In 2009 I was living in the security office of a disused contagious disease hospital in North London. The room had a large locked safe in it, three outside walls and florescent strip lights across the ceiling; during the winter you could see your breath while you were trying to fall asleep. I was working thirteen hour shifts Monday through Wednesday with a half day on a Friday in a betting shop in Ealing, on Thursdays I would see a therapist then go to the British Museum for the rest of the afternoon, on the weekends I drank. One morning I woke up with the taste of pennies on my tongue, in the clothes I had spilt Strongbow on the night before and I stared at a spider on the strip light above me. I continued staring at it for an unnaturally long time until I had to either peel myself up and do something or stay there forever. I picked my coat off the floor, also covered in Strongbow with half smoked cigarettes in the pocket, put on some wellingtons because they were easier than shoes with laces and went outside. It was a very sunny, leafy, middle class day in Muswell Hill which made everything worse. I walked to the bookshop and headed for the self-help section, bookshelf of the damned, but as I got there a dog waddled out of the back of the shop. I don’t know what sort of dog it was as I had never seen one like it before, nor have I since. The dog sat down on its hind legs directly in front of me and just looked at me, smiling. I felt completely certain the dog was communicating with me. Everything would be ok. I didn’t buy a self-help book.