He looked around at the clutter of junk filling the bedroom. It was all hers, of course. He was one of those who didn’t care to accumulate anything much. As soon as he’d finished with it, it was gone. His rooms had been bare, before she was around. She’d filled the void systematically, buying steadily over the years, nearly all of it antiques. Maybe much of it was junk, but it was her junk.
He had become comfortably used to her filling his otherwise empty life with objects of uncertain purpose, and he’d often wander around the house, simply to uncover items he’d have no recognition of.
It seemed to suggest something deeper about their relationship.
Nothing had changed here for thirty or forty years, ever since it had been arrogated by the evening bohemians.
All along its lower walls were scribbles etched deep by knife blades over the centuries. Odes to lovers. Threats to all and anyone. Who watches the Night Guard? So-and-so sucks dicks. That sort of thing. Some of the cobbles were splashed with paint, too, and you could smell stale food despite the dampness. At night, lanterns would cast long, feral shadows down here, and if there was no breeze the darkness would become suffocating in such narrow confines.