What madness is this, he muses, lying on a bed of jarring discomfort. A jutting remote. A cheeky lighter digging into a sad buttock. Several fragments of tobacco are my only lovers.
Eight in the morning rolls jauntily into view wearing a jester’s hat and dipping its balls into my dreams. I choke apologetically into a tired hand. Bang on cue, the phone rings. It is the punctual ring of the electricity man, a masculine entity reduced to ephemeral code. A ghost in the machine. A man selling the idea of a bill based system.
This phone-call is conducted while I lie on the bed rolling eyes and flicking my hair. A result of nervous energy from too many missed social cues. I tuck a lock behind the unused ear and listen to the hold.
Hold music distills beautiful old standards into static puff, taking the soulful keys and planing them into dead wood. Without the soul, they are just dead men and women lost in the kinetic fuzz of phone-line transition.
I mean, they could at least have an option for Faith no More.
Nevertheless, the big problem is my arse, which is performing a brass band ceremony in accordance with my bowels, and they’re hooking up for the big number. This crescendo results in a fine race to the finish line. That would be my reluctant anus, clamping down on itself with pure defiance. I’m writhing around on the bed silently moving the conversation on with will, and gritting teeth and tightly blinking and unblinking. For a while, I can see myself actually shitting myself while on the phone. They wouldn’t know.
But I would.
Then suddenly, the exchange ends and I make for the bathroom, disgorging a barrel of muck like a horse in a fucking field. Like a shotgun going off on a foggy morning. Instant relief.
I remember I have to go to work. Dodging mushroom clouds and the cloying, endless hordes of the clone humanity, I arrive, hopping upstairs and begin my morning set up.
Jack arrives, as does Toni, latterly. She tells me she discovered a new exo-planet. Keplar 186f. I tell her she did not, and it was discovered by science. She denies this, and chirpily says she can do anything, and discovering all matter in the universe is the least of her talents.
“Yep. That was me”, she beams. “First Earth like planet ever found. In fact, it didn’t even exist until I found it. We’re going to be doing all staff meetings there from now on. I’ll also be declaring a whole continent ANTONIA, which will contain gigantic porcelain renderings of my face, just to ram the point home.”
Happy with her lies, she sprouts wings and flies to a nearby lamp, around which she spins and dallies, long into the day.