The TV drones away in the background as I try to sleep. I am uncomfortable. I’m too hot, and my pyjamas are twisted under the bed sheets. I never could sleep in the same room as a TV. I feel like someone is watching me. I get up, stretch and walk over to the open window. I glance over to the TV as I light up my last cigarette. I should have quit years ago, like all my old friends did. Me being me though, I continued secretly smoking away, whilst announcing to anyone who asked that I barely touched them – ‘Just when I had a drink’. Now though, I couldn’t care less. Those who quit had a reason to do so – they developed hobbies which required them to be fit, or met partners who encouraged them to quit. Some had kids.
Staring out of the window, I saw an old fox trotting up the empty street. It stopped to sniff at an overfull bin, then looked over in my direction. I stared back. In that moment I felt a connection. Something under that moon linked me and this old fox. Out there, in the street fending for itself, living day to day. I thought it was about to reveal something to me, a secret of this world. I waited. Then the fox’s head moved slowly. I realised that it wasn’t staing at me, but an empty polystyrene takeaway box beng blown past my window by the gentle breeze.
I cursed, threw the stump of my cigarrette out of the window, flicked off the TV and went back to bed.