Every day I walk past where, just three weeks ago, my neighbour installed a white enamelled shutter – permanently closed – over his window, and a perfect moon of grey-primed pine board over the fanlight above his front door. I often see him out walking – usually in long, slow diagonals, crossing a road. His house, I have thought, is the centre of his extended, seemingly purposeless excursions.
I try to avoid him. He is nearly deaf. He has pedantic ideas about the Taiwanese government and the women in Shanghai.
For months now he has been bringing me the mail that the postal worker has been leaving mistakenly in his box although mine has never been left in his. Once he changed the bulb in my car’s left headlight. God knows how he did it without a key.