One Day This Happened. Ch-1.
Chapter One – Wake Up, Get Ready.
Oh-six-hundred is to damn early to be waking up on a Tuesday morning. His alarm clock makes what at this time of the morning is the second most annoying sound known to humanity. The first being the crying of a baby.
He opens his eyes with a start, staring straight at the bright red digits on his clock, flashing that red glow grin, that alarm clock in mocking him, as it does five out of seven morning every week for the last eighteen months. He hates this fucking clock, it’s a kind of reminder to him that he should have paid more attention in school and not been to dawn lazy.
He reaches out with a sluggish right arm, barely keeping it on the air he drops it down on the snooze button. He retracts the arm under the covers and closes his eyes again.
Oh-six-hundred and nine. That same noise, ear shattering in its immediacy. Every morning he’s tempted to chuck it out the window, if he could do so without actually getting out of bed. He turns off the alarm. Looking at it, wondering why the manufactures thought that nine minutes was a good amount of snooze time, why not ten minutes, or eight? Nine seems so, rushed, like they couldn’t be bothered to test the thing before putting it out on sale. He wonders that it he’d picked up the clock behind this one on the shelf at curry’s, would his snooze time be different, shorter, longer?
The bright summer morning light is skirting the edges of his blind, fighting to get in and burn his corneas. He reaches out again with his right arm, a little more blood in it now then nine minutes ago. He grabs up his smartphone and pulls to towards him, while pushing the cover down. He rests the phone on the bed and wakes it up, he checks his eMails. A few notifications from some social networks, he deletes them. Some junk mail, mostly just text and a web link, the subject on these eMails aren’t even written properly, upper case and lower case letters don’t seem to correspond to normal grammar, there are spaces where there really shouldn’t be spaces. They do this to beat the junk mail filters, but then you’d really need to be an idiot to tap one of those links. Does anyone fall for this shit anymore? They’re almost as bad as finding out that some Nigerian cousin or uncle of mine has died and left me a fortune, and all i have to do is give them all my personal details and bank account numbers to claim it. He deletes them.
An iTunes receipt and a message from his mobile phone carrier telling him that his bill is online for his viewing.
He closes the mail app on his phone and tosses it onto the small draw unit he uses as a bed side table. Ever night he makes sure that his phone is plugged in to charge it over night, his mug for his morning cup of tea, the TV remote are all on that draw unit, sitting on an old pink towel now stained with years of use as a place mate for his dinners and his tea.
He pulls the cover back up and over his head, tucking it under his left arm, he throws his feet out over this sofa and sits there a moment, looking at the floor, looking at nothing. He picks up the remote and switches on the television, BBC Breakfast is on, the two presenters are in the middle of some kind of common interest story about duck migration. He watches but doesn’t really listen, Susanna Reid does looks sexy though, but then she always does. He could wake up to worse on the television.
He room is dark, so he pulls a string on the blind which turns the slats letting the blight light. His window faces east, so every morning he gets the sun. It’s nice on days off but shit on work days. Right now it’s telling him that today is going to be a great sunny day and you’re going to be stuck at work. The sun is laughing at him, much like his alarm clock was. He stands for a moment in his boxer shorts looking out at the world before him. The apple tree in next doors garden, the tree at the end of his garden, the brick wall behind that with is the back wall of a line of garages for the block of flats behind his house. The main road just beyond that is in use. Just the evidence he needs to prove that he isn’t the only mug to be getting up this early. Hell, if those people are driving they’ve been up longer then he has.
He turns from the window and leaves his room, going into the bathroom he locks the door and drops his boxers. He steps into the bath tub and pulls the glass blind to line up with the baths edge. He presses a button on the Triton Zante 3 power shower. WIthin a few second the water goes from cold to hot to steamy. That short flash of cold water is great for waking up. The Zante 3 was installed because the old shower only had gravity to power it, and felt more like a leaky tap then a shower under pressure, so the installation of a power shower was a god send. A few months later the house had a new combo boiler fitted, a Vitodens 100-W WB1B 35 kW Combi Boiler, which pushed the water pressure of the house right up, which now meant that the old gravity assisted shower, now powered by the Vitodens combo boiler, had more pressure in its pipes then the new Triton Zante 3 power shower. But then the Zante 3 only needed a button to be pressed to get the shower going, press and stand under. The old shower still needed its knobs turned to get the water the temperature you wanted, and god forbid someone flushed a toilet during that shower. He pisses in the shower.
He hair was shaved very short the day before so he doesn’t need shampoo. In fact he hasn’t used shampoo in years. When the male patent baldness started to grow in, he stopped having his hair long. Long hair with a bald spot is just plain weird, you might as well just cut it all short and be done with it. About the only thing worse then a man with a bald spot and long hair is a man with a bald spot and a pony tail, all that says is that you haven’t quiet come to grips with the baldness that had set in many years ago, you still feel like you can pull off that pony tail, as if having that pony tail means that somehow you haven’t got a bald spot. Well, you do, and you look like a prick. I guess being told every day by advertising that if you suffer from baldness you can’t live a normal life, that you’ll go on through you life feeling ostracised and incomplete. That you need to visit the Advanced Hair Studio for a free consultation, because with a new head of hair, full bodied and, if the adverts are anything to go by, very nineteen eighties, you can wear expensive suits, go swimming with beautiful woman and go to bar and pick up chicks, and lets not for get the sports car, you can drive a sports car and not feel the wind in your new hair. BULLSHIT. The same goes for men with greying hair. The grey makes you look dignified and wise. Not hopeless and useless. It’s like they are saying that baldness and grey hair is just the precursor to impotence, and dentures in a glass of water by the side of your bed. Sitting on that dirty old pink towel.
He dries himself off and puts on another pair of boxers, shorts over them and a vest, his very old but extremely comfortable EVERLAST, bought for him on a birthday way back when, he loves it.
He makes his way to the kitchen, waking the two sleeping dogs, the bigger of the two just looks up at him, it’s eyes half closed. The other lifts up its head, looks at him and then drops it back down again, goes back to sleep. He grabs the kittle and takes it and his mug to the sink, he fills up the kittle and takes it back to its cradle, switching it on, the switch lights up blue. He goes back to the sink and his mug and starts to clean it out. You want to know just how stained your teeth can get from drinking tea or coffee? It’s easy, just clean your mug in the morning before your first cup of either, make sure it’s nice and clean inside. A white inside would be best for this experiment. Then drink tea as normal, through out the day the more you drink the browner the inside of your mug becomes. Okay sure you’re eating to which will kind of clean some of that tea away, but by the end of the day the inside of your mug will be brown again. Now imagine your teeth that same colour. Now brush your teeth more often. He takes his now clean mug back to the kittle with is still boiling the water, he drops in a tea bag, PG Tips, and a tea spoon and a half sugars. One is too bitter and two is too sweet. He leaves the spoon in there and turns to the cupboard on his right side, just behind the cupboard that holds all the tinned foods and the cereals. Also the fuse box the gas and electric meters. He opens it up and takes out a bowl, and half fills it with corn flakes. Back at the kettle he drops in a tea spoon of sugar and waits for the water to boil. He sits down next to the two dogs, the bigger one looks at him, so he strokes its head, and scratches it a little, now the other one gets up and moves over, feeling a little left out he thinks, with both hands he is now scratching their heads. They tilt their heads back, pushing against the fingers scratching, eyes closed.
The water has boiled, he stands up and pours it into his mug, and plays with the tea bag in his mug, the water turns that nearly transparent brown that tea goes. He opens the fridge and takes out the milk, semi-skimmed pasteurised, the one with the green cap, he pours in the milk slowly, stirring the tea first and watching as it changes colour. Waiting for the colour to become the right shade of brown. The shade he prefers. Once reached he pours in to the bowl of cereal. Add a touch more sugar to the corn flakes and then switches off the light and heads back up to his room.
Setting down his tea and cereal on his dirty pink towel he opens the top draw of his old, falling apart draw unit he uses to eat off of, and takes out a breakfast spoon, he wipes it down and starts to eat. Every morning, well, every morning that he works, he sits here, eats his corn flakes and watches BBC Breakfast, watching Susanna Reid in all her mooring elegance. That smile. Once his cereal is done with he pushes the beaten up draw unit to one side and moves his tea mug closer, he sits watching the news, and drinking his tea, seemingly in no rush to get anywhere. At Oh-Six-Thirty the local news report kicks in, as the BBC broadcast nationwide, the regular news is nationwide, and every thirty minutes we get a local news report, his local is the south east of England. Where London is located. He watches with a vague intreats, all he really cares about at this point is the travel report, he listens for place names that he recognises, that might impede his trip in to work. And after that the weather report for the south east. Should i wear the vintage brown leather bikers jacket or not?
After five minutes or so Susanna Reid is back on the screen. No wedding ring. Oh Susanna Reid.
He checks the time, it is oh-six-thirty-seven, time to go back to the bathroom. He takes his tooth brush with him this time. He keeps his tooth brush in his room. Not only does that reduce the amount of faecal matter that would otherwise settle on it, but in the past people have used his tooth brush to clean, other things, with soup and haven’t told him until he uses the tooth brush and then asks why his tooth brush tastes of soup, “Oh yeah, i didn’t know it was yours”, but it had been someones, yet you still put it back in the glass we use to hold the tooth brushes. Then of course there is that glass, the one used to hold the brushes. The elders of the house hold tend not to wash their tooth brushes off after a use, so while it still has a thin layer of used tooth paste on the handle, they put it back in the glass so the gunk can slop itself over the other brushes, which you never notices straight away, and why would you first thing in the morning, and you’re left with the tooth pastes saliva combo from someone else on your hands and your tooth brush. Wonderful.
He brushes his teeth, washes his face, again and while he is cleaning his tooth brush and wiping off the soup from his face he leaves the cold tap running to fill the sink. He still has to wait a moment though. He turns off the cold tap and looks down at the sink of cold water. He hesitates, as he does every morning. Then he drops his face into the cold, the icy depths of his bathroom sink, his eyes are closed his breath is held but a little trapped air escapes from his nostrils, it tickles. He waits as long as he can, as long as he can hold his breath before pulling out, his cold face meets the not so cold air of the bathroom and his face fills warms. He holds a clean towel over his face to soak up the water. Then he wisp his face dry. He’s morning rituals are almost over.
Back in his room he checks the time again, it’s oh-six-forty-two, He takes his work trousers from the hanger and puts them down on his couch, he picks up two socks, both singles, both different colours, he doesn’t care, one has a pink toe the other a blue toe, but who cares, no ones ever going to see them. The socks are dropped on to the draw unit, and he steps into this trousers, pulling them up but leaving them unzipped and unbuttoned, the belt hanging loose. He sits down and puts on the odd socks, then his dirty old black converse, he stands up and reaches up to his ceiling fan, pulling the draw string to change the speed, he sets it to its fastest, it’s also set to pull air up not blow it down. He set it this way so he can feel the air while he is in bed at the edge of the room rather then getting a soft blast of air straight down that he can’t feel. He sprays his upper body with a deodorant, the excess gets drawn up by the fan and pulled away from him, he then takes his work shirt, white, from it’s hanger and puts it on, buttons it up and tucks it into this trousers, he rolls up the sleeves and fastens his trousers and buckles the belt, making sure that his small muffin can’t be seen, he drags up the zipper and disconnects his phone from its charger, he turns up the brightness and selects the music player, main playlists, now he wonders what playlist to play, Rock, Metal, or Pre-Eighties. He taps Metal. He’s in a metal kind of mood this morning. He puts the phone down and reaches for his watch, a one hundred pound FOSSIL, all black, analogue watch that only tells the time. It loses about a minute a week, which means every week he needs to reset it. HE slips it on and fastens it to his left wrist, he pockets the loose change and then drops his wallet into his right front trouser pocket. Nothing to amazing in there, a debit cards, his Oyster card, his National Insurance card and a blood donor card, used once, ten years ago. Some cash, about twenty pounds worth and he’s really old, tatty provisional drivers license. He’s had it since he was seventeen. That was nearly nineteen years ago.
He picks up his satchel, the faded green canvas thing he uses to transport his shit about. It’s not got a lot of inside space, and its pretty thin. But he likes it. He throws it over his head and drops it down on to his left should letting the strap cross his chest so the bag can rest on his right hip. He drags it in front of him and opens it, the velcro tearing apart, inside is a pair of work shoes, the kind that are designed to destroy your feet as painfully as it is possible for a pair of black leather, with rubber soles, shoes to do. In the pocket in front are his work license, a black tie and a note book. Also one of his most prised processions. His Kindle, that simple eInk eBook reader. He’s read countless books, good and bad from its simple screen. Its body is scuffed, its screen scratched. He loves it. He takes his work jacket, the black suit jacket, and holding it up he pulls the shoulders together, folding the jacket inhale down the middle, then he folds it again done the length, he lays it down on the canvas bag and pulls the flap over the jacket and presses the two velcro parts together, locking the jacket in place. He hates wearing it at the best of times.
He is nearly ready now, it’s on-six-fifty-two now. He picks up his iPhone earphones and slots them in, he’s prefer the rubber ear bud type, but he cane ever find a pair he likes. And the switch that hangs down from one of the earphones i shandy to answer calls or change the volume or track without having to touch the phone. He pushes the three quarter inch jack into the bottom of his phone and pockets that in the left side. The wether said it was going to be cold to start with, with a warm front moving in later on, about sixteen-hundred this afternoon. He’ll take the vintage brown leather bikers jacket today. He does love that thing. He pushes his canvas bag back to his right hip and puts on the leather jacket. He’s ready to leave.
He picks up his keys and leaves his room, hitting the light switch that cuts off the ceiling fan, removing the small towel from the top of his door, to hold it shut as the door wasn’t hung properly it doesn’t stay shut, the towel over the top is a wedge to the frame to hold it in place. Something that he’s had for so long he can’t think of ever not using it. He pulls the door closed and locks it. Hooking the keys via a large climbing clip to the belt loop nearest his rear right pocket, he pushes the keys into the pocket then buttons it up. He heads down the stairs and unlocks the front door. HE steps out into the morning light, the fresh air and he sighs.