Stepping out from the elevator, straight into my street, I light my first cigarette of the day, drawing the warmth of the smoke deep into my lungs, stirring my body into life. At 05.50am it will be another few hours before my brain attempts to wake up and function normally.
Stepping off the curb onto the road, I nearly go over on my ankle, correcting myself at the last minute. I remind myself that the curbs here are all different sizes; some you can lightly step off, some are so high, you need a parachute to control your decent.
Walking to my pick up point, I take in my surroundings, giant apartment blocks surround both sides of the street, entrapping the community below, blocking out sunlight but allowing the relentless wind to pass through.
Everything I see is drab, dead or dying. No colour or life is permitted to prosper in this street.
My lift is waiting for me.
Jumping into the back I greet my fellow passengers and co-workers good morning. Today I’m lucky, they return the greeting. Normally it is just acknowledged with a nod of the head. After nearly 10 weeks of the same routine I can hardly blame them.
Reaching to my side for my seat belt, I panic, it’s not there. Today, the car supplied has had them removed. “Who needs seat belts” the driver says” I’m number one driver”. I doubt this, for Christ sake you can buy a licence here for less than a hundred bucks.
Just to relax me even more, my driver leans forward and kisses the religious beads that hang from his rear view mirror.
Setting off at a hundred miles an hour, we immediately bounce over three pot holes, which jar every bone in my body.
Nearing the turn at the top of a hill, the driver flings the steering wheel to the left as a car exits a side street, narrowly missing us, with no lights on and proceeds to reverse down the road.
A corrupt police officer parked opposite watches on in ignorance.
Once the car hits the highway I allow myself to relax a little, cars overtaking inside and outside, driving with no lights, and the constant beeping of horns tends to keep you a tad nervous.
Arriving at our destination, I exit the car.
Only another 70 days to go.
Welcome to my world.
Craig Wrightson 2018