For anyone looking for this week’s wordzzle click HERE. The below is a fact-based piece of writing. Please watch the first video first.
Friday morning. Today.
It’s 5:30am and I’m wide awake, my body not having adjusted to the clocks going back on Sunday for the winter.
Furry is sitting in the gap between my body and my arm, his head resting on my bare skin. He offers a confused purr as I give up any attempt at sleep and get up.
Once in the bathroom I open the window and check the sky – perfectly clear. I get dressed and pack a towel and a change of T-shirt.
At ten past six I head out of the door with a slight headache from not having slept properly and Peter Davidson’s last scene as Dr Who plying for space in my brain. The Dr Who scene has been playing in my head for some days now. I think about Davidson’s last words as the Doctor “Might regenerate…I don’t know…feels different this time” and Colin Baker’s infamous “Change my dear, and it seems not a moment too soon”
When they first showed it I was mostly thinking what a great view Davidson had when he was performing that scene – right up and into the mountains that were Nicola Bryant’s cleavage, but today I am thinking about the wider meaning of those words.
Feels different this time.
I walk down the street and past the bus stop. It’s lighter this morning than it has been for some weeks, the change of the clock pushing back the darkness for just a while. Ever since the dark mornings have arrived I’ve been travelling on busses, feeling the familiar claustrophobia of public transport enshroud me like a tomb as I’ve shuffled from place to place, squeezing myself in to allow for other passengers, running from stop to stop to make that connection.
Today is different, today is not the same. Today I make the action (and points for anyone who recognises the lyric)
I walk under the main road, taking the subway and past the small factories. I’m trying hard to think about the fact that this is my last day at work, that after this my future lies uncertain before me, that everybody’s changing and I don’t feel the same…
Over the train bridge taking the steps one at a time and despite all my attempts to think about something else the thought that comes into my brain is Jimmy Osmond.
Yeah, that’s right – 6:30am on a Friday morning on the dawn of the last day I will ever take this route for this purpose and I’m thinking about Jimmy Osmond on Celebrity Come Dine With Me. For those of you who don’t know it CDWM is a program where people spend a week hosting dinner parties for strangers and they get marked on how well they do – the celebrity version of this gives the money to charity.
On the episode with Jimmy Osmond there was some size zero super model, a pop starlet and Nicky Clarke (hairdresser to the stars). Each and every one of them was “fashionably late” with Clarke arriving 1 ½ hours after he was due – causing the food to be ruined.
Osmond, being a Mormon and a generally all-round-nice-guy smiled it off and forgave him.
Personally – if it had been me – I’d have given him a mouthful of abuse, asked him who the hell did he think he was trying to score style points off me, ruining all my hard effort and finished by asking if he was too fecking busy to text me and let me know before slamming the door in his face.
As I walk down past the park where the circus comes and pitches up I realise that I’ve been taking it a bit too slowly and will have to speed up if I am to arrive in time to shower. I pick up the pace as I pass the supermarket. There was a factory here once, and when it went a lot of people thought that this is the end, my only friend, the end…but of course the world continued to turn and new opportunities came along and replaced the old.
I think about this as, covered in sweat, I pop into an early opening shop and buy a drink. I’ve been walking an hour now and, at just after 7am, it is light. The sun has risen as far as it is likely to and a new day has begun.
As I start up the Big Long Hill I think about the people I will never see again. The security guards who have to put up with a lot of shit for very little reward, the characters in the call centre who made me smile and made my dead-end job that bit easier to bear. I think about the people who have already gone and all the promises to keep in touch that never come to fruition. It’s sad, but perhaps inevitable and I know that I will always carry a bit of them with me in my heart.
At 7:20am I reach the 2nd factory at the top of Big Long Hill and start the descent again. The shops are still closed and there is no sign of the life that will inhabit them in the next few hours.
Bang on time I arrive to meet Argent and collect my guitar. I sent out an email to a few of the managers that played a few weeks ago saying that we should all bring our guitars the last day, not really expecting him to say yes…then yesterday he asked me if I was still bringing it in.
Argent feeds her cats and we walk the rest of the way together, guitars in hand. We talk about the end of an era, we talk about set-lists, we talk about the difficult second album, forever, ever, delayed…
And then we arrive - and I’m beaten to the ground floor shower by the Incredible Cycling Lady. She’s barely tall enough to look in the eye of Gimli the Dwarf, yet she cycles 32 miles each day to work and back, come rain or snow. I used to joke that she was six foot tall when she started and simply wore her legs away – but I guess I won’t be telling that one again.
I take the lift to the second floor and enter the shower. I think about all the times I have showered here and been afraid that I have forgotten to lock it, or that I will go into routine mode and start wondering around in the nude. For a second of wild abandon I am tempted to fling the door wide open and waggle my privates in front of the security camera. Fortunately I decide against it.
This is the last time.
I started this blog to relieve the tedium of a boring job that I found myself in necessity of having to do to keep a roof over my head and by doing so I met some fantastic people and finally felt there was somewhere I could belong. It is very much my intention to continue it, but with no internet activity at home I cannot guarantee how often this will be.
The only thing I do know for sure is that on Tuesday next week I have a meeting with my new employer to see where, or if, I sit within the New Order. It is likely to be at least two weeks before I know if I even have a job, let alone where that might be.
I want to thank you all for reading and commenting, for posting such interesting thoughts and for helping me to stay sane(ish)
As they always say – finish on a song.
Take it away Eric…