I work in a part of Old Nicosia that has gone quietly to seed for about 40 years. The quietness of its retreat into decay reminds me sometimes of an ancient bag lady who has lost her teeth.

Life within the walls never ceases to amaze me.

I've never seen a rat, or a cop on foot. There is an artist around the corner who's had a pink pastel canvas up on an easel for months. A door down, a CPA or a locksmith has left town permanently with his door standing wide open.

Nothing ever changes.

And then the other day someone impales a red teddy bear on a parking gate made out of what looks to be a pole vaulter's pole. The dirty red thing is stuck way up there in the bluest of skies, lolling like an invalid.  Everything is sweet and good and just as it should be.

And then I remember I haven't paid my rent.