Wednesday, 9 May 2018

A new plan, again: Day 10

...Yet the terrors of the night rarely survive the dawn. Up at 0815 and straight in the shower, wonderful hot shower, and Sainsbury's own-brand Wholegrain Malties for breakfast, taste identical to Shreddies but £1.50 for a big box instead of a million pounds for three Shreddies -- a quick peruse of the Internet with my cereal, then off to meet Mike, who's moved in round the corner and is on the open with me today.

Waiting for him at the bus stop I think of something funny, then realise it's only funny if I say it as if I've just thought of it, so I practice how to make it sound spontaneous, over and over, until he trots up.



"It's nice this, isn't it? Like we're going to school together."

He chuckles. OK. Look up, laugh as if a thought has just struck me fresh from the ether.

"And if Sam moves in round the corner we'll have a full gang."

Sam has tattoos and is way cooler than us.

"...But she'd be over there with her trendy mates, wouldn't she? Getting on last, sitting at the back of the bus." I mimic waving. "Cooee, Sam! It's us! It's us! We do chemistry with you!"

I mimic Sam dropping her head, trying to skulk away.

Mike laughs. Success. I'm a winner. Everything in life is going to be OK. We get on the bus together strangely nostalgic for school days, and I wish I could show him my POG collection, leaf through this month's N64 Magazine with him.

I turned 33 this year, just so you know.

- - -

Work is naff. I was hoping for a quiet day after the bank holiday and snooker, an empty pub to clean down, reorganise, reset. Yet five minutes before opening a horde of OAPs begin traipsing in, regardless of the fact we are still closed, the glints in their eyes saying the coffee machine is about to get the workout of its lifetime.

And the sun is shining so everyone piles down for lunch, for pots of tea, for cocktails, and the beer garden is rammed, and we don't have a front-of-house staff member until 1pm, and then we tell him not to come in because he's being sick, and Katie can only get in to cover from 2pm, so I'm dashing about sweating and grumbling and trying to pretend I care whether table 103's chicken churrasco was to their liking, which, I'll let you in on a secret, I in fact do not.

I stay on till six, helping Rhi with machine return discrepancies from the night before, hooking up the Rekorderlig and Budvar emergency-dropped barrels that have just arrived, and then it's the bus home and I'm falling asleep, surrounded by office workers all also falling asleep. Yet another day on Earth.

My housemates cook tea. Sausage and mustard mash, fried greens, fresh tomato pickle, homemade gravy, veggie sausages of course for me. The gravy is thick and rich, the greens vibrant, the pickle cuts a piquant contrast. I know that I am not allowed to drink, so I do not, and just enjoy the food itself, the warmth of company itself, Jiggs' jokes about churlish managers, Phace's underground hug club. Lots of love in this house, lost souls welcomed, pile on in and help yourself to a plate.

- - -

Sad and lonely again though writing later on. This blogging is cracking me open, revealing something unguarded and squishy inside, and it's hard to not feel weird about that, to not want to cover myself up, hide away. But that's OK. It's fun, doing what doesn't come naturally. I'm bored of the other way. Doesn't lead to anything unexpected or remarkable. So keep cracking, let the gulls pick at the open meat, and all the emptiness left behind is who I really am.

Want to stay up and watch loud things on Netflix, play garish games on my Playstation. Instead I shall close this down and brush my teeth, do some stretches, read in bed. There is only this. Keep on going.

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