It was late. The hotels were all full. The only place I could stay the night was a hostel for the homeless – a one-roomed flat in a tall, crumbling block. I was given a gym mat to sleep on amongst a small crowd of African migrants.
Homeless by accident, I felt a misfit, and was scared I’d be robbed. Yet the migrants only looked at me with a kind of childlike curiosity, even sympathy.
The next day I found somewhere to stay, but felt compelled to return to the hostel to see if I could help in any way. I remembered the flat was on the thirty-fourth floor, but now I could only find the thirty-third and thirty-fifth floor. There was no floor in between. I went up and down the block, feeling more and more panicky, the residents opening their doors with angry faces because of the disturbance I was causing.