The sensor light comes on when he opens his window and I can see it when I’m locking our front door as I leave for my walk. Can I own that my heart always sinks when I know that he is awake and smoking through his window? Don’t get me wrong, I like him. He is a little wry, but always friendly, and he is a kind man, I am certain of it. It’s just that I don’t want to talk. I want to preserve my silence and walk out into that dark alone. It’s all that forcing of politeness. I am sure that he feels it too. It makes me awkward and I can hear myself saying silly things. What must he think of me? It is an unnatural situation. He is at his window because he wants a fag and I am leaving our flat because I wish to walk and it is our only exit. We are forced on each other at 3.30 am and we must be gracious, both of us. I had a card in my hand. Writing letters? he asked. I mumbled something about having to rifle through our card collection to find a decent one, our not being able to get one from the shops etc. I think Smiths is open, he said, looking bored as he said it. I replied saying that we were trying to avoid going into too many shops. We said goodbye then, neither of us lifted by the exchange and he wished me a pleasant walk. What do you talk about?

I am edgy – I set myself too much to do. A little of each perhaps is the best way forward. Finish work first. First things first, eh?