6.47am. You wake up. 7.27am. You get up. Wisps of mattress protector fluff to stick to your clothes because you haven’t bothered putting on a bedsheet cover.
Your Asda Smart Price toothpaste doesn’t leave a “feeling of freshness” in your mouth. You glance over its packaging. “Made in Croatia”. You remind yourself not to be a cheapskate when shopping. The shower has three temperature settings: ‘Antarctic ice-cold’, ‘Meh’, and ‘Boiled And Transported Straight From Hell™’. You like long, hot showers. The last (hot water) setting can scald your skin off. Just long enough to slather on and rinse off shower gel will have to do for now.
You eat Coco Pops for breakfast with orange squash because you’re out of milk. Grab an apple on the way out.
Every day is a rush to Fratton train station. Your bike’s rear wheel is misaligned. Every day you need to twist the brakes to be able to cycle. You can’t be bothered taking it for (free) servicing at Halfords.
It’s the same people at the station every day. The Chinese girl who always gets a cup of coffee brought to her by her boyfriend. Middle-aged guy in leather jacket with a Raleigh bike. The girl with purple hair with blonde highlights. Two hoodied dudes who seem to work as stage technicians – they got on 8.37 to Brighton. “8.42 Southwest Trains service to Southampton Central”, pipes in the public address system. You check-in to Foursquare. It’s the same train every day to work.
It’s the same order every day on train in the bicycle compartment. Big bike. Small bike. Lovely lady with lovely bike with pink tassles and a basket at the front – she’ll get off at Cosham. That’s the way it has to be. Every once in a while, a newcomer shows up and a murmur swells up through our three’s-a-crowd gaggle.
You scan through The Guardian on your phone. You sneak a peek at the tabloid being read by guy sitting in front of you. “Monkey Touches Katy Perry’s Boobs”. You sit back, safe in the knowledge that British tabloid journalism is keeping the world at large well-informed.
You starting eating your apple at 8.57 so that it gives you enough time to dispose it off in next coach’s litter bin, in time for the 9.09 stop at Swanwick. Everyone gets off in the same order, every day. Guy Who Takes Taxi To Work Every Day walks out and gets into a taxi. Surprise surprise. The taxi company made a mistake today and the driver doesn’t seem to have a booking. It’s all sorted out in 30 seconds though.
You don’t drink coffee or tea at work. Your colleagues still ask you out of courtesy, every day, every time they go to fetch tea or coffee – knowing the answer will be a “No, thank you though!” Be an agent of chaos. Upset the established order. Introduce a little anarchy. Throw in a pop culture reference when you talk about it. Say “Yes” to coffee one day instead.
You go to the same shop for lunch each day. You introduce a little anarchy by ordering your sandwich with BBQ sauce instead of mint mayo. The Sandwich Maker enjoys this break from the routine too; he compliments you for making your choice ‘different’ every day. Up there, Eris sheds a tear.
It’s the same train every day back home. “6.11 Southwest Trains service to Portsmouth Harbour”, announces the public address system. This commute is slightly more interesting because the guy with a Raleigh bike is not always there.
You pop in a microwave meal. Pierce lid a few times, set to high for 5 minutes, stir, set to high for 3 minutes, stand for 1 minute. You cannot introduce a little anarchy because that is The Way. You watch The Simpsons while eating dinner.
You sit outside, in the backyard. Your hands are numb from cold after doing the dishes. There’s that really fat cat – sometimes black, sometimes ginger – sniffing your bike locked to the clothesline. There are birds. Seagulls? Albatrosses? You have wondered often, searched often. You don’t know the answer. Not yet. Not for sure.
You watch an episode of The Killing on your laptop. Or Beaver Falls. You tune in to radio on Spotify. Little Bad Girl. (You consider skipping but let it be.) Gold Cobra by Limp Bizkit. Creedence Clearwater Revival. New Divide. (You wonder when a fat Japanese farmer replaced Joe Hahn.) (s)AINT by Marilyn Manson. Vem Vet by Lisa Ekdahl. (You set down the vin rouge.) Mic Check by Rage Against The Machine. The Man Who Can’t Be Moved by The Script.
You contemplate smashing your laptop. You can certainly afford to replace it.
One fag. Two fags. You want to buy a typewriter, if only to fill a sheet with “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” over and over on sheet of heavy paper. You plan to throw in another pop culture reference. Three fags. You feel synapses lighting up that you didn’t know could be active. Yes, you can write something now.
You head back to your room. You have so much to say. To write. But one funny YouTube video before that surely won’t hurt?
You fall asleep.
6.51am. You wake up…
FUCK. THAT. SHIT.