I've seen so much, I'm going blind, and I'm brain-dead virtually - Coffee and TV, Blur.

I stumble back into the world of the living from my personal haze of memories and find myself, once again, secure within the lean arms of my best friend. My own private protector. My own private bodygaurd.

My eyes are still blurry from images long-remembered but long-lost, and the early morning air cuts my tar-filled lungs to ribbons. I'm not entirely sure of all the things that happened last night - on the date I wasn't quite sure of, the pervert English man - or how I got here, once again. And yet, here he is - the one constant in this fucked-up life of mine. Scott.

His eyes, the colour of the coffee we get served black, at the corner chinese cafe - the one place where they don't really mind us telling or woe-be-gotten stories of betrayal and hurt, and spending hours upon hours there, barely buying anything, just so we don't have to go back out on the street, and face live - are fixed on some point far away from here, far away from the doorway in which he holds me. The winter of the Portland dawn that has befallen us suddenly is making his shallow breath visible. His life streams from his nostrils, so I know he is not dead. And nor am I, now. Now that I know him.

I watch him for a while, lying here as I do, surrounded by his arms. And I wonder, try and understand, what I mean to him, whether he thinks of me as his best friend; or someone to look out for; or someone to drag with him when he recieves his ticket to the high-life; someone to drag with him when they fall unconscious as narcolepsy strikes yet again; or someone who doesn't pay. Someone to not pay for, and not be paid for. As I would like him to see me.

I decide this train of thought will get me nowhere, for I have ridden this train many a time, and come to no station in my mind. No decision, no fact. So, instead, I think of what he means to me, and that, unfortunately, is all too clear.

His face is not fucked-up. The scars the rest of us have, reminders of what displeasing the customer means - reminders of what forced us into this hell- hole, this way of life, in the first place - are not present upon his face. His face is perfect. Long, intelligent and beautiful. His pale skin is unmarred, showing no sign of the things he's seen, the things he's done. For he has seen roads, too - I am thankfully not alone in that respect. He has seen things as dark as the sweep of hair that falls casually over his un-fucked face, darker than anything my eyes have seen. And I have seen pure black.

He is my best friend and yet I don't understand him. Why should he choose this life? Why choose to be fucked-up, to be used, to become emotionless and retarded in all feelings except the need for money and occassionally drugs? Bob apparently taught Scott all he knew - but for what reason? Everyone knows Scott shall have nothing more to do with us as soon as his future is cashed, thankfully a year or two away. Most hope desperately that he will take them with him when he leaves, I certainly do. Though that is not why he is unpaid for me.

Scott shifts slightly, and sighs, yet still doesn't realise I am awake. The introspective look he sometimes gets doesn't change, doesn't even flicker. And although I am as close to him as he allows, in his arms - in his lap - at that moment he is unreachable. He is unattatched.

I like to think the reason he slums it with us, the street boys, is through loyalty to me. But I know I am kidding myself; his rich family are overbearing, and he does all he can to push away from them. That is what drove him here, on this crusade of his, this rebellion. But I like to think the reason he stays for months, now, instead of weeks, is me. You never know. It could be.

Everyone who meets Scott falls in love with him, fucked-up or no. He is far more beautiful than any of the others. He is not handsome, for he has an androgynous quality about him, as most street boys do. But he is far more beautiful. Mesmerising, in fact; you could literally watch him for hours. Note the way he struts, his cool demeanor never ruffled, the coffee-black eyes twinkling and dully periodically. No scars, you see, upon his pale, perfect face - that is why he is so successful. He is undamaged-goods. Though he must get paid.

Bob adores him, pours all his learning, effort and, of course, cruelty into his 'natural-born son'. Bob wants Scott's inheritance as a pay for all these lessons, I believe. Sam is a good street-boy, according to the Round One, worth that effort, worth that extra mile. The suits he wears help with his trade, apparently; the black, three-pieces he clothes himself in match his dark hair, dark eyes, dark mind, dark heart. Contrast to his untouched skin. Though, the suits attract perverts, and I know he is not untouched.

Yes, Scott has seen roads.

He is wearing a smart black suit now, though it is incomplete. I furrow my brow, trying to determine what's missing. The haze lifts and I realise. He wears no jacket. It is mid-December, and yet he wears no jacket. I discover, once again, that he has slung it around me, as he often does, to keep me as warm as possible while I sleep. Loyalty. This routine, this dance we do, is repeated over and over, many a time. I always end up wearing his jacket whilst he freezes to death - though he believes that would be a decent reward. Loyalty. He won't leave. He won't leave me without a jacket, his jacket. If I look closely, there is a blue tinge to his thin, aristocratic lips. He is cold. He shivers slightly. Could it be he has swathed me in a jacket simply to hide the things that grow, unbidden though not unwanted, upon my back. No. Loyalty. Roads. Fucked-up.

I lie for a while longer, just relishing the precious closeness, in the arms of my best friend. The mayor of Portland's son. Scottie Favor. Scott.

He has no wings. And it kills me because I have no means to pay him.