He gazes down from his tenement window, glass of whisky in his hand ans smiles sadly, an upturned crevice in a crumpled face.
In the road below, under the orange glow of the sodium street light, a taci waits. Its diesel engine dug-dug-a-dugging, idly ticking over as the meter slowly climbs with patience and a contained satisfaction, waiting for its fair to conclude putting the finishing touches of her lippie on in the hallway beyond.
The horn parps out across the otherwise still night and the window slides down for her friend, already within the cab, to shout "Come on will you?"
"Coming!" she shouts back and she steps out. The door slams behind her. Her heels go sparking across the pavement, clip clopping towards her friend in the rear of the cab.
It's a Froday night and they're off to the dancing again.
He sighs. No one takes him out. He has no once.
He's not an old man, he's many years left of the drinking and the dancing in him yet, though precious few opportunities.
He brings the glass to his lips, sips and feels the burn. The tips of his ear seem to glow just like the rear lights of the taxi blinking as it reaches the end of the street. It turns the corner, letting the night take it out.
No, he's not an old man. But he feels it.
No one will take him out tonight, or any night.
He's a lonely man. Alone.
Just like the tiny flower protruding gamely against the odds from the stone of his window ledge, fluttering under the Caledonian climate.
(c) Mark Cunliffe, 2013