He passed the torn strip of wall paper, then the badly patched hole, filled roughly with plaster and noticed the carpet coming away from the second last step from the top. His right knee hurt as he reached the landing outside the bathroom. That door at least closed and latched. The tiles around the bathtub were coming away from the wall. Some bits of the decayed wall behind had fallen like grey dust into the bathtub. He looked into the mirror for a moment. He looked back at himself. Worry lines across his forehead, hair still all there but shot with silver. An old blue, formless shirt and blue jeans starting to shred around the knees, knobbly with patches of hair showing through. His varicose veins in his left leg ached, but less than yesterday.
‘That was good’, he thought.
He turned on the hot and cold taps, then remembered the water heater had stopped, so quickly splashe cold water onto his face. He wanted to sleep, but could not just yet. ‘Not yet’, he said, out loud this time.