Saturday, December 1

Boring Life (Sucker For Routine)

06:02 I WAKE UP. My alarm goes off eighteen minutes previous, but this is when I actually have to wake up properly and get out of bed. I shower, dress, do my hair and walk out of the door. The station is a mile from my house so I leave at 06:35 and make the 06:47 out of my town, watching the lights of it go slowly into the distance. I read for twenty minutes, until we get to W—, then I fall asleep and wake in the capital at 08:22 The walk from the station to the office is the most stressful part of my day; hundreds of people pouring into the streets, tapping their phones, dawdling, reading a newspaper, staring blankly, not looking where they’re going. I negotiate around them expertly, listening to something that excites me and helps me dodge taxis & buses, their roars rushing past my ears. I start work at 08:30 My desk in the office changes but my latest seat is quite good because I get to look out of the window. It is not a grand view, not from the fifth floor, but it is the backs of buildings, the tips of skyscrapers, the soggy chimneys puffing, the dark skies all moody because it is not yet April. Sometimes I like work, sometimes I do not. I don’t know what it depends on. I sit next to a Greek who, when not silent, entertains me with great moral issues and childish talk. On the other side is a poor genius with many things in his head, and his big hulkish frame huddled over the computer he so cherishes. At 09:45 I go for a cigarette. I smoke in a doorway outside the office of our building. If someone else is stood there, I will go elsewhere. I stare at the traffic and the adverts on the side of buses and at the people walking past; sometimes I am very timid and do not look at them, other times I want to stare them out. Then I go for my morning cappuccino. I see all the other regulars in the place; I recognise them all. There is a girl working there who I’ve become quite fond of, even though she is Australian – as I’ve never had good experiences with Australians. She looks like an American popstar and is always very charming toward me; I shy away from her because I believe that there is no way she is interested in me. So I wait for my surname to be called out, while I listen to music and tap on the floor to annoy those around me who can’t leave their phones alone. It is the best coffee I’ve tasted. I have hourly cigarettes until 12:50 when I take my lunch. I will go for a walk, both to burn a bit of energy – if I’ve not had to visit site or walk to a meeting – and to get some fresh air, to not stare at a screen. I have a number of preferred places to get food over a couple of square miles. Often I will visit bookshops, where I will flick through them and dream of my name amongst them. I will see that the M’s are a tough bunch. More often than not I will buy a book and leave, feeling very pleased with myself. I will eat at my desk with headphones in, watching a documentary on the internet, usually about wildlife – orcas or chimps or what-have-you. The people around me scorn the fact that I do this, because many people do not take lunch for fear of being admonished by the directors. My lunch break is very important to me. At 15:16 I go for another coffee, but this one is filter. I refuse to drink the instant shit in the office. All the people in the coffeeshop say hello to me and for a moment I am flattered. I know that it is all silly, though, so I hurry on my way and sing down the street and wrinkle my nose at the smell of sewerage that perpetually lingers down our road. It is now not long until the end of the day. I grow excited. I work until 17:09 then I fill my water bottle, take a piss and hurry out of the door. Again, I put on something energetic to get me to the station. The streets are dark now and all is lit by headlights. People are exhausted, but I am brimming with a strange energy that I cannot really sustain. I power on, like a bullet, straight, pushing people out of the way who I do not like. The train leaves the capital at 17:32. It is full. I sit there and read. When we get to S—, I close my book, put it in my bag and fall asleep, knowing that when I wake up the carriage will be empty. Then, it is empty. Just me and another man whom I am familiar with, though we don’t talk. He is very boring looking. He looks like a fourteen-degree weather forecast. I continue reading and at 19:02 I get off the train and walk, with great speed, home while listening to hip hop and singing along. The streets are dead and I do not encounter other people. I eat dinner when I get home, have an espresso & a cigarette, brush my teeth, wash my face and change into some jeans and a white t-shirt. From 20:30 until 21:09 I play guitar. This is a very important part of my day. If I do not play guitar then I become anxious and angry. I play it loudly, very often I will sweat or pull a muscle. My ears ring. I know that everything is right and as it was meant to be. I remember, just before I start, that I have been at work and I remember how bad work was and then I play guitar. Everything is just right. Everything is perfect. When I play guitar it is as if there is nothing else. I cannot remember a thing; I am entirely concentrated and yet entirely distant. I imagine that there is a crowd in front of me. I address them and we have decent banter. Then I go downstairs for another cigarette in the cold air. For forty-five minutes, from 21:15 until 22:00 I will watch TV, usually a documentary (lately it has been about either the history of mankind, or WWII) or a comedy or one of my favourite shows. At 22:01 I open a bottle of wine and start drinking. I go and read or write an e-mail or check the internet. When it is 22:48 I know that it is time to write. I write for only a very brief period, until 23:36. By then I am quite affected by the wine. Everything that I composed in my head for the last twenty-three hours is put down, almost exactly as I had wanted it to be. I listen to good, immortal music and write. After that time period, I am done. There is nothing else for me. I prepare my bag for work, have my last cigarette, brush my teeth again and get into bed. My bed is cold around 00:02 so I undress and warm it up. I start to masturbate most absent-mindedly. I masturbate in time to music. Then it is all I think of and I draw the affair out. Eventually, relieved and exhausted, I realise that another day has passed. At 01:01 I turn out the light and sigh. My ceiling is featureless and interesting. I stare at it, collect my thoughts and then I turn to my right side, then I roll and appear as if I’ve been shot – a chiropractor told me that this is the worst way of sleeping – and I fall into a short and dreamless sleep. I have not sought anything. I suppose it is just another day. I have many like them.*


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