Essay by jeromespitfire December 2005

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"Beep beep, beep beep!"

I rolled over to turn my alarm clock off and 'bang!' I had fallen out of bed and just lay there on the cold, sweaty, concrete floor waiting for my alarm clock to turn itself off.

"Third time in a bloody row!" I said to myself.

My alarm clock had stopped, I pulled my pillow over my head ready to go back to sleep when I remembered I needed to get up otherwise I would miss my bus to the station.

I lived in a tiny basement bed-sit just off Brick Lane in East London. It was in need of urgent decorating and had a floor that had had its carpet ripped off only to show a dirty whitish coloured floor which had the paint peeling off. All the furniture was from the early 60s and was painted murky green, even my threadbare armchair and the grimy walls were painted green.

The smell as you walk into the flat hits you so hard it's like a man being hit by a lorry and there are huge black rats scurrying up the stairs and over your feet.

I hastily got dressed and ran to the bus stop to get on the 183 bus to Aldgate East. I needed to get to South Kensington to busk before the regulars took my spot. Being a musician was a hard life and since I had left college I found money even scarcer. There were no jobs about and even if any did come up they didn't even cover the travelling expenses. Busking was the only option for many musicians like me unless you had parents to pay your way into a job or knew the right people and I wasn't one of those types. I hadn't even paid last...