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EMPTIES

Well…that was the last thing he ever said to me. Packed-up and left the next morning he did, and that was the last I saw of him. Poor old Mr. Johnson. But I suppose you can’t blame him for wanting to leave this place – I mean, it’s going to the dogs, innit? Not that he had a choice, mind. About leaving. Well, there weren’t nothing left for him to do, so naturally he lost his job. Housing Association’s hardly likely to pay for a caretaker to take care of a building that they don’t care about any more, are they? Think about it. Housing Association treats this whole estate like it doesn’t exist. I suppose that’s why everybody’s gone, cause…well…I mean, people don’t want to live somewhere that doesn’t exist, do they? Course not. Except for me of course. I suppose you could say the Housing Association should have done more to keep the building in good repair, you know. They could have painted the walls for a start, or occasionally cut that overgrown lawn out front and changed them old fittings in the lobby that never work but, I dunno - they’ve got their own agenda, haven’t they?

Of course, they don’t want me here. Course not. They say I’m ‘standing in the way of progress’. Yeah. That’s what they said in their letter. Hang on a minute…I got it here somewhere…ok, I got it…here we go:

Dear Mister Whatever-your-name-is,

Our Enforcement Division has recently discovered that you are standing in the way of progress. I should like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to clause number 5,142a in your tenancy agreement that states the following:

‘All persons residing at the property agree not to stand in the way of progress. Any person or persons at the property found to be standing in the way of progress are recommended to think twice about it before they get their mouth filled in with concrete.’

If it is therefore your intention to continue standing in the way of progress, the Housing Association will take no responsibility, financially or otherwise, for the condition of your internal organs after we visit. 

Yours, with heartfelt regards, etc. etc.,

Mister Housing Association

It’s funny, but I don’t feel like leaving. Don’t ask me why. I just, you know, I just feel like somebody should stay, you know what I mean? See, if I leave, this place just won’t exist anymore, so I’ve got to stay. I know I shouldn’t, ‘cause of the risk and everything, what with them ‘patrols’ the Housing Association keeps sending round in the middle of the night, making that dreadful racket with their crowbars as they tear the place apart, night after night, breaking things and with their jack boots. But that’s nothing compared to the dog patrols. You don’t wanna be anywhere near one of them when it comes past. I saw them get a squatter last night. Poor woman. Talk about savage. It’s terrible it is. So you have to sit and cower somewhere almost impossible to get at, hardly daring to breathe…or you keep moving from one flat to another, hiding as best you can, keeping upwind from those dog-things. But, I suppose you gotta hand it to them; at least they’re thorough. The Housing Association, I mean. At least it gives you a bit of confidence in your local authority, you know what I mean? And it’s good to have confidence in the authorities. So, well…I just sit here in the dark most of the time. But I know they’ll find me in the end. They find everyone in the end…

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