So here I am, but not really, while others have found time to swan around the globe sucking every cock that winks I've been trying to pull all my shit back together from New Years fallout, still am, so for now this has been elsewhere before...

The room i share is over crowded. Too many heartbeats for the small space. There's only three of us, Me, Laura and the boy James. But in the confines of a 12x15 ft red painted bedroom it's too much to bare. The bed I share with Laura is a small double and my feet stick out over the end while it fits her shorter frame perfectly. Across from us James sleeps in a fold out cot that during the day doubles for a couch. Her clothes litter the floor while his sit in folded piles by the window, mine are kept in a holdall under the bed.

There's a dirty full length mirror that sits on the sanded down floor by the door. Lipstick smears from Laura and splashes of cum from where James jerks off for me when she goes out at night.

The only time we're all in there together is early morning to afternoon when we sleep. Her breath on the back of my neck and my eyes fixed on the boy sleeping naked beneath his cotton sheet across from me. Sometimes his are fixed too, mostly he sleeps. It's then that I trace the lines and bumps he creates. The sheet, commonly down below his waist exposing a small amount of dark pubic hair, His chest exposed, slim and muscular, cut, like cut glass or chiseled into marble. The definition of his pecs and his small dark nipples rising from milky coffee coloured skin. He has scars below them and across his stomach. Thin white ridges from when he would cut himself, never deep enough to do any real damage just enough to serve as a reminder to why he left school at sixteen, to why he was kicked out of his home and to why a year later he now stays with us in this halfway hostel near Leith.

Across the hall in the green painted room is Edie. A forty something drag queen who can be seen touring the Scottish cabaret circuit telling jokes about under-age sex and miming to Judy Garland numbers. She's past her prime, has never been as successful as she was in the eighties but never successful enough to pull herself out of the shit heap we share. She's been living here for two years, flirting her way around the fat Greek who runs the place when she can't make rent. I think I love her more than I have allowed myself to love anyone in the longest time. A platonic love. We'll sit in the hall or on the balcony that hangs three floors up above the pavement and drink cheap whisky, telling each other tall tales and swapping dirty jokes or listening to her radio.

The yellow painted room opposite hers is the largest of the three and has 5 sets of bunk beds in it. It's occupants change, sometimes it's Australian or Canadian backpackers, sometimes a group of guys in town for a stag night and couldn't afford anywhere else, now it's only three Polish labourers trying to get their work visas sorted and a guy called Mike whose wife threw him out of their house after finding out he was cheating on her.

The bathroom is in the basement of the building, a key kept by Edie opens a black metal gate on the ground floor where you descend to two rooms. A shower block with three stalls and toilet with two cubicles. Everything down here is painted brown and although you can always count on hot water, the rooms themselves have no heating and once you step out from the hot spray you're greeted by ice.

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