The unsteady man has stopped and is leaning against the tenement wall, holding a crumpled envelope up to the sky and scrutinising it intently.
I pass, unnoticed, or so I think for just as I glide by, he lunges at me, grabbing my shoulder.
"Excuse me, gonny take a look at this address fur us."
His speech is slurred and slow.
I look at a pencilled scribble which reads, Charlie S. and a mobile phone number.
"It's not an address, it's a phone number." I say and pull away.
He's insistent, "Naw, listen, see this cerd," he stuffs the envelope in a pocket and starts searching through his black leatherette jacket, "see this cerd, this is mine, but ah cannae remember ma number."
"Ah've got to go," says I, pulling away again but he holds my shoulder tight.
"Could you phone ma phone and then you'll have ma number n ye can tell me it."
"Naw," I reply.
Now he pulls a battered box from a thin blue plastic carrier bag which he'd dropped on the ground.
"See this, ye'll want to buy it. Cost ye a tenner in the shoaps. You can hiv it for a fiver."
So ridiculous, I tut. It's a men's hair dye in a burst open box, the outer lid is ripped off and there's another name and mobile number scrawled on the outside of it. A plastic bottle is rattling inside.
"Right, what on earth would I want with a man's hair dye?" but I can't help myself and burst out laughing.
Now he starts on with the business card again. It's a thin scrappy bit of card with S. M. Enterprizes printed on it.
"Gonny look at ma cerd," he starts lurching about again, all drunk and jerky. His pushes back his straggly dirty fair hair, his eyes are stary and blank,
"Gonny gie us yer number?"
"Away ye go," I say with a sharp push and he falls back against the wall on his long, unsteady legs.