The first thing you have to understand about Eddie is that he's never been shy in expressing his opinions.

"Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all."

This is what I love about getting up to go to work on a cold, grey, rainy morning in Glasgow, I get to listen to Eddie's latest social commentary.

"Ah mean, ah can get along wi' jist about anyone. Doesnae matter if they're niggers or pakis or chinks."

Yep, Eddie was like a real life Mother Teresa.

"But see these bastards that sit in a doorway under a blanket when it's twenty degrees fuckin' C - ah cannae stand them."

For the briefest of moments I form a mental image of Eddie as a TV weather man.

"Right, in Paisley it's pure pishin' it doon. Edinburgh's fuckin' Baltic and Oban's no bad, but it's a pure shite wee town."

I remember my first conversation with Eddie. He told me that he had just finished a jail sentence for aggravated assault. I could see how Eddie might occassionally become aggravated. He had gone into prison with hair twice as long as mine, he insisted. Gave the ladies something to hang onto. He had had to have it cut by the prison barber when he went inside, and his sentence was extended when he attacked one of the guards who had thought it was funny.

He told me all of this. Then he asked for some money for a bottle of vodka.

I didn't feel like saying no.

His hair had started to grow back after his release. It stuck out in wild tufts of grey from under a motheaten old baseball cap he always wore. Between the hair, the repeatedly broken looking nose and the scuffed old leather jacket with patched made of what looked like cat skin, Eddie had quite a dramatic appearance - a fact that hadn't escaped his notice.

"Tae most people ah look like shit, but ah have tae. Naeb'dy fucks wi' you if you look like some sort of spazzy mental case."

Eddie's philosophy on life was that we lived in a hard world - you just had to be harder. It's a concept that various wannabe gangsters and hardcore punk bands have echoed, but Eddie lived that philosophy, not out of vanity or bravado but out of neccessity. He lived without the security of a home, or a family or even, in accordance with his beliefs, a blanket. He was tough, drunk and ever so slightly crazy - he had evolved into the perfect citizen of an early 21st Century globalised capitalist society.

I haven't seen Eddie in over two months now. He could be dead. He could be back in jail. He could have gotten himself a shave and a haircut and a job in a warehouse. I don't know, and I probably never will.

He may not be a teen sex icon or a world leader or a kooky celebrity, but the world needs to know about Eddie, and the millions like him. I'm writing this on Christmas Day. Like other middle class computer geeks around the world I'm surrounded by food and family and presents. In such comfortable surroundings it's easy to forget people like Eddie.

We shouldn't.