 have been causing a nuisance for months now. Throwing rubbish over into neighbours’ yards, leaving huge mounds of trash in the alley so bin men can’t get bins out. We’ve sent them half a dozen letters but they don’t give a toss. I’m just going to hand them the letter and then drive to the mosque for afternoon prayer. Why is it that last job of the day is always the worst?

I get out the van and I can already smell skunk. It’s common around here. Either there’s a massive farm in one of these houses or every person on the block has a joint lit. Maybe both. I can hear smashing and screaming now. Sounds like they’re having a right bust up in there. Think I might just post this and say I gave it to them. John will probably find out. He hates me enough as it is – not sure why though, I’ve never done anything to him. Just take a deep breath and knock on the door. Surely they’ll stop their row when they hear a knock?


I love this song. The radio loves me. To be honest I don’t not love my job. Except when a rat jumps out at me. An’ boy can them little fuckers jump!

“Giz a geg of that paper when you’re done Scone ‘ed.”

The wagon had to skip one street – the busies had it all cordoned off. Looks like somethin’ serious. This Echo’s a load of my arse too. Always stab stab, shoot shoot splashed across the front page.

‘Environmental Health officer stabbed to death’.

Why the fuckin’ ell would you stab an Environmental Health? Glad am just a bin-jockey to be honest. Two ****s ‘ave lost their lives there. What a waste. Oh well duty calls. Waste needs love too I suppose.


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